Pride Month approaches this year with numerous headlines across the world focused on issues concerning queer [LGBQTI] people.
Stories of progress run alongside stories of stagnation and regression.
- gay athletes
- gay principals
- gay marriage
- gay bashings
- gay kisses
- gay scouts
- gay propaganda
- gay protests
- gay storms
I expect another headline in the coming weeks that disparages the expected drag queens and S&M floats in many Pride Marches across the country. These opinion pieces — sometimes presented in conjunction with a diametrically opposed view to appear palatable — written by fellow queers, worry about the children, and declare how it hurts the movement towards equality, or at least attaining gay marriage.
This assimilationist and shame-filled view only serves to deflect and distract from the real problems at hand —equal access to services and goods, and protection against discrimination and violence.
While the opposition view screams diversity, celebration and acceptance, what these articles fail to point out is the challenge in attaining solidarity within such a diverse group of individuals, whose tenuous tie is an erroneous structured concept of fluid sexuality.
Race, ethnicity, geography, gender, sex, economic and personal upbringing all play a part in the diverging views within our community. Not everyone in the community experiences the same level or types of discrimination, and thusly their needs and priorities are dramatically different.
A friend, an acquaintance, a relative may face some form of discrimination or violence that an individual personally may not. Conversely, that individual may be confronted with prejudice within their own circumstances.
Despite, and owing to, our communal difference, we must find solidarity in the face of injustice and violence. [That actually should apply to all humanity, not just the LGBQTI family.]
Society is built on mutual benefit.
Grow beyond acceptance.
Fight against the injustice of others. Protect your extended family.
You watch my back, I’ll watch yours…