On this final day of LGBTQ History Month, I want to take time to reflect on the necessity of celebrating this month as well as highlight some especially powerful stories.
As with Black History Month and Women’s History Month, I wish we did not need LGBTQ History Month, but the fact is we do! We must not fall into the delusion that people in the United States and all over the world are treated equally by virtue of being human. In most states in the south it is not safe to be part of the LGBTQ community. In Uganda it is legal to kill gay people–a proposal seen just recently here in the United States.
I bring up Black History Month and Women’s History month because of all the people who have multiple identities and experience oppression on multiple levels. Marriage Equality is just a small portion of what needs to be addressed regarding civil rights. Violence against the LGBTQ community has increased by 13% over the past year, with people of color and transgender gender non-conforming folk being specifically targeted. What is equally disturbing is witnessing false science by a so called “scholar,” (funded by the recognized hate group NOM) who publishes homophobic data, or that Mitt Romney has signed a pledge to eliminate civil rights for the LGBTQ community–I believe that is called Fascism. All of this violence and homophobia does not make it easy for people to be out and proud.
While quite honestly, I don’t want Tom Cruise on our team and I don’t really care why he is getting his third divorce while I’m not allowed to have a legal marriage, I am particularly disturbed that Cruise takes such offense at people speculating that he might be gay, as though he were being called a racist. Being called straight is not a pejorative, why should being called gay be one?
While I could go on ad nauseam about the disparities, inequalities, and intersections of oppression the LGBTQ community faces everyday, I would rather conclude on a positive note. Let’s highlight some stories that were particular favorites of mine, some dating back to last year’s celebrations. Of course, one of my all time favorites was celebrating Dumbledore. Adding to the list of heroes of mine that were celebrated are: Bayard Rustin, Glenn Burke, and of course our Allies.
I hope the day will come in my lifetime that we are able to celebrate everyone in the LGBTQ community sharing in all of the civil rights enjoyed by our heterosexual brothers and sisters, just as I hope we will see an end to racism and misogyny.