In 1977 when I marched in my first Gay Pride March (it hadn't yet morphed into a parade), I could not have imagined that in my lifetime there would be gay marriage. The prejudice was too deep, too institutionalized, too unquestioned.
For those same reasons I was doubtful America would elect a black president, but then we elected Barrack Obama.
Then in 2016 we elected Donald Trump, America's most constitutionally-ignorant, separation of powers-hating, science-denying, kleptocratic president. Or perhaps we did not elect him, the covert and overt rigging of elections has reached quite a pitch here, but either way, about 1/3 of the population is happy to have an authoritarian Daddy figure relieving them- and the rest of us- of the pesky necessity to think, to adapt, to grow, to grant the right of beingness to others.
These folks are with us always (to paraphrase Jesus), but to see this darkness so ascendant that the U.S. may be turning into a full-on authoritarian state is another thing I never imagined to see in my lifetime. (Apparently I suck at predicting what Americans will do.)
I hope I am wrong, but for many reasons - not just trump, who is as much symptom as cause - I fear rough times are ahead. And not just here in the States. Which makes pride particularly salient in 2019 and henceforth.
Ours has always been a movement that fought for and celebrated the right to live, to love, to fuck (or not, my celibate and asexual friends), to play, to pursue happiness... So remember our history, remember the queers at Stonewall who met riot police with high-kicking chorus lines, and let us never forget that joy is itself a revolutionary act.
As Jody Scott put it, "The best revenge is to flourish and prosper,"
Or, to quote Albert Camus, "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
[For an optimistic view on how this is all going to work out, I suggest Teri Kanefield (twitter.com/Teri_Kanefield, terikanefield-blog.com) and for a pessimistic view I recommend Sarah Kendzior (twitter.com/sarahkendzior, patreon.com/gaslit). I do believe Kendzior is clear-sighted about the present danger in a way most of us cannot confront, but that Kanefield will prove right in the end. I'm just not sure if that end is 5, 20 or 60 years away.]
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