By the end of June the Supreme court will make its decision on whether two people of the same sex can be married legally in the United States. Though we can never predict what the justices are going to do, it’s overwhelmingly assumed that by next year two people – no matter race, sex, or eye color – will be able to marry in every state.
Once this happens and the proverbial glitter has settled… then what? Are we done? Can we delete those “NoH8” pics? Can we take those equal signs off our cars?
We still have some battles among a nation where 40% of homeless youth are LGBT and abortion rights aren’t yet universal. However, just turn on the television, open a magazine and, of course, go online… where Instagram is filled with half-naked men, the word “bottom” can’t be mentioned without someone referring to the sex act, and Transgenders are creating fan pages. It’s safe to say we’re doing just fine.
Almost ten years after “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” the LGBT community has become beacons of “what to do.” While we were being tied up to fences, getting kicked out of our homes, and having the crap beat out of us in the locker room, we’ve become leaders of the art world.
We’ve had it rough. Now it’s time to bask in the glory we’ve fought so hard for.
And this is where an interesting dichotomy takes place.
Take the word fight, for example. How the gay community understands and uses that word depends a lot on age and experience. There are those who made it through the Stonewall Riots and lived through the AIDS epidemic. Then there are those who had “NOH8” painted on their cheeks and changed their profile pics.
Yes, we’ve come a long way. However, it seems many use this fight as a false sense of empowerment, whether they were involved in the fight or not. When I hear a 22-year-old say, “listen bitch,” I want to slap them. Who’s a bitch? Me? The world? Your mom paying your rent? Who?
It kind of reminds me of those celebrities that gain fame and become… well… dicks. In a way, I understand it. You fight your way to the top with everyone telling you, “you’re nothing, you won’t get anywhere.” Then once you reach the top those people are suddenly buying your albums.
I wonder sometimes, is this word “fight” just used when it’s to our advantage? We can sing, dance, act, dress, design, be sassy, yet when anyone crosses us we cry, “you don’t know what it’s like to be _____.”
After the recent State of the Union, a speech filled with equality rhetoric, TIME magazine published a story about this being the first time the President ever used the word “Transgender” (in a SOTU). (Apparently there’s a Transgender Princess out there who can only be awoken by the President saying Transgender, and she immediately tweeted about it.) The LGBT community immediately celebrated, as we do whenever a huge authority figure acknowledges us. “They like us… they really like us.”
I keep sprinkling that phrase LGBT – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender. The rule is supposed to be when one person attacks the “T” they attack every letter, the idea being that all “unorthodox” sexual identities are one. But much like the American community as a whole, this idea of oneness is utilized at the worst of times, the best of times, and when we can use it to our advantage.
“OH NO! Someone beat up Cassandra!!!” “Who’s Cassandra?” “You know, that annoying Tranny down the street.”
Anyone around during the Stonewall riots and the early days of the AIDS epidemic can agree that at one time there was a sense of true comradery. When you went to a bar it was a celebration of life – a time to escape from a judgmental world. And you didn’t really care if half the club was filled with lesbians.
Today, things have changed. We’re nearing the end of a huge fight, a fight we started as one but by no means will be celebrating together. We all built a house and now everyone’s buying locks to keep each other out of our rooms.
Just look at any club in any major city and you will rarely see an LGBT night. No one would show up. Instead you see – gay bar, gay bar, gar bar, gay bar, lesbian bar every other Thursday, gay bar, gay bar, daddy bar, leather bar, mostly gay Asian bar.
And I’m not saying this is a bad thing. We have a lot to be thankful for. But I start to wonder when Pride season comes what exactly are we waving that rainbow flag for? When I see constant images of gay guys in their underwear the term “Gay Pride” almost becomes as comical as “White Pride.”
The sad part is we have a lot to be proud of. It’s much more than nice abs, wearing bow ties, and Rachel Maddow. It’s that we can hold hands with anyone in our country and no one can tell us “no.”