Friday, May 18, 2012

We're Here; We're queer; What's the big deal?

The gay rights movement really began in 1969 with some drag queens at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan.  They stood up to the police, who had been raiding the gay bars and arresting the inhabitants.  On that June night, the patrons of the Stonewall decided not to leave.  They stood their ground and a movement was born.

Today, in 2012, the President of the United States comes out as being in favor of gay marriage.  Granted, many states have laws in effect prohibiting that, but this is the last remaining fight in the revolution.  So what happens when we win?

Gay Pride parades and festivals have been going on since 1970.  It's tradition now that the gay bars build floats to have their strippers and drag queens dance on, the leather daddys put on their assless chaps, and the town's Gay chorus sings songs as they all parade down Main Street USA.   These are some of the subgroups of the gay community.  Where are the rest of the gays?  Where are the doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, CEOs, and entrepreneurs?   Perhaps they're home working in the garden, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or attending their kid's soccer game.

What's the matter with them?  Aren't they proud to be gay?  Or maybe they don't think about it.

If equality is what we're really after, doesn't becoming mainstream become the definition of success?    We're here, we're queer and people have kinda gotten used to us.  Many have accepted us.  Isn't that what we want? We'll never get everyone to accept us.  No one has.  Blacks and whites still have issues.  Jews and Arabs have a long running battle.  Hell, lesbians and gay men have issues.  In fact, we gays don't even like every other gay we meet.  That's human nature.  We aren't all going to get along, but we can find peace in knowing that.

So this June as you have the urge to celebrate gay pride, go ahead and go to the parade, but if you really have pride and courage, be the gay dad at the PTA meeting, or be the lesbian couple inviting your straight neighbors over for a barbecue.  That's how we really succeed, when people see we're no different than they are.

It's not very exciting becoming the mainstream, huh?   There aren't any parades.  But it is nice.

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