We are now entering the last week of June. Pride centered activities will soon be wrapping up, and although tens of thousands of event goers are having a blast some people are wondering where exactly they stand in a community meant to welcome those who have been outcasted.
I recently came across a discussion on a local popular LTGBQI+ centered Facebook page where a gender-queer identifying person was voicing their disdain for this weekend’s events being constantly referred to as the ‘Gay Pride Festival’. A very valid opinion considering that it excludes all those in our community who are not gay whom this month still belongs to. Long story short, what was supposed to be a healthy eye-opening discussion for those who not aware many felt this way, turned into an ugly debate full of gas lighting and ignoring the marginalized.
Cis gay white men have become the default face of the LTGBQI+ movement ever since Stonewall. They saw an opportunity for their progression in society and took it; which would be absolutely fine if it was not at the expense of Trans and GNC (Gender Non-Conforming) folks. Tactics used were similar to that of the Suffragette movement: they saw an opportunity created by the hard work of POCs, forcibly took over the movement and excluded them in order for their own agenda to move forward. It is disheartening that white gays and lesbians believed that the only way for them to receive the same rights as everyone else was to exclude queer and trans folks, however the worst part of it all is that they were absolutely correct.
Today middle class cis gay and lesbians are the most accepted in our community by society. Their death rates have dropped significantly, however those of queer and trans folks have risen quite a bit. Yes as a whole we have made a fair amount of progress socially, but within ourselves? Some of us just need to learn when to take a step back and listen to those who almost always silenced. We can’t truly call ourselves a community whilst alienating the ones who need the support we’re meant to offer one another. No this isn't supposed to be the struggle Olympics, just a reminder that we all have work to do. We the despised made a space for ourselves, so I’d be damned if we exclude the very people we’re meant to welcome.