In some ways, I think the marriage equality movement has set us back from our roots as an inclusive queer movement. During the time following Stonewall and the election of Harvey Milk, queer rights were about total queer and sexual liberation. The HIV epidemic really threw a huge wrench into that movement in the late 80's and early 90's. I think that is when we began to see the emergence of what is now the mainstream "gay rights movement."
The marriage movement basically, in my opinion, packaged things up in a way that was appealing to straight people, because the major gay groups working in the marriage movement attempted to make us appear as heteronormative as possible. Why was it that they only ever projected the image of straight-acting, white, cis-gendered, wealthy, gay men? Because straight people want to see us acting "normal," i.e. like them.
Why is is that some gay "pride" parades are now banning drag queens and nudity? Because we don't want to upset the straight people, and really, we do need them on our side to get anything accomplished, but has it come at the cost of us straying so far from where are movement began, that it's now going to make it that much more difficult to work on the deeper, more meaningful issues like trans rights, homeless LGBTQ youth, access to healthcare, etc.? Will it make it that much harder to get people to pay attention to the rights of those in our community who are largely unaffected by the marriage ruling?
I think it might, because most straight people I talk to think that the SCOTUS ruling on marriage was the final frontier for "gay rights." I think they're completely disengaged now and also ignorant to the other issues that exist. I can't even begin to tell you how many straight people (and gay people!) have NO clue that it's still completely legal to fire and evict people for being LGBTQ in many states. I also think they are largely unaware of the level of homo and transphobic hate and violence that is still rampant in this country, even in the most liberal cities.
I think we need to bring back the radical elements of the movement that existed from 1969 to the late 80's. We should not have to conform to heteronormativity in order to be accepted and have the full legal rights that everyone in the LGBTQ community deserves. Sure, the marriage ruling was a great thing and a major step towards equality, but how do we move forward from here?
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