Pride month is ending, and yesterday was the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (see the below blog post or this episode of Drunk History to learn more), but it's hard to feel proud as an American these days.
I tabled at Portland Pride this year for work. I have my share of complaints about Pride, mostly that these corporations come in and treat it like it's a fun rainbow outfit to put on once a year to make some money from the queers. But I actually like tabling. All the excited young people with rainbows painted on their cheeks and Pride flags in every color draped over their shoulders like capes are enough to melt even my curmudgeonly heart. I mean, that's a lot of why we fight, right? So kids today don't face the bigotry that we (and generations before us) faced? So they can have time to figure out how to make gender feel right, so they can make gender and sexuality fit them, instead of cramming themselves into a box that somebody else defined.
Queer Pride is important. It's necessary. But it doesn't feel right to celebrate when kids are being taken from their parents and locked in cages at the southern US border, when Republican politicians are swapping their "family values" for blatant xenophobia and racism, and Democratic politicians worry too much about being "civil" to fight back. How do I balance being proud to be queer with being deeply ashamed of my country?
Stonewall wasn't a party. It was a step in a long fight, and the fight is not over. This weekend, there are protests happening around the country against our government's inhumane policies toward immigrants and refugees, and I hope that those in power will listen when the people tell them what we want.
We have to fight together.
I like cats, feminism, queers, making things and writing, apparently.