We stand here after the elections in a new era of change. Those privileged to vote elected the U.S.‘s first black President, which is certainly something to celebrate. But in the midst of this elation, we are left with a deep devastation: the passage of Proposition 8, which bans same sex marriage in California. In light of this blatant demonstration of discrimination and hate, many members of the LGBTQ (lesbian gay bisexual transgender queer) community and their allies are left with the question, where do we go from here? How do we continue to fight systematic oppression that is so deeply engrained in our society?
While there needs to be a space for folks to process their pain and disappointment in the passage of this heinous proposition, it is my hope that members of the LGBTQ community and their allies take this as an opportunity to reinvigorate the fight against oppression and to refocus efforts and activisms to other often over-looked issues in the LGBTQ community. We should be asking ourselves, is marriage the issue that we should be spending all our organizing efforts on, when the rights allocated to married individuals should be universal anyway?
The passage of Prop 8 is a tragedy, but in mourning let us revitalize our resistance of modes of oppression. Lets take this monumental time in history to broaden the conversation about LGBTQ issues and take a more inclusive and coalitional stance in our activism. Let’s talk about how queer people of color are consistently left out of white queer organizing efforts, and face the added burden of violence against their communities everyday. Let‘s talk about trans people who face blatant and tireless discrimination in our medical systems and in our society as a whole. But more than talk about, let us talk and collaborate with these communities. Now is the time to feel our pain and to find comfort in our loved ones, but it’s also time to step up the fight (in an inclusive, coalitional way, of course). To quote the TAZ, “this is a bootstrap operation,” so let’s pull ourselves up and take this moment to refocus and continue the struggle for equality and justice.
by Sarah Raridon