While it was nice to see how the LGBTQ community dominated last night at the Emmy Awards, let's not get so celebratory that we forget where we came from. The year 1993 was a very different time. We weren't winning awards for being open, highly creative, and unashamed. We were sitting ducks for open abuse by folks who filmed moments from our marches, freely made up statistics about our sexual behavior, took statements out of context, exploited folks who were on the verge of death, and manipulated images and people's emotions to make us look like monsters. The snippet below from the 1993 homophobic propaganda video 'Gay Rights, Special Rights' demonstrated just how easy it was to demonize us.
As sad and vile as this video is, there is a lot of gratification we can pull from it. Twenty-five years later, while the religious right is still motivated by their lurid imaginations about gay sex (although they have tampered down with the "feces-ingesting" claims) and spinning the same tired stories of gays trying to destroy the family, etc., we are still here, we are stronger, more powerful, and those nasty homophobes who weaponized lies against us are either gone or shut down by our successes. We won marriage, our families are more numerous. Most of all, none of their spooky predictions came true.
This is what winning the hard way looks like.