This video by my online friend Matt Baume is a few years old but I find it still relevant. And amplifying it is a perfect way for me to bring up something which has bothered me for a while.
I think we're a bit jaded as a community.
These days we are inundated with positive LGBTQ images in all forms of media. So much so that it's blinding us to actual threats which can cripple our community. We tend to forget that we are still in a fight against folks who are determined to either undermine our rights or do what they can to eradicate our presence from society. From the 'Don't Say Gay' bills and laws to groups selling swag by smearing us as groomers of children to the constant attack on the trans community, there is too much garbage out there for us to become complacent.
That's why videos like the above are important. It's a reminder of where we were and how we got where we are. Some of us seem to have the belief that people raged at Stonewall, busted a couple of windows and suddenly we got rights the next day. Stonewall was just a touchstone. It was one of many. We fought like hell before that night in New York and we fought like hell after it to get where we are. And all of it did not include raising hell and shutting things down. People always forget the planning, the organizing, the intricate details of discipline which got us the organizations and the laws. People always forget that progress doesn't happen in one hot day or night and that long-term plans and goals are always needed if one is truly serious about attaining success. They forget because things like that aren't seen as glamorous as shouting in the streets and carrying signs.
I was born in a time when there was no "Will and Grace" or "RuPaul's Drag Race." I remember when AIDS was ravaging the community and people joked about how it was killing our community as if it was the latest gag. Some of us have forgotten and still others weren't born yet. We need a remembrance, a wake-up call.
In the black community, we are constantly reminded of how we progressed in this country and the sacrifices made to get us there. We are also constantly reminded that there are folks out there who want to take it away from us if we blinked just once. And we are constantly reminded of our history, of the time when we couldn't run for public office, when we were beaten and lynched in broad daylight and when we suffered other indecencies. Because of that, our eyes are always at the figurative gate just in case someone tries to break in.
The LGBTQ community would do well to take to heart what the black community does.We love to immerse ourselves in the trivial aspect of LGBTQ culture, but let's not forget that the fight isn't over. Don't let your eagerness to celebrate Pride blind you to the termites trying to eat away at our foundation.