t is utterly fitting, of course, that the state in which I was raised–New York–has legalized same sex marriage on “Pride Weekend,” the time of the year when GLBTQQI* (and some polyamorous people) celebrate (or openly flaunt, depending on your point of view) their pride in being gloriously, flamingly, and wondrously GLBTQQI* (and/or polyamorous), with parades in most major cities around the country, rainbow flags flying high, and feeling of hope and festivity–LOTS of festivity!–in the air.
It’s also fitting, in my opinion, that this decision was made on the weekend which stems from the remembrance of the Stonewall Riots. Underlying all the somewhat frantically waving rainbow flags is the memory that only a generation ago, people were regularly killed for being any flavor of queer.
And sometimes the hand that takes a gay person’s life is their own, as living in the daily culture of fear and oppression simply becomes too much to bear.
Target has joined the party by contributing a highly ironic video in the “It Gets Better” campaign, despite their own concurrent donations to anti-gay causes and politicians. Way to talk out of both sides of your mouth, Target.
Honestly, this whole “It Gets Better” campaign bothers me a bit. It shouldn’t HAVE to “get better”! It should be fine already, without the hazing and the bullying and the epithets and the deaths. And oh yeah, about those deaths… I don’t think it gets better for them. Or their families and friends.
Yes, it’s great to see so many people standing up to give some hope to beleaguered GLBT teens (and adults). But don’t imagine that saying the equivalent of “some of my best friends are bla…er… GAY” isn’t anything more than 1 step on an immensely long road. Yes, we should take a moment to celebrate the progress (Hooray NY! 6 states down, only 44 to go, not counting the territories….) But until this “It Gets Better” campaign is UNNECESSARY and unthinkable, we’re not there yet.
Now, “chop wood, carry water.”