How it feels to celebrate Pride Month through a time of danger and rainbow cyberspace
During Pride Month, writer Michael Arceneaux asks us to recall what is happening to queer communities under the Trump-Pence administration and not to get diverted by companies selling rainbow apparel. And that”for people who need to find delight in the middle of chaos, ” I hope they find it at these moments, safely. However, we do want anger , too.”
On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 1978, called the”Save Chick-fil-A” bill, into law.
Lately, the fried chicken string reignited controversy over its charitable contributions to organizations using an explicit anti-queer bias. The bill had been signed in reaction to this San Antonio City Council voting in March to approve a new concessions contract to its San Antonio International Airport to the status that Chick-fil-A be prosecuted because of its funds of said groups that push anti-LGBTQ causes. Regardless of the poor headlines, Chick-fil-A hasn’t actually suffered commercially whatsoever; if anything else, it has simply been poor media coverage. But, Abbott and other Texas Republicans hurried to shield Chick-fil-A, a corporation, anyway. You see, it’s very, very important that these folks enjoy the right to give money to groups which convince queer kids they’re inherently flawed and hell-bound with no outcome –a befuddling declaration from members of the party which frequently loves to tout the virtues of”personal responsibility.”
Meanwhile, only a little more than a week before Abbott signing that bill, the entire body of Chynal Lindsey, a Black transgender girl, was found Saturday in Dallas with”obvious signs of premature violence,” according to authorities. Since Buzzfeed News notes, Lindsey is at least the fourth Black woman to be killed in Dallas in 3 years. In Maythe editorial committee of the Houston Chronicle–maybe not just known as a bastion of revolutionary politics by some stretch of the imagination–called on Houston to rally supporting Black trans women since they are under siege from Texas and elsewhere.
Abbott and people Republicans have not said anything on those trans girls’s behalf. The same can be said concerning the HIV/AIDS crisis disproportionately impacting Black and Latinx men in important U.S. cities. But when it was time to rally supporting a multi-million dollar company over imply tweets and unfavorable headlines, ” they explained,”my pleasure”
‘Save Chick-fil-A’ bill improvements in Texas Legislature; proponents say the bill is about”religious liberty” but critics say it would lead to LGBTQ discrimination. – @NBCOUT https://t.co/XlD91C8dW6– NBC News (@NBCNews) May 22, 2019
As a native Texan, it’s wholly unsurprising but utterly gloomy the same. I feel about a few other bad news emanating this week from the Catholic Church. The Vatican published “Male and female he made them” its own first paper on sex science. It’s not necessary to warn of a spoiler; the name alone makes clear that the Vatican not only has horrible time to release findings long disputed by mathematics, but as Quartz’s Annalisa Merelli said, the paper also”further brings into issue the reputation of both Pope Francis as a reformer.”
In 2015I dismissed that standing dependent on the Catholic Church’s confirmed anti-queer, anti-trans stances. Still, I am. I’m thrilled to be free of the dogma which made me feel less than, like something to be loathed, penalized, and unloved. Nonetheless, it’s stories like these that remind me of how little progress was produced in the grand scheme of things.
Yes, people can get married, and sure, there have been a few bright spots–even this week. Yeah, I am specifically speaking about the Season 2 premiere of Pose, a phenomenal, groundbreaking series that features the tales of queer and trans folks, written by queer and trans people, also played by many queer and trans individuals. That visibility certainly matters, especially at a period in which queer and trans kids are being bullied in school. It was just April I wrote about Nigel Shelby taking his own life because of becoming tired of anti-gay taunting.
I don’t like sounding like a killjoy. It is, after all, Pride Month. It is a time to celebrate our humanity in the midst of amazing persecution.
Even so, it’s difficult not to look around and feel stressed. On BET’s new digital show #BlackCoffee, I tried to clarify that inner battle. Frankly, I’m not positive if I had been especially good at doing so in the moment as there are so many frustrations to manage. As a queer person. As. As a queer person working in websites having to not only analyze a difficult reality, but reside in it.
That very reality is that we are increasingly targeted through policy and harassment under the Trump-Pence government.
As we observe LGBT Pride Month and recognize the exceptional contributions LGBT people have made to our great Country, let us stand in solidarity with the many LGBT Individuals who live in lots of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or maybe implement individuals…– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2019
….on based on the sexual orientation. My Administration has launched a global effort to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this endeavor! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2019
Trump tweets the preceding platitudes as his government pushes a narrower definition of sex, ejects trans individuals from serving in the army , makes it simpler for employers to discriminate against trans inhabitants and queer folk, closes out could be-LGBTQ parents from the adoption process, gives doctors the acceptable not to cure trans patients, and enables homeless shelters to throw out trans individuals.
No wonder anti-queer violence is climbing steadily under this regime; we’re being depicted as subhuman that are undeserving of fundamental rights and common decency. To wit, a Tennessee-based prosecutor recently made the claim that gay men and women have been not eligible to domestic violence protections. Worse, as Media Matters’ Parker Molloy emphasized at the beginning of the month, almost all of the significant TV networks have failed to cover each of the Trump-Pence government rollbacks of protections for members of the LGBTQ community.
However, I have observed all of them let me”Happy Pride!” In certain rainbow-themed advertisement.
And I’ve been invited to attempt Pride-themed cookies and cakes. ) Or pushed to purchase some Pride-related clothing . Capitalism, can’t you at least try to actually care? Hell, pretend it all better?
These problems are not limited to america. I’m grateful Botswana decriminalized homosexuality, but it should have never been criminalized to start with. And though Africa gets the bad rap on homophobia, much of this can be followed to European colonialism and American evangelists. Funny enough, finished at The Guardian, Owen Jones touched on the U.K.’s failure to safeguard queer and trans people, composing”progress in LGBTQ rights hasn’t simply ground to a stop, it is screeching into reverse.”
In response, he advised that we”not have commercialized parades, pinkwashing doubtful corporations, celebrating’progress. ”’ That everyone rather”have anger, guts, and decision –because LGBTQ rights are under threat, and history indicates that the sole remedy would be to battle back.”
He’s not incorrect, however, the parades will surely be arriving right on schedule. And for those who must locate pleasure in the middle of chaos, I hope they find it in these minutes, safely. However, we really do need rage, also. And to those businesses pocketing our identities off and the folks paying lip service to them in the kind of faint support, I hope real reflection on the fact of our everyday lives comes into bigger attention.
Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of the newly published book I Can’t Date Jesus in Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Essence, The Guardian, Mic, and much more. Follow him on Twitter.
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