Monday, June 13, 2016

After Orlando

Bear with me because I hate writing about politics and usually avoid it. From an aesthetic point of view it always bothers me because I feel like I'm just repeating other people's words that have moved me in the past. But it's something that I'm slowly teaching myself how to do, because silence is so much worse. It's like, to hell with your precious aesthetics you callous piece of shit, you know? "Silence=Death," created in the outrage over America's insensitivity to AIDS, is a slogan I find inspiring when it comes to ignoring anyone's voice, anyone's rights.

I'm exceedingly lucky to live where I do, to be part of the fun and accepting community I am in--in other words, to be largely shielded from the many-headed monster of hate. Throughout my childhood in the West Village, Christopher Street was the next street up from ours; music from the piano bars floated through my window, lulling me to sleep most nights. Revelry, pageantry, and sexiness were on display all the time (not just on Halloween, which was raunchier and way better back then). The inclusive spirit of New York informed my upbringing and is a HUGE part of who I am. For such a horrific thing as a massacre at a queer club to happen now, in the age of marriage equality, increased visibility of transgendered people, and so many other great steps in the direction of love and acceptance: it's heartbreaking in a way I can't describe.

I'm lucky, too, because I benefit from the privilege afforded straight people in our society. Expressing my sexuality here at home does not get me in trouble--though, because I have had sex with women and am attracted to women, it would elsewhere. While their lives have been vastly different, I'm sure many victims of the Orlando tragedy thought they were lucky--to meet other queer people and be part of a local family that loved them, even if they'd been rejected by their real families. I have a live-in (male!) partner and kind of a tomboyish personal style; beyond that, is my life anyone's business? I can blithely answer no, yet this is a question that so many, including the victims in Florida, have grappled with in their every waking moment. From a young age they're baffled that others scrutinize and judge what they do for pleasure, for love--and, discovering that people are angered by it, they figure they might as well show it off. Or they never do, except in the safe confines of a gay club where everyone is "like them." Nobody is exactly like anyone, though, which is a wonderful thing to find out.

A couple of years ago I started doing a radio show for Pride month, and I'll be doing one in that theme this week. It is goofy and fun and interesting, at least I hope you think so. I'm a lifelong optimist and a firm believer that LOVE WILL ALWAYS CONQUER HATE, as hard as that can be to believe after a terrible event like this one. Maybe that's an activist platitude of the type I alluded to above, but fuck it. LOVE WILL ALWAYS CONQUER HATE. You can listen to the past shows here...

Love and Pride 2014
Love and Pride 2015

No comments: