Dear Fellow Marginalized Citizen:
When I was born in the mid 1950’s, being discovered as a “queer” or a “fairy” was pretty devastating. You lost your job, your family, your friends, usually your place to live, and your definition of “bad” suddenly became redefined to mean something you never even imagined could happen to you.
Even up through my early adulthood in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s there was no such thing as the internet, no social media, no Grindr or Scruff or Sniffies. Finding another gay person was hard and dangerous, especially if you were outside of a major metropolitan area like Greenwich Village or the Castro area of San Francisco.
Nothing gave me greater heartburn than when I joined the Navy and had to answer a question about whether or not I was a homosexual. I lied. So did a lot of people.
For most gay men, sex was something furtively accomplished in a public bathroom or park, and you never knew if the other person was an undercover cop or someone looking to get their jollys by beating up a queer.
If you were born after 1990, I would imagine that there are simply no words that I could utter that would make you understand how very hard it was to be gay or lesbian, and when it comes to transgender or “gender-fluid” – that would land you in an insane asylum at best.
This all gradually changed in the 1980’s and 1990’s when AIDS came around and gay people grew sick and tired of being treated worse than the dirt on the bottom of your shoe. There was Act-Up and the AIDS Quilt and suddenly you heard the word “homosexual” on the nightly news and through the blood, sweat, tears and many lost jobs and boyfriends and families torn apart.
Now, in 2023, we are seeing a massive rollback of gay rights and what upsets me the most is that all I am seeing from our multitude of many lettered LGBTQ x x x youth is ……nothing. Complacence. All the hard work, tears and graveside services that my generation underwent appears to be for nothing because most of todays pampered, social media addicted youth seem to want to do nothing but …nothing.
My generation knows how to live under the radar. My generation knows how to blend and survive, and while it isn’t the best thing in the world, it is something that we learned and something that you never really unlearn.
Unless todays youth rise up and do something, especially with their votes, we are headed straight back to 1955.
Take a very close look at Ron De Santis. He will ruin you and smile while doing it.
Get up off your butts and do something.