There have been many difficult situations for the LGBTQIA+ community in different times and places that we know very well, and it moves us to tears when we think about those brave pioneers whose fight was the origin of the Pride celebrations as we know them today.
It’s impossible not to play with the idea of “What would I have done if I had been there?”… Not an easy question! Some people paid for their bravery with their freedom or even their lives, and that’s why we honor them now.
That was the original fight if you will. Back then, homophobia and transphobia were accepted as the right thing to do, and people who defended LGBTQIA+ rights were considered criminals. And we may think, “Lucky us that we were not the ones dealing with that just 50 years ago!” but are we?
It’s undeniable that we have achieved so much in claiming our rights, and that’s precisely why all these horrible attacks on the trans community are resurging so strongly. Truth has been winning, and we´re conquering spaces as we speak; that’s why we´re making the dragon mad! A wounded dragon is very dangerous, and as it appears to be leaving the stage, it can surprise us by hitting us with its tail.
If you pay attention to history, it’s always been cyclical. Humans are slow (maybe lazy?) to learn from history, so we have to repeat the lessons, generation after generation, but it’s not precisely the same as before. So instead of going in circles, this could be an ascending spiral once we hold our ground and everything we already won and build on top of that.
Think of this, the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer defined the three stages that truth must pass:
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Perhaps the first stage was in 1969 during the Stonewall Riots in New York when the LGBTIA+ community reacted to the raids that the police carried out at queer bars, which had been standard practice since the 1960s.
Maybe, 54 years later, we´re experiencing the second stage; all the ground we have gained and scientific evidence supporting Gender-affirming care must be making these bigots crazy! They´re running out of arguments, but that doesn’t mean they are harmless–to the contrary.
As they used to do 50 years ago, people nowadays need to go underground to protect themselves and their families! Especially people living in hostile states in the US with anti-trans bills who are either leaving the state or finding other ways to continue supporting their trans relatives, not to mention gender-affirming providers who are seeing their livelihood and integrity threatened.
For whatever reason that escapes us, life puts us in this situation to defend ourselves and our community…to defend the truth! So here we are, proud to live up to the people who came before us in this fight. So let’s help our community in any way we can and stay safe in the meantime. Let’s support the legal teams trying to fight on our behalf and all the other ways we can find to support each other.
As with other phases, this will also pass. Seeing the younger generations gives us hope because they´re not as concerned about gender as some adults who are obsessed with it. They used to accuse women wearing trousers of wanting to take over “men’s roles” or men who had long hair of being too feminine and not “real men;” now, that seems ridiculous, but it was a big deal back then.
Maybe not tomorrow, but we are moving closer to the day when we will witness queer & trans rights as being viewed as self-evident.