Justin Myers, aka The Guyliner, has written a really good post about LGBT+ History Month. Like him, I feel that there are big gaps in my knowledge of LGBT+ and feminist history. So it’s nice to be reminded that:
Nobody will judge you for not being exactly sure who threw the first chunks of masonry at Stonewall: all you have to do is show you’re open to discovery, respectful of the achievements made, and that you recognise the lessons available to be learned from those milestones, and the people who made them happen. Facts and feelings matter.
I’ve written before about the period immediately after I came out when I wanted to be seen as one of “the good ones”. I wasn’t one of the difficult ones, the angry ones, the ones who’ll make a fuss. I didn’t realise at the time that if it weren’t for those people, I’d never have been able to come out at all. That’s why I think it’s important to go back: to understand how we got here, and to understand how fragile progress can be.
It’s not uncommon for the newly out to push away what we see as stereotypes or anything that would make straight people turn against us… [but] You can only ignore the politics of being LGBTQ+ for so long before it becomes impossible. Your existence – as a gay person, a trans person, as a bi person, or if you’re non-binary – is political. Men and women – mainly those who are nothing like us and do not understand our lives – sit in wood-panelled rooms making decisions about you. When you can have sex, who you can marry and where, how you can express your gender, your access to health services, how the world learns about you – your freedom to be who you are is one of the most political acts you’ll ever encounter.