“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” (Audre Lorde)
This year’s Pride celebration is already shaping up to be an exciting one. And it’s only February.
As this column has explored, the meaning of Pride has shifted over the years — from its roots in sheer political and social defiance to today where Pride more or less has become a reason for city-wide celebration. This year we will turn yet another page. Following on the heels of the highly successful Women’s March last month, the LGBT community is planning an event of its own, smartly rolling into Washington’s June Pride celebration.
What brought it all on exactly? Sheer solidarity according to organizers of the event. After all, there has been no real attack on LGBT rights so far. Then again it’s only been about three weeks or so. Rest assured, large and small, these attacks are coming. This time last week we were on the edge of our seats waiting for some wicked presidential executive order to come rolling out that would roll back so many of our recent victories. It never came, though a draft version was widely circulated. Details laid out in the draft were, in a word, horrifying. But this order was never signed. I don’t take particularly well to being used as political cover for fascists, but we learned later that it was perhaps Trump’s own daughter that saved us from his pen.
So the executive order was never signed. The mere fact that a draft was written and circulated for serious consideration is enough to take to the streets. Now the wolf is at the door. And make no mistake, this is a wolf in wolf’s clothing. After being locked out of the White House for eight years, Christian evangelicals turned out en masse to vote for Trump, a man thrice married and who has made a fortune off gambling, and soon he will have to pay the piper.
The executive order may have been tabled for now, but of course intersectionality means my LGBTQ siblings who are women, immigrants or Muslim are still being attacked and degraded regardless.
For our allies, we need you. We’ve been to your weddings, you’ve been to ours. We’ve celebrated over the past eight years the progress we’ve made. Now we need you to stand with us as this progress is threatened. We need you to stand with us and openly question hateful legislation and policy that may come under the guise of so-called religious liberty. And, too, as your allies we will continue to march and protest on your behalf. A threat to one of us is indeed a threat to all of us.
When it comes to protest, maybe we’ve all gotten a little rusty. With monumental court decisions, federal recognition, and a White House bathed in rainbow colors, there was plenty of opportunity to celebrate. And that’s fine of course. There is a time for everything. But now’s the time to march. Are we rusty? Maybe. But if women taught us anything last month, political activism is just like riding a bike. You never forget how.
See you in June.
Brock Thompson is a D.C.-based writer. He writes regularly for the Blade.