I woke up frightened today.
That ever-lurking fear that knows it’s never really ok for queer people, that it has never, in my lifetime, really been ok for us. (And def not prior to my lifetime, and once again I remember those who fought for our visibility and our rights, such as we have, who are constantly erased from history.)
The ever-lurking fear that means that if Shelley and I do something as small as hold hands in public it’s still ‘something’ – our hand-holding becomes a gesture, it’s never just the joining of two hands, it’s never just us and love. .
The ever-lurking fear that thinks, sure, there are places all across the world I’d love to go, but not yet, maybe never, not until they are safe for me and other LGBTQ people.
The ever-lurking fear that looks at the horror of what’s happened in Orlando, ostensibly because someone saw two men kissing, and remembers that again, for sure, it’s different for gays.
The ever-lurking fear that genuinely doesn’t understand why our mainstream media find it so hard to admit this is an anti-LGBTQ hate crime AND terrorism. That it was targeted against LGBTQ people.
And fear is crap. It tires us, dulls us, sits at the back of the stomach or the throat, it constricts voices, pushes us into anger when we want to be rational (because we have to rationally explain EVERY BLOODY TIME) that this is how it is to be gay, to be queer, to be other in the 21st century. This is how it is to be other.
Even where we now have the law (ostensibly) on our side, we don’t have the hearts and minds.
And so … we get up again. We rise up again. We fucking phoenix up again in roaring glorious flames of beautiful queerity. Because we can, and we will, and we do. And we do it in memory of those queer campaigners who got us this far, in memory of those killed in Orlando’s hateful attack, and for the sake of those to follow us. Because it’s not fixed yet, and there is so much more to do. Please let’s do this work of inclusion together, we sure as hell can’t do it alone.
Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt on ways to show solidarity and Ruth again on everyday homophobia
ps – I’m very sorry I can’t be at to the Soho vigil tonight, because I am seeing Neil Bartlett’s Stella, but I have no doubt the same solidarity will be shown there, not least because we have to keep on making queer work to make the change we need and we have to keep on supporting the makers of this work.