Today's Mighty Oak


It’s bad.  Really bad.

After the election, I knew four couples who quickly got married, afraid that we would lose the right.  And that’s a fear that straight people don’t understand.  The few civil rights we have are new, and are still fragile.  And as it turns out, they might have been right to be so worried:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a Texas ruling that said the right to a marriage license did not entitle same-sex couples to spousal benefits under employee insurance plans.

This is certainly just the beginning, and Sue over at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents sums it up:

Limiting same-sex marriage is the objective here – benefits, adoption, tax deductions, legal rights, etc. Restricting LGBTQ people across the board is the goal.

That decision was followed up with the arguments in Masterpiece Cake Shop which looks to use the bullshit idea of ‘religious freedom’ to hide bigotry and legal discrimination.  There are a lot of lines being drawn between this case and the racial discrimination case Piggie Park Barbecue from the sixties.

If a business is open to the public, what they sell should be available to all of the public.  The baker would be just as wrong if he declined to make a wedding cake for a black couple, citing his religious beliefs.  If you sell a product (in this case, wedding cakes), you should not be able to put restrictions as to who you will sell it to, that would take us back to the times of delis with signs saying they would not serve Irish and lunch counter sit-ins.

Although, to no one’s surprise, the white house would be all for bakeries (and other businesses) hanging up “no gays” signs.

Slate has a great article going through the myriad of reasons why this is insanity, give it a read.  It rips apart most of the arguments I’ve heard, including this quote:

Telling minorities who have suffered a history of discrimination that it’s unneighborly, unseemly, or discourteous to fight for rights that they’re being denied but you’re enjoying is shameless—ultimately just another mechanism for denying those rights in the first place. Do you actually think the minority members love always having to be the loudmouths reminding the world that they deserve the same rights as you already have? And to the extent that some activists become almost permanently wedded to the “angry activist” position, can you really blame them?

Sadly though, legal scholars (and myself, not a legal scholar) are not optimistic about the outcome, which will open a floodgate of further discrimination where literally any business could turn me away at a moment’s notice.  Not exactly a world I want to have to navigate.

We’ll find out over the summer when the ruling comes down, until then, I’ll be a ball of nerves over this hugely important case.

All my best,

Mike



Thank you to the woman who fought for love and brought down DOMA.  She leaves a giant legacy behind, and we keep fighting in her memory.



If you follow along with gay men’s health topics as much as I do (so you probably don’t, and that’s okay), you may have heard about PrEP.  Basically, it’s a pill, that prevents someone from contracting HIV.  The science behind it is much more complicated, but it’s kind of like a vaccine.  Side note, there’s also PEP, which is taken if you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, to prevent yourself from seroconverting (acquiring the infection).

It has had its detractors, some saying it will lead to an increase of other STIs, although you’re still supposed to use condoms when on PrEP, since it does not protect against anything else, and new research has showed that it actually has brought down the rates of several STIs, by as much as 40%  To continue being on PrEP, you have to be tested every three months, and knowing your status is the best and most effective way of stopping the spread of these infections.

There’s a new ad campaign out about PrEP, and while overall I really like it, the first ‘episode’ of it seems to paint condom use in a bad light, but they correct that in the next videos.  It’s also refreshing to see some more explicit images, especially since it’s a drug mainly targeted to gay men, as we’re a high risk group (but also any couple in a serodiscordant relationship, meaning one has HIV and the other partner does not).

Episode 1:

 

Episode 2:

 

Episode 3:

 

Episode 4:

 

There’s more info available here, as well as some awesome behind the scenes discussions about the project and PrEP itself, and how it fits into a full, healthy regimen of safer sex.

All my best,

Mike



Today marks the 48th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which launched the LGBT-rights movement.

If you’re not familiar with the riots, here’s what happened:

We owe so much to those brave trans-women of color, homeless youth and drag queens who launched the riots and the queer revolution.

People ask why we celebrate pride.  NoFo writes it much more eloquently than I ever could, here is an excerpt:

We’re proud because despite relentless persecution everywhere we turn—when organized religion viciously attacks and censures and vilifies us in the name of selective morality, when our families disown us, when our elected officials bargain away our equality for hate votes, when entire states codify our families into second-class citizenship, when our employers fire us, when our landlords evict us, when our police harass us, when our neighbors and colleagues and fellow citizens openly insult and condemn and mock and berate and even beat and kill us—we continue to survive.

We’re proud because—thanks to the incredible bravery shown by gay people who lived their lives openly in the decades before us—we can live our lives more and more openly at home, at work, with our families, on our blogs … and even on national television.

We’re proud because after all we’ve been through, the world is starting to notice and respect us and emulate the often fabulous culture we’ve assembled from the common struggles and glorious diversity of our disparate lives.

We’re proud because this weekend we’ll celebrate with drag queens, leather queens, muscle queens, attitude queens and you’d-never-know-they-were-queens queens, and together we can see through the “pride” in our parade and enjoy the underlying Pride in our parade.

Quite simply, we’re proud that we have so much to be proud of.

We can take some time, and even in the face of hatred, bigotry and discrimination, we can carve a place in this world, claim it our own and celebrate.

We can celebrate, because this is our party.  We don’t need anyone’s permission to celebrate:

Because even if Pride doesn’t change many minds in the outside world, it’s our PARTY, darlings. It’s our Christmas, our New Year’s, our Carnival. It’s the one day of the year that all the crazy contingents of the gay world actually come face to face on the street and blow each other air kisses. And wish each other “Happy Pride!” Saying “Happy Pride!” is really just a shorter, easier way of saying “Congratulations on not being driven completely batshit insane! Well done, being YOURSELF!”

We can celebrate the community that we have, the radical acceptance that we embody and the fact that we’ve survived.  We have a chance to come together, remind ourselves we belong to a larger community, have some fun and take back our city; just for a little bit.  We know that hatred will continue, but still we march forward.  We have pride because it helps those coming after us.  In the words of Harvey Milk, it gives the next generation hope:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWo8BKJCxYQ

And this is a chance to celebrate the fact that I’ve survived.  A chance to celebrate the fact that I’m a proud gay man.  And even that act, powerful unto itself, has hopefully made a difference.

The most important and powerful action a person can make is to come out to those around them.  Then the LGBT community isn’t a scary abstract anymore, it has a face.  If you know someone who is openly LGBT, you see their humanity.  You can understand that we’re not asking for anything special, just the same rights everyone else is guaranteed by the constitution.  A chance to be happy.  A chance to live the life we want, surrounded by those we love.

When will we stop talking about coming out?

“Many of us want to, and will: when a gay, lesbian or transgendered kid isn’t at special risk of being brutalized or committing suicide.

“When a gay person’s central-casting earnestness and eloquence aren’t noted with excitement and relief, because his or her sexual orientation needn’t be accompanied by a litany of virtues and accomplishments in order for bigotry to be toppled and a negative reaction to be overcome.”

We will stop talking about coming out when it’s not news anymore, when the last barriers have finally been broken down.  We’ll stop screaming for our rights when we’re finally treated as equals by our government.  We’ll only stop telling our stories when they don’t matter.

The anniversary of Stonewall comes just two days after marriage equality came to all 50 states (and the anniversary of decisions in Lawrence v. Texas and Windsor v. United States), a major piece of the equality dream the drag queens, homeless youth and the rest of Stonewall protesters had less than 50 years ago.  In 11 years, we’ve gone from no marriage rights to full equality across the country.  We still have a lot to fight for, ENDA being at the top of that list, but for now, we can celebrate the ‘thunderbolt’ of equality that we have achieved:

So we keep fighting for progress, wherever we can.  We celebrate our advances and keep chipping away at our obstacles: and this month we can celebrate both, as well as the individuals that make up our amazing community.

In light of the Orlando massacre, it’s more important than ever to celebrate Pride.  To not be intimidated by the hate, but to instead keep rising, demand equality and fight for our very right to exist.  What hurts the most about Orlando may be the reminder that even our own spaces, which we thought were safe, aren’t.  Or maybe they never really were, not while hatred and prejudice still exist.  But as we face, united, the epidemics of gun violence and homophobia, we can at least take solace in the fact that we, as a community, know how to win epidemics.

We’re proud of how far we’ve come.  We’re proud to keep fighting.  We’re proud.



Today marks the 47th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which launched the LGBT-rights movement.

If you’re not familiar with the riots, here’s what happened:

And just this week, President Obama and the National Park Service has named the Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park a national historical monument (number 412 if you can believe it).  We owe so much to those brave trans-women of color, homeless youth and drag queens who launched the riots and the queer revolution.

People ask why we celebrate pride.  NoFo writes it much more eloquently than I ever could, here is an excerpt:

We’re proud because despite relentless persecution everywhere we turn—when organized religion viciously attacks and censures and vilifies us in the name of selective morality, when our families disown us, when our elected officials bargain away our equality for hate votes, when entire states codify our families into second-class citizenship, when our employers fire us, when our landlords evict us, when our police harass us, when our neighbors and colleagues and fellow citizens openly insult and condemn and mock and berate and even beat and kill us—we continue to survive.

We’re proud because—thanks to the incredible bravery shown by gay people who lived their lives openly in the decades before us—we can live our lives more and more openly at home, at work, with our families, on our blogs … and even on national television.

We’re proud because after all we’ve been through, the world is starting to notice and respect us and emulate the often fabulous culture we’ve assembled from the common struggles and glorious diversity of our disparate lives.

We’re proud because this weekend we’ll celebrate with drag queens, leather queens, muscle queens, attitude queens and you’d-never-know-they-were-queens queens, and together we can see through the “pride” in our parade and enjoy the underlying Pride in our parade.

Quite simply, we’re proud that we have so much to be proud of.

We can take some time, and even in the face of hatred, bigotry and discrimination, we can carve a place in this world, claim it our own and celebrate.

We can celebrate, because this is our party.  We don’t need anyone’s permission to celebrate:

Because even if Pride doesn’t change many minds in the outside world, it’s our PARTY, darlings. It’s our Christmas, our New Year’s, our Carnival. It’s the one day of the year that all the crazy contingents of the gay world actually come face to face on the street and blow each other air kisses. And wish each other “Happy Pride!” Saying “Happy Pride!” is really just a shorter, easier way of saying “Congratulations on not being driven completely batshit insane! Well done, being YOURSELF!”

We can celebrate the community that we have, the radical acceptance that we embody and the fact that we’ve survived.  We have a chance to come together, remind ourselves we belong to a larger community, have some fun and take back our city; just for a little bit.  We know that hatred will continue, but still we march forward.  We have pride because it helps those coming after us.  In the words of Harvey Milk, it gives the next generation hope:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWo8BKJCxYQ

And this is a chance to celebrate the fact that I’ve survived.  A chance to celebrate the fact that I’m a proud gay man.  And even that act, powerful unto itself, has hopefully made a difference.

The most important and powerful action a person can make is to come out to those around them.  Then the LGBT community isn’t a scary abstract anymore, it has a face.  If you know someone who is openly LGBT, you see their humanity.  You can understand that we’re not asking for anything special, just the same rights everyone else is guaranteed by the constitution.  A chance to be happy.  A chance to live the life we want, surrounded by those we love.

When will we stop talking about coming out?

“Many of us want to, and will: when a gay, lesbian or transgendered kid isn’t at special risk of being brutalized or committing suicide.

“When a gay person’s central-casting earnestness and eloquence aren’t noted with excitement and relief, because his or her sexual orientation needn’t be accompanied by a litany of virtues and accomplishments in order for bigotry to be toppled and a negative reaction to be overcome.”

We will stop talking about coming out when it’s not news anymore, when the last barriers have finally been broken down.  We’ll stop screaming for our rights when we’re finally treated as equals by our government.  We’ll only stop telling our stories when they don’t matter.

The anniversary of Stonewall comes just two days after marriage equality came to all 50 states (and the anniversary of decisions in Lawrence v. Texas and Windsor v. United States), a major piece of the equality dream the drag queens, homeless youth and the rest of Stonewall protesters had less than 50 years ago.  In 11 years, we’ve gone from no marriage rights to full equality across the country.  We still have a lot to fight for, ENDA being at the top of that list, but for now, we can celebrate the ‘thunderbolt’ of equality that we have achieved:

So we keep fighting for progress, wherever we can.  We celebrate our advances and keep chipping away at our obstacles: and this month we can celebrate both, as well as the individuals that make up our amazing community.

In light of the Orlando massacre, it’s more important than ever to celebrate Pride.  To not be intimidated by the hate, but to instead keep rising, demand equality and fight for our very right to exist.  What hurts the most about Orlando may be the reminder that even our own spaces, which we thought were safe, aren’t.  Or maybe they never really were, not while hatred and prejudice still exist.  But as we face, united, the epidemics of gun violence and homophobia, we can at least take solace in the fact that we, as a community, know how to win epidemics.

We’re proud of how far we’ve come.  We’re proud to keep fighting.  We’re proud.



I’m Episcopalian.  Our church belongs to The Anglican Communion, a collection of churches around the worlds (mostly, but not entirely, former British colonies) that all work together.  We’re not like the Catholic or Orthodox churches, we don’t have a Pope.  The Archbishop of Canterbury acts as the default head of the Anglicans, but each church makes its own decisions.

The Primates (heads of each member church, I believe 38 in all: some represent one country, others represent many, like the Primate of South America, and the Bishop of York, because that office is kind of like second in command in Church of England), met at the ABC’s request to discuss the Episcopal Church’s recent adoption of same-sex matrimony.  The meeting pretty much went exactly as we’d all expect: a bunch of African Primates were upset, and the group decided to impose some de-facto sanctions on the Episcopal Church, with a few caveats.  Basically, we won’t be allowed to participate in a legislative body, but we haven’t been included in that for a while, since Gene Robinson was made a bishop.  The only change is that there is an end date on that now.

However, once that three year time period (as opposed to indefinitely, as it was before) comes up, I can only imagine some sort of larger schism happening.

The Primates were also going to impose these restrictions on the Anglican Church of Canada, but since they have not officially approved of same-sex matrimony through their process, nothing was done.

Those facts make me think that the Primates, even the most conservative ones, are being pragmatic about the whole thing.  They can say their hands are tied because of ‘process’ and ‘paperwork.’  Will that three years make that much of a difference?  I don’t think so, but it may buy them some time.

At the same meeting, the ACNA, the group that split off from the Diocese of Pittsburgh was there for part of the time.  They are not officially recognized by Lambeth/Canterbury, and their participation was unsettling to me, but I take most of that is due to me living in the epicenter of it all.

In the US, we just installed a new Presiding Bishop (our Primate), and he’s pretty awesome.  He released a video from England about the meeting, and had pledged that we will not go backwards:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmNnzEW_oaY

In the grand scheme of things, most members of local churches don’t even think about the larger Anglican Communion.  Here in Pittsburgh, maybe things are a little different.  Or maybe I think about them because I’m gay.  Or a combination of both.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t think or worry about things like this, but I know we’re in good hands.  Integrity USA, the internal LGBT lobby of the Episcopal Church has a wonderful open letter, and response, to the meeting.

And of course, since this is the Internet, two friends (one I’ve worked with in person through Circle of Faith, the other, a true Internet friend) have posted their amazing sermons from last Sunday where they talk about the meeting.  Both are worth reading: Scott in Franklin Park, and Megan in Kansas City (Missouri, mind you).

All my best,

Mike



The Stonewall Riots in June of 1969 are what kicked off the modern equality movement.  There were organizations, riots and work done beforehand, but the riots were what most people point to as the catalyst for where we are today, and the reason most Pride celebrations are in June, as the first march was in June of 1970 to commemorate the riots one year later.

Here is the poster, which kind of looks like a poster for a dance movie or some sort, but I think the style fits for the time:

The Stonewall Inn had a dirt floor, no running water, and was run by the mob.  But it allowed dancing, which was a major draw, when the police raided that night and decided to round everyone up, the riots started.

The riots lasted for days, eventually bringing in sheer numbers of people from the surrounding neighborhood.  But that night it began with drag queens, trans* people, people of color, lesbians and homeless youth.  I’m sure there were some white gay men there, but as far as we (and history) knows, they weren’t throwing the first punches, bricks, overturning police cars or ripping parking meters out of the cement (but those did all happen).

The problem is, the movie (at least based on the trailer), doesn’t focus on those we owe everything to, but instead turns it into a story of some young, white, gay guys.

One of the veterans of the riots speaks out:

It’s absolutely absurd — you know, young people today aren’t stupid. They can read the history, they know that this is not the way it happened. These people can’t let it go! Everybody can’t be white! This is a country of different colors and people and thoughts and attitudes and feelings, and they try to make all of those the same for some reason.

Here’s the parody trailer, which sums it up very nicely:

 

The star, Jeremy Irvine defends the movie, saying it does justice to the historical event:

I saw the movie for the first time last week and can assure you all that it represents almost every race and section of society that was so fundamental to one of the most important civil rights movements in living history. Marsha P Johnson is a major part of the movie, and although first hand accounts of who threw the first brick in the riots vary wildly, it is a fictional black transvestite character played by the very talented @vlad_alexis who pulls out the first brick in the riot scenes. My character is adopted by a group of street kids whilst sleeping rough in New York. In my opinion, the story is driven by the leader of this gang played by @jonnybeauchamp who gives an extraordinary performance as a Puerto Rican transvestite struggling to survive on the streets. Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ character represents the Mattachine Society, who were at the time a mostly white and middle class gay rights group who stood against violence and radicalism.

And the director responds to the response to the trailer:

I understand that following the release of our trailer there have been initial concerns about how this character’s involvement is portrayed, but when this film – which is truly a labor of love for me – finally comes to theaters, audiences will see that it deeply honors the real-life activists who were there — including Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Ray Castro — and all the brave people who sparked the civil rights movement which continues to this day.

Some are calling for a boycott of the movie.  While others, such as Larry Kramer, are hoping the boycott is ignored.  Also in reaction, the ‘Gay Liberation’ statues at Christopher Street Park (across the street from the Stonewall Inn) were painted to highlight the whitewashing of the movie.

If we are to believe the star and the director, which I like to think we can (considering the movie isn’t out yet), it appears as though the trailer was crafted in a way to make this movie more appealing to a mass audience: which sadly means white.  If those two are telling the truth, and the movie does in fact show the true heroes of the first night of the riots, then I will have to side with Larry Kramer, especially since we can hardly expect there to be many movies about this subject to be produced, let alone get a wide release such as this film will enjoy.

I started writing this entry thinking I would be much more upset and ready to boycott the movie.  But reading the quotes, and maybe I’m just being gullible, I hope that this will be a fair representation of the riots and the birth of this civil rights movement.

Matt Baume gives a great perspective:

However this movie turns out, it will be what the general public remembers for years to come as the true version of the riots, and that’s why there is such an importance to make sure it’s done right.



Two weeks ago SCOTUS made marriage equality the law of the land, ushering in the age of same-sex marriage.

Quickly following, was the Episcopal Church’s General Convention.  The GC is the decision making body of the Church, meeting every three years in two chambers, the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies (and this year the unofficial House of Twitter).  The two houses spent nine days working through resolutions, which included electing a new Presiding Bishop, divesting in fossil fuels and even raising all church worker’s pay to $15/hour (this already on top of women bishops and conga lines.  Seriously, we’re a progressive church).  This is where the actual Canons of the church are changed, as well as countless proclamations and other resolutions and studies.

The biggest news was that both houses passed the use of a previously-tested Rite and the update to the marriage rite for same-sex couples.  The Canons of the church were updated to make marriage the union of two people, regardless of gender.

So it’s awesome, I actually wasn’t aware they were going to update the “regular” marriage rite (I did follow along on Twitter, but I didn’t read the Blue Book ahead of time with all the resolutions).

My bishop, of course, voted against the resolution.  He did not, join a letter that 20 bishops signed on to expressing disappointment in the outcome, so I suppose that is some restraint.  He has not been a friend to the queer community, so this was expected.  It’s just disappointing.  In a pastoral letter to the diocese he wrote:

However, to my mind, their supporting materials do not make a coherent or compelling theological case for same-sex marriage, nor do the rites themselves adequately explain what they are doing and why. Especially in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision, their approval was seen by the overwhelming majority of those present at Convention as a matter ofmarriage equality, of simple justice, making irrelevant any serious discussion of sacramental theology.

My church will be performing any marriage, so it’s not an issue, but his letter reeks of pettiness.  Almost as if he wants to throw out the idea that the queer community should be seen as equal in the eyes of the church.  I don’t understand his vehemence against us, or continued insistence that the church is moving in the wrong direction by granting all its members equal access to the sacraments.

I wrote about this extensively at Global Entropy, although I still need to bring those couple articles over.

But I’m tired of fighting.  Yes, we won this battle (and there are many more to go), but this was a major victory.  And sometimes, I just need a break and want to enjoy what we’ve accomplished.  The country is not perfect, but we’re moving closer to being a ‘more perfect union.’

In the meantime, I’ll actively avoid church whenever the Bishop visits (I already do, although he was at the Easter service I went to), I don’t want to deal with a cleric who doesn’t see me as worthy as other parishioners.

I spent this morning working with the Young Adult Ministry (YAM) from my church on a Habitat for Humanity house.  I wasn’t seen as unequal or broken, the same with any other time I’m with them, including our last happy hour where every person around the table was some sort of minority.  The bishop can have his outdated and harmful views, and I’ll fight and rail against them, but for now, I’m going to take satisfaction in a job well done.

All my best,

Mike

h/t to Scott, the rector of St. Brendan’s for the awesome illustration!



Today marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which launched the LGBT-rights movement.

If you’re not familiar with the riots, here’s what happened:

People ask why we celebrate pride.  NoFo writes it much more eloquently than I ever could, here is an excerpt:

We’re proud because despite relentless persecution everywhere we turn—when organized religion viciously attacks and censures and vilifies us in the name of selective morality, when our families disown us, when our elected officials bargain away our equality for hate votes, when entire states codify our families into second-class citizenship, when our employers fire us, when our landlords evict us, when our police harass us, when our neighbors and colleagues and fellow citizens openly insult and condemn and mock and berate and even beat and kill us—we continue to survive.

We’re proud because—thanks to the incredible bravery shown by gay people who lived their lives openly in the decades before us—we can live our lives more and more openly at home, at work, with our families, on our blogs … and even on national television.

We’re proud because after all we’ve been through, the world is starting to notice and respect us and emulate the often fabulous culture we’ve assembled from the common struggles and glorious diversity of our disparate lives.

We’re proud because this weekend we’ll celebrate with drag queens, leather queens, muscle queens, attitude queens and you’d-never-know-they-were-queens queens, and together we can see through the “pride” in our parade and enjoy the underlying Pride in our parade.

Quite simply, we’re proud that we have so much to be proud of.

We can take some time, and even in the face of hatred, bigotry and discrimination, we can carve a place in this world, claim it our own and celebrate.

We can celebrate, because this is our party.  We don’t need anyone’s permission to celebrate:

Because even if Pride doesn’t change many minds in the outside world, it’s our PARTY, darlings. It’s our Christmas, our New Year’s, our Carnival. It’s the one day of the year that all the crazy contingents of the gay world actually come face to face on the street and blow each other air kisses. And wish each other “Happy Pride!” Saying “Happy Pride!” is really just a shorter, easier way of saying “Congratulations on not being driven completely batshit insane! Well done, being YOURSELF!”

We can celebrate the community that we have, the radical acceptance that we embody and the fact that we’ve survived.  We have a chance to come together, remind ourselves we belong to a larger community, have some fun and take back our city; just for a little bit.  We know that hatred will continue, but still we march forward.  We have pride because it helps those coming after us.  In the words of Harvey Milk, it gives the next generation hope:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWo8BKJCxYQ

And this is a chance to celebrate the fact that I’ve survived.  A chance to celebrate the fact that I’m a proud gay man.  And even that act, powerful unto itself, has hopefully made a difference.

The most important and powerful action a person can make is to come out to those around them.  Then the LGBT community isn’t a scary abstract anymore, it has a face.  If you know someone who is openly LGBT, you see their humanity.  You can understand that we’re not asking for anything special, just the same rights everyone else is guaranteed by the constitution.  A chance to be happy.  A chance to live the life we want, surrounded by those we love.

When will we stop talking about coming out?

“Many of us want to, and will: when a gay, lesbian or transgendered kid isn’t at special risk of being brutalized or committing suicide.

“When a gay person’s central-casting earnestness and eloquence aren’t noted with excitement and relief, because his or her sexual orientation needn’t be accompanied by a litany of virtues and accomplishments in order for bigotry to be toppled and a negative reaction to be overcome.”

We will stop talking about coming out when it’s not news anymore, when the last barriers have finally been broken down.  We’ll stop screaming for our rights when we’re finally treated as equals by our government.  We’ll only stop telling our stories when they don’t matter.

The anniversary of Stonewall comes just two days after marriage equality came to all 50 states (and the anniversary of decisions in Lawrence v. Texas and Windsor v. United States), a major piece of the equality dream the drag queens, homeless youth and the rest of Stonewall protesters had less than 50 years ago.  In 11 years, we’ve gone from no marriage rights to full equality across the country.  We still have a lot to fight for, ENDA being at the top of that list, but for now, we can celebrate the ‘thunderbolt’ of equality that we have achieved:

So we keep fighting for progress, wherever we can.  We celebrate our advances and keep chipping away at our obstacles: and this month we can celebrate both, as well as the individuals that make up our amazing community.

We’re proud of how far we’ve come.  We’re proud to keep fighting.  We’re proud.

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