My brilliant and good friend, Hamad Sindhi, and I spent pride weekend watching joy between queer and trans friends and chosen families in various forms, as we marched in the Trans Day of Action and attended Harlem Pride. We also spent lots of time talking and critiquing, trying to make sense of our feelings and the big gay news of the weekend. Today, reflecting on the SCOTUS decision and the aftermath, he wrote this amazing piece which he has generously offered to let me post here.
To all who are saying ‘love won’: please consider this. Love did not just win this past Friday. Love won when I came out. Love won when I told my mother that I was gay and she said “I still love you”. Love wins when my best friend holds her girlfriend on the subway. Love won and has been winning with every act of transgression queer people have been implementing in their daily lives for decades now. Love won when queer people found each other and started organizing. Love won when queer people rose up against being imprisoned, electro-shocked and lobotomized in mental asylums. Love won when queer people went into the closet to protect themselves and the ones they loved. Love won when queer people started coming out of the closet as a political act when their lives and livelihoods were threatened. Love also won when queer people stayed in the closet to avoid homelessness, violence, or simply to not hurt their families. Love won when lesbian women took care of their fellow gay men during the AIDS crisis, when the state, and most straight people refused to. Love won when drag-queens, transgender women of color and other queer and homeless people fought back against police brutality at Stonewall in 1969. Love continues to win when transgender people of color and homeless queer youth resist police brutality and keep organizing for an end to police violence and prisons. Love wins everyday when queer friends get together, cry together, laugh together and support each other. Love wins when Laverne Cox says, “Many in the trans community are fed up with L.G.B.T. organizations that continue to erase trans identity or just give lip service to trans issues. We need our cisgender allies – gay and straight – to treat transgender lives as if they matter, and trans people need multiple seats at the tables in the organizations that say they’re interested in L.G.B.T. equality”. Love wins when queer organizations work with schools to address bullying of gay and trans students, still the number one issue, next to homelessness, for queer youth in this country. Love wins everyday when queer people connect their struggles to the struggles of poor people and people of color.
We do not need a court ruling to affirm love in our lives, or to understand ourselves. Please stop negating all of the work and struggles queer people go through to make love win everyday in their lives, by highlighting this one decision by a bunch of straight people as a victory for love. Yes, we have many things to be proud about today, but marriage equality is at best a small victory when we consider all of the struggles we have been through and continue to fight for. #HappyPride