I just read this great article on Autostraddle. It's important to remember that the legal battles that lgbtq people are currently fighting are not the end of the war. For many, they aren't even all that important and they certainly will not usher in a new era of equality once won.
Although the article is almost two years old, I still think it's great. A favorite quote:
"When the queer liberation movement rose up in the 1960s and 70s, the goal wasn't equal protection through matrimony, it was ownership of our bodies and the right to exist and feel safe in public spaces. We're still fighting for that. Rights are only rights if everyone has access to them. Being queer is being anti-racist, being queer is being anti-classist. Acknowledging the struggles of people who aren't white, who aren't cis, who aren't economically privileged, who don't have access to the victories that have already been won isn't being divisive, it's being inclusive. And that's what equality means."
Queer rights to me are inherently intersectional rights. Fighting for queer rights means fighting against sexism, racism, classism, cis-sexism and every other ism. It means fighting for the rights of everyone to present and identify however they are and be able to feel safe in societies public spaces. For any person to show up at any table and be taken seriously. Queer rights battles are fights for the rejection of any one 'accepted' way of existing being regarded as superior, regardless of what that way of existing may be.
There are some interesting takes and additional opinions in the comments.
"As soon as a saw the title for this, I was like "WORD." QEJ (Queers for Economic Justice) is fucking amazing, also. Donate if you can!
Queer liberation means solidarity with allied struggling communities, re-centering diverse experiences and multiple marginalized identities.
Remember, kids: Stonewall was a riot."
Yes, Stonewall was a riot. The pride parade was originally a march for visibility which put it's participants under threat of violence and still is in many parts of the world. Obviously, the Dyke March was the same thing, created by lesbians unhappy with the overwhelmingly male nature of most of the gay movement (male superiority and sexism - always a thing).
You wouldn't know that today in North America, Pride is widely considered 'the biggest most awesome street party ever' in my city, at least. Many of us remember though, why this street party was conceived. I am always heartened every time someone hands me a Stonewall fact sheet at Pride - someone is trying and I just love it. I wish it was more often than once every few years or so, though and I wish I didn't see so many sheets crushed under cigarette butts on the streets by other gays.
There are quite a few missing variables in the article, certainly one could write a book about this topic. A user named Matt speculates on the situation in a way I tend to agree with. The question is to me, why are the legal battles for marriage being pushed so hard? Why are we starting to hear so many gay people refuting claims of oppression from other gays? Why this seemingly increasing call for lgbtq assimilation from within the movement? I, personally, agree with Matt here:
"Brilliant article. I have to say the gay rights movement has not held true to its core principles and to be honest, I blame this on the overwhelming power and dominance of white gay men in the movement, scene and basically anything gay-related. Where I live, there is barely anything for women and all the main spokespeople are gay men. I feel like women and trans people, especially people who operate completely outside the gender binary, have been ignored and isolated."
White men run the world and so it is no surprise that white gay men would be the first to be accepted into heterosexual society. As they are the face and voice of the movement and they are afforded more and more acceptance, they begin to use their voice to shut down those who are still feeling oppression: gay POC, poorer gay people, very femme men, trans people, and of course, any and all gay and bisexual women, especially butch ones.
This is a great reminder that queer rights still have a long way to go and that legal protections are not the same as liberation. Laws only lay out the exact line after which a person can be legally challenged or allow a person to participate in a government institution. They do not change hearts and minds. They don't make people equal. They don't make people any safer.
This is also a good reminder that we are all in this together.