Walter Beck makes a rallying call to fight inequality rather than arguing over who has had it worse.
A while back, I was talking to a friend of mine. We were jawjacking politics, and she told me I couldn’t possibly know what discrimination felt like because I could “pass” for straight. Apparently I was some sort of poser, a sell-out because I look like a regular all-American freak.
Is that what this movement has come to? That only those of us who look a certain way, who act a certain way, who feel the stick of second-class citizenship beating us a certain way deserve the coming fruits of equality under the law?
No, that’s bullshit, we’re not playing some cheap game of “who had the worst life” to score points, our bruises and blood aren’t some fashion accessory to parade around in the glaring lights of the TV cameras. The stakes are too high for that, our young brothers and sisters are being murdered by society’s hand, politicians still try to hand us crumbs from the table and tell us it’s good enough, preachers still regularly call for us to be imprisoned, beaten, and killed.
Part of that is honestly our fault, let’s just tell the truth and shame the devil. We have been used to receiving crumbs for so long that when society finally said, “OK, we’ll accept you into our culture”, we gladly accepted what they gave us. It didn’t matter that what they gave us was a pale shadow of who we really are, that they were caricatures created with good intentions, we accepted them. The problem is we accepted their pale sterile likeness and adopted it to for our own. We said, “If that’s what they want, that’s what we’ll be”. And in that turn, we started to shun and shame our brothers and sisters who didn’t fit that mold. Our Pride Colors, instead of showing the bright diversity of our community, began to turn into merely shades of gray.
The other main part is laurel-sitting, we look around and see the progress we’ve made and the good things we’re starting to get and think, “Well the rest will work itself out”. So we kick back and fight amongst ourselves, pointing out who “passes” and who doesn’t, who has it worse, digging for sympathy, for pity, while our opponents reorganize to try to get back the ground we gained.
We don’t need pity, we need action, we need to take all those stories of us getting stomped, screwed, and fucked over and turn them into something. We need to write, call, fax, and email our politicians, we need to write letters to our local papers, we need to take to the streets and take what’s ours. We need to cast off the chains of victimhood, the pissing contests of who got screwed the worst, the slicked-up stereotypes we’ve sickeningly accepted, and demand our birthright of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Be ever vigilant, until all our brothers and sisters are free and equal.
Dedicated to Lorlei Witwer, one of the most radical sisters I ever had.