|Pride celebrations? ...Haven’t we assimilated?|
As we all know, June is Pride Month for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities across the country -- and parades abound.
Unlike the revolutionary decade of the 1960s during which the air bred dissent, we LGBTQ people appear to be residing in a sanguine time -- rebels without a cause, a context, or an agenda. Many of us would argue that we have moved from our once urgent state of, "Why we can’t wait?" to our present lull state of, "Where do we go from here?"
With advances such as hate crime laws, the repeal of "Don’t ask, don’t tell," the legalization of same-sex marriage in some states, and homophobia viewed as a national concern, we have come a long way since the first Pride marches four decades ago. Also, with the AIDS epidemic no longer ravaging our community as it once did -- an epidemic that galvanized us to organize -- and with the Religious Right becoming more of a political liability than an asset to political candidates these days, our backs appear to not be slammed as harshly up against a brick wall like they used to be.
Some in our community contest that we are in a holding pattern while other argue that we are ready to assimilate into mainstream society.
Boston Pride’s new Human Rights and Education Committee (HREC) broached this topic by presenting a forum to discuss the impact of assimilation on LGBTQ communities and cultures on Tuesday, June 7 at the Radisson Hotel’s Theatre Café in Boston.
In its flyer HREC wrote, "2010 was a year of progress for the LGBT Community. ...Of course there is more to accomplish before we can consider ourselves truly equal and some of the questions we want to delve into are:
What happens when we achieve full equality?
How do our cultural norms and practices stand up against assimilation over time?
Do we even want to assimilate into mainstream culture? How much? And can we do so without losing our LGBT identity?
Who are we if we blend into the mainstream fabric?
Do we want to be just like everyone else?
Does quality eventually result in a cultural demise?"
With the LGBTQ community being the fastest disenfranchised group to touch the fringes of America’s mainstream since the Stonewall Riots in 1969, many who oppose the LGBTQ community driving forth an assimilationist agenda are waving a cautionary finger, saying to us "not too fast now."
And the cautionary finger waving is because not everyone in the LGBTQ community is accepted.