When I came to the realization that I’m a lesbian my entire world became politicized. Local and Federal laws have determined whether I could get married, be in a hospital room with a partner, have rights at work, or if I could be discriminated against when looking for a home. Everything about the queer experience is politicized. Most of the time, I don’t have to actively think about it. Usually I remember when I have to correct someone if they ask about my ‘boyfriend’ or have to look around to see if it would be safe to hold my girlfriend’s hand in public.
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to deal with this. Our identities would be respected and not met with toxic and callous hateful laws and initiatives. We wouldn’t have politicians compare us to animals and call for our removal while preaching their twisted flavor of Christianity. Over the weekend we were horrifically reminded that our very existence inspires hate and violence. The political rhetoric has created a culture where the sight of two men kissing sends a person off in a murderous rampage. In a place where many people in the queer community feel is sanctuary.
There have been hundreds of anti-LGBT laws introduced throughout states and on a national level. Along with politicians encouraging violence, this created the perfect scenario for someone who hated our identities (and possibly his own) to go after the people who have been crafted so perfectly into an evil ‘other’. An Orlando survivor could go into work in Florida and be fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Straight people are afraid of becoming uncomfortable. The queer community fears for their lives if they look or act ‘too gay’ around the wrong people.
When we gather at pride parades, go the clubs, or participate in anything in the queer movement we become political entities. The fact that we come together to tell the world that you may hate us but we are here, we’re queer, and we’re not going to stand quietly while our brothers and sisters are oppressed and murdered.
I don’t think anyone wants every part of their lives to politicized, but the queer community can’t escape it. So we gather, we yell, we take down hypocritical politicians. We live our lives to the best we can. We fight against oppression and work to create safe online and physical spaces. We honor the victims from Orlando, we continue rebelling against oppression. And we keep fighting against the people who continue to rail against us.
We keep on existing.