It’s almost June.
This means a month of rainbows, diversity-as-commodity and drag queens everywhere.
Cynical, I know. I’ve been doing this for five decades. I remember, sweetly, when I attended my first Gay Pride March in NYC at the height of the AIDS-era with my bud, Little Shiva. We danced with the Brazilian samba float down Fifth Avenue to the pier. It was exuberant and unruly and free. And it was not “brought to you by” anyone.
We can, rightfully, exclaim with pride that we’ve made society more compassionate and inclusive and, well, humane. Not bad for a bunch of angry drag queens on Christopher Street who just could not. Anymore. With this shit.
The movement for inclusive human rights that welcome gay & lesbian & trans (… and everyone) is a true revolution. We need to applaud, revere and pay attention to this social change. We also need to understand that this is a uniquely First World response. Take a moment to look at this map which graphically represents where simply being gay is a criminal act. There are a ton of variations, details and nuances that are omitted on this map, but the ILGA does an outstanding, comprehensive and deep analysis of just how not equal we are:
Does the map look familiar? If one were to overlay the maps of both Islamic-led countries and Colonial Europe Empires, it would look pretty much the same.
Beautifully done balloon rainbow parades in the world’s largest cities are fantastic and frivolous. Look at the map again. 67 countries have criminalized homosexuality with the vast percentage targeting gay men individually.
64 of the 67 are UN MEMBERS.
We have a lot of work to do. And we need to step outside of our own borders to achieve true inclusion. This is complicated. It’s exhausting. But there are signs of progress that regressive social movements are losing influence.