Feb 26, 2013 0
Recently I have witnessed a great deal of conflict within Portland’s local queer community online, in the press, and in real life. Much of this seems to come about as a result of heated debates around social issues, sex, politics, art, and the complicated inner-workings of the LGBT community in PDX (and everywhere). I believe there is much to be learned from conflict, but the way some of this has been playing out lately in the public sphere has felt mean spirited and has been difficult to watch at times.
It is my belief that we were all born inherently kind and connected to one another. Each of us was handed our own set of circumstances at birth, which are sometimes pre-destined long before birth, but most babies are not born angry. As kind queer babies are growing up, we sometimes find ourselves mistreated, abandoned, and ridiculed for being different. We are held down by layer upon layer of systemic oppression buried centuries deep in a culture that has its head shoved so far up its own ass it cannot see the part it plays in the cycle of abuse. This is painful and infuriating.
So what do we do with the fury we carry from having this history? How do we reconcile these justified feelings of outrage? Many of us might not feel powerful enough to take on our families, bosses or governments at the root of our feeling oppressed, so we aim lower and end up putting our pain on one another. Instead of queer people banding together to fight external oppression, we end up oppressing ourselves through infighting. It’s a tale as old as time, but all that cutting our friends amounts to in the end is a divided community, and a divided community is not a strong one.
We are still in the midst of a culture war, friends. While many changes have been made in our favor, we cannot forget that we still live in a country that treats queer people like second-class citizens, and in a state that actively perpetuates this discrimination. I fear sometimes Read the rest of this entry »Tweet