When arch conservative Anita Bryant crusaded against gay rights in the 1970s, the queer community fought back. Not every battle was won, but the stage was set across the U.S. for increasing rights.
When Ronald Reagan maintained a deadly silence in the early 1980s as the AIDS/HIV crisis escalated, with his fascist-loving communications director, Pat Buchanan, calling AIDS “nature’s revenge on gay men,” the LGBTQ community Acted Up.
When white supremacists with an ugly homophobic, multi-issue agenda declared their intention to turn the Northwest into an Aryan Homeland, also in the Reagan/Bush years, leaders in the Seattle lesbian and gay community became key to the success of the United Front Against Fascism, alongside Black, feminist, socialist, and union activists. Together they mobilized a movement that met the skinheads and KKK wherever they gathered publicly.
Now the hard right is once again in the White House and on the streets of our country.
Time to make radical alliances with the right’s intended victims
Queer history is one of being in the forefront against the turn-back-the-clockers — in our own defense and in defense of every group they target. We have a heritage to flaunt and live up to!
As in the past, now is the time to make common cause with our natural allies — victims of police terror and racial bigotry, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, women who face the prospect of losing their reproductive rights, unions under attack by the “right to work” Freedom Foundation — in short, working people of many colors and descriptions. Fighting together and defending each other, we are strong; separated, we are easy prey for corporate CEOs and their stormtroopers whose final goal is to save the profit system by reducing the working class to zombie wage slaves.
Today the country needs an outpouring of many radical united fronts that live by the slogan “An injury to one is an injury to all!”
Total liberation, nothing less!
LGBTQ people have resisted oppression at least since the witch hunts of the 15th century. We are not about to have our lavender lives suffocated now! Everything won with blood, sweat and sacrifice over the past 50 years is on the line.
To keep advancing, we will stand up for ourselves and for the workers making unlivable wages and for the immigrants maligned, harassed and deported — who are also us! We will stand up for all our sister and brother “outsiders.” We will rely on our own ability, not politicians, to mobilize the forces to fight for justice and freedom for all. We will be a battalion in the army of the oppressed, confident in the knowledge that the future belongs to the multi-hued international working class. We will not be pushed back into the closet. Instead, we will finish the revolution for human liberation we started.