Queer, there and everywhere

In the last several weeks, LGBTQ people and issues have been spotlighted in many veins. Very often negatively as with the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender personnel in the military and the U.S. Supreme Court’s failure to immediately put a stop to it.

These last few weeks are not particularly special. But, even just in this week’s issue of PGN, articles and columns tell stories of all types of LGBTQ people being out, being proud and doing amazing things.

The 61st annual Grammy Awards were chock full of members of the LGBTQ community and its allies. As PGN’s article states there were lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer and trans nominees. There were performances that dripped with gayness.

In politics, there are an historic number of LGBTQ candidates right here in Philadelphia with at least a half-dozen members of the community running for City Council. There is an out lesbian running for the Pennsylvania State House.

LGBTQ people already hold office all around the country on school boards and in local and state legislatures. There are LGBTQ judges, governors, members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. We even have our first openly gay man running for president of the United States in Pete Buttigieg, a young veteran who is mayor South Bend, Ind., but hopes to take on Trump or whoever the Republican candidate is in 2020.

There are states like New Jersey, passing laws requiring all public middle- and high-school teachers and boards of education to update curriculum to “accurately reflect the political, economic and social contributions” of gay, lesbian and transgender citizens. Within the next five years, all public-school students in New Jersey will learn about the contributions of LGBTQ pioneers as part of their regular social-studies curricula.

Middle school students right here in Philly, just won numerous awards for a short documentary film they created entitled, “The Gayborhood.” They partly chose an LGBTQ subject because they decided the topic was not sufficiently taught in school history books. “Not many people know about the LGBTQ-rights movement so we decided we would like to [focus our documentary on] that movement,” said one of the students.

So, even as the Trump Administration and its allies try to pass policy after policy after policy to keep us quiet and keep us down, an old Pride Parade chant comes to mind.

“We’re Here! We’re Queer! Get Used to It!”

We are only growing, getting stronger, holding more positions of power and coming out in droves.

Get used to it!