So, requisite annual Pride rant: The pinkwashing of colonization and capitalism sucks ass (and NOT in the fun way), and the coporatization of supposedly liberatory ideology is reprehensible, and white gay male supremacy within queer ”communities” is real and horrifyingly, violently hyprocritical. And GOD YES let’s remember our queer elders and ancestors, trans women of colour who led the way and have been pushed aside, and all the folks – trans women of colour most of all – who are literally dying every day while HRC and like spend millions of dollars on the right to marry and to militarize foreign states so that they can assimilate into heteronormativity.
But also, as a living transwoman of colour, I remember what it was like to sit at home and wish and want and dream of going to Pride. I wanted so so so badly to be a part of this community I imagined, to not be the only queer I knew, to not be alone, to seen, to be spoken to and to be heard. I can turn up my nose at Pride now because I have options for my queerness – to know that I deserve something better than the fetishization at best and violence at worst that I will receive there is a privilege that I have acquired with age and education. When I was a child, I would have taken that fetishization eagerly and mistaken it for love, and I would have accepted that violence readily and misconstrued it as a necessary risk of living in this world as I am.
And sometimes, in weaker moments, I still want to go to and be in and live Pride; I still want the glitz and the glamour and the false promises that Maybe Someday we can all have what the Dan Savages of the world have: privilege, power, a platform. I can see the rottenness of that dream for what it is, but I am still waiting for a dream to replace it. And I know dozens of queer teenagers who are also waiting, sometimes without knowing it. So whatever – go to Pride, don’t go, revel in it, critique it. That’s your choice, and a complicated one. But what I want to know is: either way, what are we offering to the young, the desperate, the defenceless? Love? Hope? Or something else? If if not love or hope, how do we get there? How do we start dreaming that dream?
Thank you to Kai Cheng for sharing this beautiful piece