Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bursting the Blue State Fantasy that Gay Enclaves Are ‘Safe’ to Be Out

Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend has written an important article - Bursting the Blue State Fantasy that Gay Enclaves Are ‘Safe’ to Be Out.
In the past week NYC has been rocked by a few incidents of hideous violent attacks against gays and transgender residents. There have been shootings assaults outside gay bars and a brutal killing of Mark Carson in another shooting in the Village.
Michelangelo Signorile, who also points out the unending violence against transgender residents that goes under-reported in the media: 
It’s sickening and enraging. And perhaps the shock I’m seeing expressed about it, particularly among younger LGBT people, underscores that many of us have been living with a false sense of security, intoxicated by the wins on marriage equality in the states and in the federal courts. It’s way too easy to grow complacent, fed by the desire to have the fight done with as well as by the seductive message of some in the media who’ve simplistically declared victory for the LGBT rights movement.

Victory is very far off, however, if we can’t walk the streets of even the most LGBT-friendly cities holding hands or expressing ourselves without fear of being taunted and violently assaulted. And for hundreds of thousands living in less tolerant places all across the country, openness has never been a reality. Until it is, we’re nowhere near victory.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that in New York City, in a state that passed marriage equality in 2011, hate crimes against LGBT people so far in 2013 are almost double what were at this point in 2012. And 2012 itself was a notable year nationally, with outbreak of anti-LGBT violence in some of the country’s most gay-friendly cities, like New York, WashingtonLos AngelesDallas and Atlanta. 2011 saw the highest number of anti-LGBT murders ever reported, with transgender people the hardest-hit victims. At least 13 transgender Americans were reported to have been murdered in 2012 alone. 
Putting LGBT equality on the books does not equal universal cultural acceptance. That anger from our ignorant opponents has to be channeled somewhere, and if they have no legal recourse, then look out. After all, it’s been decades since the desegregation in the schools, the Voting Rights Act and other means to bring full legal equality for minorities to the fore, and it’s pretty clear that racism has not been extinguished. In fact, the election of Barack Obama has so unhinged some Americans that they easily succumb to grotesque racist rants and behaviors that I think would otherwise have remained under the surface.
So much for the claim by the Pinkwashing and Homonationalism crowd that LGBT people in the US have it so good that we should be spending our time boycotting Israel, instead of continuing to work for equality and against violence in this country.

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