By Jim Koury, Editor, Diversity Rules Magazine
© 2012 Diversity Rules Magazine. All rights reserved.
Coming off another Queer Pride month, I am compelled to reflect on where we are as a movement. Since the days of Stonewall, we have come a long way. We are on the verge of winning full equality with the certain demise of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). It is just a matter of time before that vile piece of trash is thrown on the dust bin of history.
We have made great strides forward legislatively, but I must say there is something missing in the contemporary queer rights movement.
Today’s queer rights movement lacks the passion and zeal of the Stonewall Rebellion participants and the spirit of Harvey Milk. The mainline organizations fighting for equality seem to have been co-opted by the corporate supporters, and have become grounded in a non-offensive, and non-confrontational activism. I find this disturbing.
Great achievements have always been originated in the spirit of the people, organizing in the streets and expressing themselves in a boisterous and very noticeable fashion. While I do not advocate violence or destruction of public and private property, I long to see that passion and “fired up” spirit that so epitomized the early queer rights movement. If it were not for that passion on the night of June 27, 1969, I believe we would certainly not be where we are at today.
Our movement must get back to its roots. While I unabashedly support organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, and the Empire State Pride Agenda and similar groups, they seem to lack that inherent passionate spirit for equality that Harvey Milk and the others capitalized on to mobilize the masses and foster significant changes for the better.
Yes, we are in the year 2012, the era of political correct activism and civility. I am all for that to a certain degree, but I fervently wish that our movement could rekindle the early days of the queer rights movement and just rock the house down with a good old fashioned protest or two or three or more!
1 thought on “Rekindling the Spirit of Stonewall and Harvey Milk”
I agree. I also think (and this is an issue you sidestep) but the push for marriage equality becoming priority number 1 (as opposed to getting ENDA passed at the National Level) is a symptom of the corporatization of Queer Liberation. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, marriage equality should not be our number one priority.
Ensuring that we have healthcare, access to housing, and that we do not need to fear discrimination in regards to employment do.
Repealing anti-miscegenation laws was a footnote – important to those involved yes – but a footnote nonetheless in the African American Civil Rights movement. The big kahuna was The Civil Rights Act. Compare that to our own priorities today.