If we loose Trump through impeachment, early retirement or most likely a big myocardial infarction that leaves us with Mike Pence. In addition to the negative qualities attributed above to Trump we get a toxic dose of homophobia. Pence truly scares me. At least with Trump I do on rare occasions see very human expressions on his face. He is malleable around most things except perhaps his ingrained sexism. Pence, on the other hand, is a zealot and I see in his steely gaze a real hatred for all things Queer, feminist and just plain other. Catholic fundamentalism is truly something to fear.
My second hope for 2017 is that we LGBTQ people do not further abandon our strong and to date very productive sense of queer identity. Identity politics, fueled of course by the powerful coming out process, has been at the root of our success. This has been success, not only through self-acceptance in the form of our own internally vanquished homophobia, but also success in the form of an emerging place at the table of society at large.
The main hurdle has always been overcoming our own internalized homophobia. The key to this has been a realization on a soul level that we are different in many ways and that these unique traits are gifts. We can and do exploit and extrapolate these differences to the larger society for a profound mutual benefit. Harry Hay had it absolutely right in asking his three questions of the early Mattachine: who are we, where do we come from, and what are we for. Finding the answers to these questions is not a finite task but an ongoing process that continues to evolve to our benefit and that of all sentient beings.
My third and last hope for 2017 is that our Story Telling group continues to thrive. Our sincere participation in this group really is in part the antidote and juice we need to steal our resistance in the coming Trump years. Whether we want to openly own it or not our participation in this group is a revolutionary act that is soul food for our ever-evolving queer identities.
Recent proof of the power of this Story Telling collective of LGBTQ folks was the memorial for our friend and comrade Stephen Krauss. The event was attended by a variety of individuals and groups all of whom had been important in Stephens’ life. The Story Telling group may well have been the most recent group he was a part of in his 70 odd years.
The group was very well represented at the memorial and I thought provided a loving and a very purple patina to the whole event. Thoughts expressed by Gillian and Betsy and the powerful readings by Lewis and John were all heart-felt testaments to how quickly we as a group have come together in just a matter of a few short years. It is one of our many queer gifts, our ability to coalesce quickly when the space to do so is available, through shared life experiences, into a vibrant and a truly supportive community. I sincerely hope this continues to grow and thrive in 2017.