Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pride Day

Last Saturday was Pride Day, when LGBTQ folks celebrate the beginning of our civil rights movement, the Stonewall Riot in New York City back in '69. That's when transwomen including Sylvia Rivera started to fight back against police brutality against gay and trans people in New York. That's right, folks. The courageous person who kicked off the movement to gain equality for gays and lesbians was a transwoman.

We've come a long way. Mayor Kitty read a proclamation in celebration, and the city had at least two booths set up, one for the Human Rights Commission, and one for the police. And the police weren't there to keep order or anything, they were there for PR! They handed out jr. police badges to the kids.

The Pride festival was set up as a rough rectangle of booths and vendors, selling everything from food to insurance to cosmetics, and promoting causes from Planned Parenthood to the HIV Alliance to the Corvallis Pride, an all-women's football team. One side of the rectangle was dominated by a stage, where various entertainers performed – folk musicians, drag queens, an all-woman rock band that was really good, etc. There were games for kids and a "ropes course" for youth. There were babes in arms and people in wheelchairs.

And for the first year in its 13 year history, protestors didn't show up.

I was curious about that. Maybe it was the photos the drag queens took with them last year. Maybe they couldn't find anybody with a free Saturday. Or maybe they just couldn't be bothered.

In any case, they typically show up with big, full-color, graphic posters of botched abortions. At a celebration of gays and lesbians. Can you imagine anyone less likely to have an unwanted pregnancy?

Maybe it finally occurred to them just how silly that is.

1 comment:

ajandmac said...

Wow, that is pretty freaking amazing that no one protested...I hope this is a lean towards equality...but I'm not holding my breath.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our