author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
“Tired of policies, tired of grumpy, straight government officials, tired of people insisting we’re doing just as well as Heterosexual Heather™ and her white picket fence.”
There’s a common expression shared amongst the LGBT community: “I’m tired;” universally understood, spoken in more or less the same shade of monotone. All of us, minus Milo Yiannopoulos, are so, so, so tired. Tired of policies, tired of grumpy, straight government officials, tired of people insisting we’re doing just as well as Heterosexual Heather™ and her white picket fence.
Trump, unsurprisingly, promises to throw queer populations to his band of rabid Right dogs. Side dishes include: employment discrimination, biased adoption acceptance, altered social services, so forth. Delish. For dessert, a fine, chilled glass of lesbian tears, gay blood, and transgender spit (that they willingly gave).
It’s funny (the kind of funny where no one is laughing) at this point how vehemently straight people will desperately grab me by the collar, and beg me to understand that we are not oppressed. I reply, but I don’t scream, usually, I mumble, because again, I’m tired. I’m very tired.
Forgive me for my lack of humour, or general sense of livelihood, because I have none. Not anymore. Most, if not all, of my vigour has retreated from the sun, and taken refuge somewhere cold, dark, and detached from a superpower that devalues the lives of the already devalued.
I often wonder if straight, white people understand what it means to be entirely afraid. I don’t mean afraid at knifepoint, or in a fire, or anything like that. I mean afraid in the sense that a facet of your being is a reason to dread going outdoors. I’m lucky, being in the place of privilege that I am: I am a middle class white person. I am, however, also a woman and a lesbian, and there’s always an undertone of fear to stepping out the door.
What Trump proposes isn’t anything new. I mean, this sort of rhetoric has existed from the time a bunch of crusty old men chose to pen the Bible, so I’m not baffled by this development. Prejudice isn’t new. Homophobia isn’t new. Straight supremacy is really, really, really not new.
Homosexuals have faced the persecution of the Nazis and violent strangers, we have thrown bricks at Stonewall, we have been electrocuted under the guise of medicine, we have been thrown from our families and our homes. We aren’t surprised. We are tired.
Arms that hold protest signs for decades are bound to ache, but they will never fall. There has never been weakness in exhaustion, only a reason to fight onward, and an indication we have fought too long. My girlfriend’s mother always used to tell her that, “if it hurts, it’s working.” We shouldn’t be hurting, we really shouldn’t be this tired, but we are, and believe me, we aren’t surprised.
I’ve heard queer people from elder generations apologizing for passing this still burning torch to our already seared hands: it is not your fault humanity wasn’t on our side, and continues to keep us down. We’ll build bigger signs, sing louder and louder, and throw bricks where we can. Hopefully, we can smash the windows of the White House, and storm the halls.