Since the dawn of the Gay and Trans Liberation Movements, the focus and goal of the LGBTQ+ community has been inclusion, health, and pride. And even through the AIDS epidemic at its height in the 80’s and a revival of religious intolerance through tele-evangelization, the queer community has stood strong in the face of adversity. We have stood strong with the expression of pride. But where did the phrase ‘queer power’ go?
The ideal of queer power was garnered by the community during the Gay Liberation Movement and was expressed in great potential during the Stonewall Riots of 1969. This notion was used to empower the queer community as a whole in a time when it was gravely needed. There was an entire generation of young people that came to consciousness about their true identities and this cognizance made them feel powerful. It was a feeling that drove many queer people to resist the homophobic and transphobic policies of the United States.
Though, for many years, the main mantra of the LGBTQ+ community has been pride in oneself, which manifests itself in annual pride celebrations all over the world. We collectively gather in the streets and celebrate, which has been a source of light and a beautiful portrayal of queer culture, a symbol of our unwavering pride in who we are.
But do we need something more? Do we need a widespread fervor of queerness or a reclamation of our power as a community?
Yes. These days, when trans issues are at the forefront and our trans brothers and sisters are under attack, we need to be persistent. We need to show the rest of the world that not only are we proud of the way we are, but we are strong and powerful. As queer people, it is crucial that we show our power in solidarity, in the way we live and love, and in our efforts to fight injustice. In the era of Donald Trump and the ushering in of a transphobic government, queer power is essential.