In America, same sex marriage is legal, gay people can serve in the military and police stations are hiring LGBT cops. However, LGBT people still have high rates of homelessness, drug abuse, survival sex work, hate crime victimization, brutality by police, mental illness, abuse, criminalization and discrimination. These accomplishments help us blend in with straight society, but do not solve the most serious issues that Queer America faces.
Day by day, we get ignored, put down and denied. LGBT America is treated as expendable to society. All people seem to care about is codified discrimination when our communities are facing far more serious and deadly problems.
Poverty, violence, mental illness, survival sex work and drug abuse ravage communities while society looks down on us as criminals, lunatics, druggies and whores. We can not rely on them to help our downtrodden and we can’t expect corporations doing nothing more than pandering to the pink dollar to help those who have to beg for and risk their lives for their pink dollar on the street.
“Queer friendly” hiring standards at police stations aren’t gonna save our lives. We have to step up and help our own brothers and sisters ourselves instead of dismissing and ignoring them because as long as we have our siblings on the street, and as long as our community has to fear for our lives going throughout our day, our work will never be done.
Gay marriage isn’t gonna cure Diante’s drug addiction or give Brianna a place to stay, and it definitely isn’t gonna keep POC LGBT people from being gunned down by cops in the street.
Society wants poor queer people in prison. They want us off the streets, not because they want to help us, but so they won’t have to deal with us. They can kill and jail us as much as they want, but until they look at what they can do to get rid of the actual reasons people are on the streets at night, they aren’t going to have quiet streets. Until we actually combats sexism, queerphobia, racism, xenophobia, ableism and classism, we don’t deserve to have quiet, peaceful streets. We sit in dry, temperature-controlled housing and we know where our next meal is coming from and where we’re sleeping this night and the next and then we have the nerve to complain about people who don’t have that luxury. We complain, comfortable at home, while queer and POC people on the streets fight for their lives on a daily basis.
Stop acting like you’re above the homeless, the sex workers, the mentally ill or the drug addicted because you aren’t. Their lives are just as valuable as yours. We need to treat people like our equals and share a little kindness. Queer America, these are our brothers and sisters. Don’t turn against them to side with people who couldn’t care less about LGBT and POC lives. Stand up for yourself and stand up for your brothers and sisters. If we don’t, you better believe nobody else will.