It’s Not About Love: My Feelings About PRIDE and Orlando
So it’s Pride weekend in San Francisco. It’s my third one and I’m tired. I’m really really tired. I hate the crowds. I hate the tourists. I hate the police displacing people and menacing the crowd. I hate the self righteousness while declaring the slogan “Love is love.”
To every ally who says they support LGBTQIA equality because “love is love,” fuck you. I know. This feels drastic. I realize that. But no seriously; fuck you. Fuck you in your fucking face. This isn’t about love; this is about life. LGBTQIA people aren’t asking your permission to love. We’re asking for the permission to live. We want access to spaces just for us. We want to not be murdered. We want to go to the fucking bathroom in peace. We want to not be fired. To not be evicted. To not be stigmatized for who we have sex with. Notice none of this is about love. We aren’t asking for you to love us or the right to love people. I’m demanding the right to be left the fuck alone.
I realize that you have a gay niece or you really love your hairdresser or Caitlyn Jenner’s struggle resonated with you. I appreciate that. I’m glad you have all that. I’m glad you have Orange is the New Black. But that is YOURS. Let’s talk about what’s mine.
I am not asking for you to cherish or support my love. I am not asking for the nuclear family or to uphold your traditional concept of what good relationships look like. I’m not asking for you to understand it. I really don’t have time to explain it to you. But all of that shouldn’t fucking matter. Whether you get it isn’t the deciding factor in civil rights.
So get your fucking nose out of my love. You don’t get to cherry pick your support. If you’re an ally, you support me fucking random people if I want to. You support my access to health services. You support my spaces. You support my right to public and private safety. I don’t have time to love. I don’t have the energy to love. I don’t even have the capacity to love you through your false platitudes.
You don’t get to support my love when it’s convenient and romantic to you. You’re either all in or you’re out. So before you go put on that rainbow tutu and gawk at our parades and voyeur on our drag culture, consider that all of that culture that you so cheerfully want to participate in isn’t about love. It’s about life. It’s the life we built. It’s the culture and art we built. That was made so that we could have something in a world systematically robbing us of our humanity.
So take your love and your pride and have a seat. Because no, you really don’t know what it’s like. Being queer isn’t one long sweeping epic of Romeo and Juliet. The straight guys that crash Dyke March are not in fact lesbians because they “love women.” Straight women groping gay men in clubs is not acceptable or permissible because “it’s what this whole thing is about, right?” We aren’t fucking here for you. It’s a fucking fight for survival and we all deeply resent it.
I’m looking on Twitter and #LoveWins is trending for Pride. What exactly did we win? When Orlando happened people were telling me that love always beats out hate. When? Where? I want documentation of this. I want evidence. It’s a really empty and shallow platitude to encourage me to be a martyr and keep the faith under the level of prejudice this nation has against queer people.
So when you hold my hand and assure me that you are in full support of my ability to love whomever I choose, know that I can’t love anyone if I’m dead or destitute.