A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: Notes of an Antiquated Queen

Orgullo y Responsabilidad

By Mary Khon

Feliz mes del orgullo and Happy Pride Month, Queeridos!

Yes, aquí estamos de nuevo. Another Gay Pride Month has arrived and I’m very sure you are getting ready to party. And party you should, queerido, porque, come dice el dicho, “you only live once.”

Oh, my Gods! I must be under the influence of some drugs to sound so cheerful. But obviously I am not too high because I’m able to recognize my own cheesiness. No, queeridos, I haven’t taken any drugs. I just decided that this column, for once, should be positive, being the month of our queer pride and all that jazz.

Positive vibes and energy is what we need, queeridos, mainly because our present administration is slowly stripping away the rights and benefits we, as an LGBT+ community have been granted by previous administrations. If we are not careful and decide to ignore what is happening in our country, we are going to end up worse than our gay elders were back before the Stonewall Riots.

Just to be clear, I am not a pessimist; I am not a person that dwells and submerges on the negative. I am a realist. And due to what is happening to our community these days and the wake of yet another presidential election, I am starting to see how our communities are beginning to divide themselves, which could only be the sign of horrible results to come in a not so distant future.

I’m not saying we cannot enjoy the present. In fact, we should enjoy it as much as possible because we don’t know what will happen next. We should enjoy the present while keeping an eye on our future. You know, like celebrating a special personal occasion, como tu cumpleaños, a new job, or promotion, and at the same time being aware that getting shit-faced will bring you lots of headaches the following day. Literately lots of headaches y una cruda that not even tres platos de menudo can remedy.

Asi que esta columna, this letter/write-up, whatever you want to call it, is being written to ask you to come together and celebrate your gay/queer/joto/maricón being. Celebrate as much as you can while keeping an eye on the future, knowing that it could be a rough future but, just as we know what to do to avoid a bad hangover or la cruda altogether, we must prepare ourselves for what is to come. Let there be no surprises and if surprises come, we will be ready to take them face to face, together, con fuerza, in harmony, and with lots and lots of courage.

Ay, Dios mío! I’m in shocked! I mean, I sound so inspirational, so full of hope, joy, and enchantment. That is a state I hardly found myself into, queeridos. But I guess it is a necessary state because we are a little more than a year away from voting for yet another presidential candidate and things are starting to look ugly out there. I am not endorsing any candidate, at the moment; I just see how one candidate, who happens to be part of our colorful family, is starting to cause division. Not the candidate himself but those who support him.

I’ve seen how queer people of color have been shut down, called “dividers,” and “people who hate white gays” only for expressing different views towards a white gay candidate. And as I can see it, things are going to get even worse as the presidential elections get closer and closer.

Listen, queeridos, I don’t care, well I do care, but I really don’t care who you support as long as you support someone and that someone is actually in our side. And I am not saying anything else. Only that I am taking this opportunity to talk about the fact that we should be incredibly proud to be who we are, queer/gay/jotos/maricones and at the same time, accept the fact that with our pride also comes a responsibility to fight for our equal rights, not special rights, as many tend to call them, but equal rights, rights everyone else has but we may not simply because we are queer/gay/jotos, maricones or worse, queer/gay/jotos/maricones que son minorias, or as it is widely known: QUEER PEOPLE OF COLOR (QPOC).

So queeridos, as members of the QPOC community, this June go out and celebrate big, celebrate with enthusiasm, with love, with ganas. Enjoy every moment of the celebrations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and every city and town in between and beyond. At the same time, keep reminding yourself that just as we have the right to celebrate being QPOC and members of the LGBTQ+ communities, we also have a big responsibility to make sure we are treated equal, with dignity and respect. And to do that, we need to be responsible queers/gays/jotos/maricones. Just as we celebrate our identities, we better be responsible and ready to fight for our freedom, nuestra liberta y nuestros derechos. We must be as equal as everyone else. Happy Pride, Queeridos!