Queer Pride

Our earth’s deepest river is the Congo, or the Congo-Kinshasa (previously known as Zaire). Although the Nile boasts as Africa’s longest river, The Congo earns second place and hosts such impressive depths that an eclectic variety of uniquely adapted and mysteriously marvelous fish species thrive there. Among them is the mondeli bureau. Mondeli Bureau translates to ‘white man in an office.’ It is a stunted and fragile fish, lacking eyes and pigment, a being who dies easily from the bends when brought up and out of the denizens of its own comfortable, dark holes at the bottom of the raging water.

I don’t need to call out the elephant in the room on this one.

Speaking of elephants, did you know that they mourn? That flies do, too. That grief is so natural, such an honest part of our nature, that it has been so obscured and so condemned and made to appear so alien ~ that it is centered on sensation and this has been sterilized and disguised ~

I am personally tired of the human-centric view of this world; the ‘scientific fad’ that attempts to suggest that animals adapted emotions from us, or that emotions aren’t universal, that sentience isn’t the fabric of our sensitive connections. I am tired of the passive sentiments that trap our animalia identities into the foray of our refusal to be attuned: that consciousness has to be exhaustively proven in numbers and scales when it is clearly all around and within us. I am tired of the fad that focuses only on the wiring of the brain but not the bigger picture: the body, the environment, the world as it has been stripped of its empathy and how all of these collective despairs have bred imbalances in our brains ~ our brain(s), the receiver, the transmitter, but not the one and only hub of existence, and certainly not the center of all intelligence.

And circling back to fish ~ one of our earliest Ancestors, and science finally caught up to an already well-known truth ~ I am personally exhausted that wildlife gets compared to aspects of ‘civilized’ humanity on a regular basis. We are related, we have strong similarities, and we are different. Celebrate this diversity and this harmony and this uniqueness. To enlist another prominent example of this kind; Wolves don’t deserve the political jargon that is slathered on them. Wolves have culture within their pack, as we do. They are capable of a whole spectrum of experiences and intelligences, both brutal and beautiful (by our distinct discernments) and an awareness beyond us: varied per geographical and climactic influences.  They are impacted by environments of scarcity and resource and how they are raised to move through this world. What they experience. What they share. What they sense. What they want.

So why would you want to call a group of ruthless, gutless people by any name other than what they are? Why continue to camouflage them? What a disservice to our wild kin, who don’t deserve to be lumped in the categories of our messy political partisans.

If we are going to specialize people and identify them, as naturalists do in the wilds ~ and who do we think we are to claim that we are not wilderness woven, too ~ then I have a suggestion to make for the white nationalist fucks who showed up at our Pride event:

Cowardis Fuckofferus (of the genus EetDeezNutz)

On the evening of June 17th 2023, on stolen ancestral Native Lands (in Lander, WY), we witnessed a clusterfuck of hateful white nationalist bigots who call themselves the Patriot Front show up to protest against our beautiful community Pride drag show. Last year there was a mass arrest of 31 Patriot Front members at a Pride event in Idaho for their intentions to riot.

Part of the Patriot Front rhetoric was targeted towards allegations of pedophelia that occurs within the LGBTQ2S+ community. This is a broad and uninformed generalization. Like any demographic, problematic and ill individuals, regardless of class, gender, race, or sexual orientation, need to be identified and called out and addressed accordingly. This is not a celebrated discretion in any world. Abuse is Abuse. It has no boundary.

Here, Hear: Who held fast the barrier of defense in the midst of it to protect our expressions of Queer Joy? Our Native Neighbors. This is how it has been since ‘manifest destiny’ first infected our common grounds. Exhausting. The most underrepresented People are always fighting the Hardest. I seen this first hand as I walked to the park where our Queer event was held and stood with our powerful friends in the security line just on the other side of the bridge where the Patriot Front were locked in, brandishing their flags and cinching tight on the leash chain of a nervous dog. The projected fear is real. The hate group disbanded after intense verbal confrontations and when a cop car rolled lackadaisical down the street. But the police did not stop to ensure the safety of our community who are most at risk. They just moved on as if there was nothing to see and nothing to do here, perhaps pampered by the enabling of the Patriot Front’s right to free speech.

But Hate Speech is Not Free Speech and to say otherwise is laced in contradiction. Hate Speech is founded on erasure and destruction, not inclusion and consideration. There is no consciousness in Hate Speech. Hate is taught, is a specific sickness. Hate Speech incites hostility and is groundless. Free Speech may cause discomfort or offense but does not blatantly target deliberate harm towards someone / towards a collective. Acknowledge this distinction.

Currently there are no major news reports on this local occurrence either. Just another day.

Our Mayor, who cares more about what others think of him than doing the right thing, claimed at our city council’s ‘anti-discrimination proclamation’ meeting that he cannot see discrimination in this community. This is an insult to the evidence. It is unlikely that his mind will ever change if he remains so stagnant and superficial, so unable to hear & feel the voices & pain of anyone who looks or acts differently than what he knows; so ignorant to the trajectory of history that has curated such intense division. This is an observation of the Performative Gestures in a lot of outdated politics, the greatest sickly loophole that our country’s ‘founding’ has been deeply branded by. It is a direct product of how abuse has been normalized in a concerning variety of macro and microcosmic ways. Out of sight, out of mind & heart~ or Not ‘My’ Problem. This indifference also festers within those members of a hate group who promote violence. Unless something shifts from within, and spreads, and catches ~ but the likelihood of that is marginal and we can’t just wait idly around for them to catch up with the rest of us. 

Showing up in those legislative spaces is still critical and necessary, nonetheless. Change does not always happen overnight and clearly we are at a distinct turning point overall.

These are the areas where compassion can taste sour but have a flavor to offer regardless: these persons in white masks and militant intentions of suppression were probably abused when they were young and carry such a severe dis-ease from a previous life. This is not an excuse, but a perspective. What can also be difficult for some people to accept is that the Patriot Front group loves to hate and loves to bully; so aggressive and afraid in their nature, ultimately so riddled in social cowardice, and lacking a rite of passage that isn’t choked on divide-and-conquer toxic systemic oppression. They simply have no conscience. Using the word ‘love’ can be tongue-in-cheek in this context, too. Perhaps pleasure is a better word. Bringing suffering is a source of pleasure for these individuals who choose to align in a group like the Patriot Front. It is all they have ever known. 

Meeting hate with hate is not the answer, either. We should not strive to ‘defeat them’ by matching what hate groups do. But meeting hate with skills in protection & defense and honing in on healthy tools of confident discernment and internal healing are helpful. It greets reality without naive pretending. There is grave disappointment, grief and trauma that exists in Queer spaces. Our community care includes community security and we make that our own. We are here to weave beauty & Heal Together. We are here to Thrive. We are here and we Won’t Disappear. We will not be hardened or disenchanted. 

For many of us who are allies or accomplices, this subject is but a mild discomfort and maybe just a conversation beyond the event and until you are standing next to that fine thin thread between violence and peace, might not be influenced by it. You can never truly understand what it is that other people go through when they are targeted by hate crimes. You may sympathize but you cannot possibly relate and it is not in your interest to try and center yourself in those efforts. It is a privilege to have that choice to walk away. Think about that. Think about that when you say that you ‘don’t care how others live their lives’ and arrive to recognize that their fight for human rights and visibility impacts everyone and everything. They are fighting for you, too. They are fighting for all of us. 

‘Woke’ doesn’t fit and never did. We need your hands moving past the doomscrolling of social media and we need your whole attention. We need your bodies in the places for safety so that our community can rest and know peace. Don’t check out, Check In. Come Back. We are all capable of offering support that is unique to our own strengths.

Talk about What Is Happening. It is a disservice to override the whole spectrum of reality. This is how we evolve beyond the prejudices on both / on all sides.

To our LGBTQ2S+ Community:  Love is Brighter than Hate. Keep Shining. Keep Healing the fluid non-binary Hearts of Our fractured World. We Dance With You.