To the editor:
Ah, the arrival of June, 1.
Across the country, members of the LGBT community will soon be participating in parades celebrating Gay Pride Month.
The atmosphere will be overwhelmingly festive — as it should be.
After all, there is much for our community to take pride in and celebrate since I walked in one of Boston’s first Gay Pride parades more than four decades ago.
Back then, the parade consisted of about 30 young gay men and lesbians.
As we marched down Boylston Street, we were insulted, spat upon, and verbally threatened.
Through the years, Gay Pride parades and celebrations have grown exponentially in both size and number, not just here in the U.S. but across the globe.
But as our celebrations have grown, and more and more non-LGBT people have come to support our struggles for equality and acceptance, a powerful, well organized, and well funded counter force has emerged that threatens much of the progress we have made over the last half century.
The political and legal attacks by today’s fundamentalist Christian Right, and their allies in the GOP, are currently targeting transgender Americans but, make no mistake, the civil rights of all LGBT Americans are in their cross hairs.
In dozens of Republican-controlled “red states” across the country, hundreds of pieces of anti-LGBT legislation have been enacted, or are likely to be enacted soon.
Florida is but one example of that reality.
As disturbing as such legislation may be, what is truly frightening is these most recent efforts to deny LGBT Americans our rights are giving license, even permission, to some of the most extreme elements of the American Right to act out violently against us.
The mass shootings at the Pulse night club in Orlando several years ago, and the gay bar in Colorado Springs last year, may have made the national news, but there are dozens and dozens of other examples of how this increased political hostility towards LGBT Americans is fueling acts of violence against us in many parts of the country that do not receive national media attention.
So, although our community has much to celebrate this Gay Pride Month, we can ill afford to be complacent, or to think the progress we have made over the last half century is irreversible.
After all, look at what the religious zealots on the Supreme Court, and their Republican political allies, did to a woman’s right to make her own private reproductive healthcare decisions last year.