I am 42 years old and the gay rights movement started in 1968 with the Compton Riots in the Tenderloin. All my life I have been told just wait it will happen. Well It isn't just going to happen in fact just the opposite. In California and New York two of the most liberal states in the US Gay people are not given full rights just like their counter parts in the straight world. Exactly how am I supposed to see this as a step towards equal rights? From what I can tell there is no real movement to gaining equality just hollow promises from people in charge while we are facing even greater threats of violence and bigotry than any other minority, except maybe the poor. Besides that gay people have been around since there were people and we have a rich history that goes without notice due to this bigotry. I heard someone with Marriage Equality say that our movement has only been around for 100 years or so. Has she never heard of Sappho? How about Oscar Wilde? Our people have been around as long as the straight people and we were considered great thinkers and leaders not pariahs and it is time to reclaim these beliefs as our own! To believe that we are a new people with a new voice is wrong! We have been here and queer since the dawn of time. There is no "new" to our history and to limit it to the last 100 years does a great disservice to the people who lived freely as gay people and made the world beautiful by doing so. The real significance of the last 100 years is that we have been brutalized without laws to protect us and bigotry has had a place in this and other lands with no recourse to stop it. We have been ghettoized and killed as if being gay makes us less human and that is just not the case. We are not new but the ability to try and destroy us legally is.
I have also been told that no one is really going to take me seriously as a drag queen. I have always said I am not here discuss my outfits but to get things done. Why can't my strongest voice come from a place in me that feels more comfortable in a dress? Why is it so strange that through my becoming comfortable with my gender variance and the power it feeds me that I have found the voice that makes me want to make a difference. Can someone in a dress not want to repeal property tax on commercial real estate set at 2% in 1978 with the passing of Prop 13. Why does wearing make up make me incapable of understanding that we need just cause to be extended to all buildings in SF? How does this make me less of a fighter for people who are forced to live on the street because the rich and mighty feel that it would cost too much to actually restore their dignity? Guess what it doesn't! The fact that I can stand up to the ridicule and bigotry and move forward and face the public as who I am makes me a strong viable leader in my eyes. I'm doing this to make a difference not to discuss my chosen style of dress and presentation.
Drag is where I found my voice. It is through the gay and lesbian, transgendered communities in SF and NY that I stopped abusing myself at the request of others and became who I am today.... A strong gender variant person on a mission to right injustice. I feel that if I was to turn away from this voice then I would be like many other leaders willing to compromise my integrity instead of standing proud and moving forward. It is an injustice to believe that I am any less capable to lead because of how I dress and how I celebrate my person than any other person on this planet. I have never seen myself as less but instead found myself proving time and time again with the aid of a understanding community that I am a success and fighting for what is rightfully ours. Equality. Not just for gays and lesbians but for all peoples. At a meeting of the Harvey Milk club someone said "Oh your the drag Queen." Let me say this. Thats right Mr and don't you forget it!