Sunday, April 24, 2011

Queer Fatigue, Part 2: What Now?

It occurs to me that I am most definitely not the only person in the queer movement to become tired due to the reasons I talked about in my last post. I can't be, because if I'm so passionate about these things, like other people, then wouldn't those other people also get tired or angry over the same things? We're frustrated because nobody is listening. Nobody seems to get our point of view. 

And honestly, this isn't unique to the LGBT or feminist movements, or unique to this time period. First wave feminists had a lot more to risk by fighting for their right to vote. In many cases, these women were going against the will of their husbands, in a time when his word was gospel and you followed it. No matter what. The women at the forefront of this fight went as far as to be put in jail because they were protesting in front of the white house. They gave up their children, their husbands, their reputations, and their legal rights, all for something they cared a whole lot about. And guess what? They won. Women now have the legal right to vote. It took them from the convention at Seneca Falls in 1848, up until 1920 to get it done. That is a long time, did they get tired? yes. Frustrated? yes. But did they give up? Absolutely not. 

Back in the 1950's and 1960s, it was illegal to be gay. The common belief was that homosexuals could be "forcefully assimilated" into heterosexuality. Not only were the gays of that time ignored, they were silenced. And jailed, and beaten, and killed. Did they get tired of fighting? Of course they did. But I would bet that it further motivated them to keep working on their cause. 

And I am further motivated to continue that cause. Because I don't want to be tired and frustrated anymore. I want to move on from this, and the only way to do that is to fight harder. Work harder, and make change happen. 

Sure, it's hard sometimes and we need to take a little break to refresh. Self care is super important to avoid queer fatigue, or burnout. But then it's time to get back at it, more aggressively. Otherwise, nothing will get done, and we'll always be tired. 

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