Liberation 2

I have been woefully inadequate at keeping up to date with this blog. I can’t believe the last entry was almost a year ago. I have poor discipline and have a hard time being consistent. If it isn’t obvious.

In my last entry I said the next entry would be liberation. Liberation is one of my favorite words in the English language. What does liberation mean? Freedom. Emancipation. Unshackling oneself. integrity. Movement. Fluidity. Community. Collectivism.

In my life I have fought at the forefront of multiple forms of oppression. Economic justice. Transgender rights. Queer Rights. Fat acceptance. Disability rights. Oppression feels awful. It makes you feel like you are being pressed upon, squeezed to the point of being flattened out. It is dehumanization and a deadening process. This is if, of course, you survive. Because the final destination of oppression is always destruction, is always death, whether of the literal body or the mind, spirit, soul and psyche.

Liberation is the antidote. And it is the antidote because it is not the individualization of the problem. For once you are not alone! Liberation involves entire armies of people. So many oppressed people, myself included, feel so, so lonely. We feel defeated. We feel sadness. We feel anger. We feel rage. And part of the reason for all of these feelings is that we fight alone. Our battles feel overwhelming because we are fighting alone. When we are joined by others in our battle, we no longer fight alone. And when we no longer fight alone, we are positioned to win. How good it feels when you know someone has your back.

While one person may have been the first one to throw the brick at Stonewall, they did not stand alone. People flooded out of that dive bar and ran from all over the city and hit the pavement for a revolution. Seldom do people know they are fighting a revolution when they are deep in the midst of it but that’s exactly what it is. They fought for liberation. And not just the liberation of themselves. But the liberation of all of us queers. 50 years later we speak of Stonewall. We study Stonewall. We write of Stonewall. And some of those representations miss the mark, but some of them are right on target. They are right on target when they are inclusive and incisive and give credit where credit is due: to trans people, to people of color, to poor and working class queers, to sex workers and to street queens.

They fought back for our liberation. Our freedom. Our emancipation. Most of the time I feel absolutely flattened. But not when I think about liberation. Because when I think about liberation I think about change: in the past, present and future. I say “fuck you” to the status quo. I especially envision a radically different future. A future where we are not shackled. A future where are not the objects of hate. I imagine a future where we are free. I imagine a future where we are liberated. Sometimes I almost feel like I can touch it. Hear it. Smell it. I will fight for this future with every shred of my being. Will you fight for it too?