LGBTQIAAP or QUILTBAG folks) got this past Friday, that SCOTUS affirmed that same-sex marriage bans were unconstitutional, somewhat overshadowed an interesting case in New Jersey that found that conversion therapy--that snake oil peddled to desperate parents and young people who believed that gay could be prayed away, or made to go away with some obscure science--was a fraud.
I've always hated this, being just a little queer and a lot pro-science, because it's a perversion of the latter and a crime against people who are the former. The history of anti-gay conversion therapy is a very dubious one, and seems to rely an awful lot on trying to torture the sexual feelings of a healthy person away. It's been long understood to be a dangerous lie, which does more harm than good to the people who undergo such so-called "therapy"--but that doesn't mean people still aren't suffering in part because of what that type of therapy entails because we live in a society still pretty ignorant about what it means to be LGBT*. They still frame the debate in terms of actions and lifestyle choices, without seeming to understand that harmlessly loving a same-sex partner and growing old together really isn't a weird witchcraft that poisons the cattle--it's just people doing what is right for them.
The ex-gay movement should have been well and truly destroyed by its failures before now. The way society has treated even really outstanding people found to be gay should shock all of us into an appreciation of the personhood and rights of queer folk. But, appallingly, as Taylor Swift has told us, haters are going to hate, hate, hate. And it's amazing, now as ever, that there are still some individuals (ahem, Mike Huckabee) who approach their understanding of gay rights with the same dismissiveness and mocking that Joe Jervis reminds us of each pride when he reposts the scathing treatment of a newspaper of record regarding one of the pivotal moments of queer history. But then there is so much progress. Stonewall, which, to President Obama's credit, he has used in his formulation in this term of "Seneca, Selma, And Stonewall", was just now granted historical status. And Governor Cuomo has officiated at a wedding there, so, kvelling, crying, me.
But the debunking of the lie that there is something wrong with being queer, that we're here, and that love matters and that queer lives matter and that we don't need to be fixed, but society needs to get fixed, is the answer we were waiting for. And maybe not everyone is on board, but Goddamn, this week gave me so much hope. Gay lives matter. Lesbian lives matter. Trans lives matter. Our marriages matter, and our identities are not to be screwed about with by Bible-thumping grifters. (In NJ anyway--although I think this will spread.)
Sure, there are miles to go before we sleep, but I feel like breakthroughs have happened. So this pride is so much pride. Call it a toehold on mainstream, but looking at all those candidates on the GOP 2016 side ready to tear up the Constitution over gays?
There is hope. That they will not prevail.