“We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The world has grown increasingly dark and chaotic over the last few years and most recently for people of color. During this time, the arc of the moral universe has become obscured. This week, however, the clouds have parted, at least for the time being, and the light is shining brightly on the LGBTQ+ community.
As we all know by now, a bigly bombshell struck the White House several days ago. The SCOTUS decision on discrimination in employment for LGBTQ+ citizens has reverberated nationwide as well. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way according to the powers that be. But it did, just the same.
This is certainly one of those weeks to remember for LGBTQ+ folk. I remember my elation just five years back with the SCOTUS affirmation of Marriage Equality. It was a transcendental moment for me personally. It was a hard-to-top kind of day.
The 2015 decision represented a huge milestone for the Community. The Court’s decision this past Monday is however, the most consequential in the history of the LGBTQ+ movement. The reason is largely due to the fact that not everybody is looking to get married, but most people do work. In addition, recent hateful decisions by Donald that affect trans people’s healthcare and ability to serve in the military will be harder to defend, too.
In recent weeks I was reminded during a newscast of the phrase “Equal Justice Under Law”. It’s engraved above the front entrance to the United States Supreme Court. As in, carved in stone. As in, don’t forget!
I won’t forget. Nor will I forget the times when SCOTUS has lived up to its motto. That said, I believe it’s important for us all to pause and reflect on all the historic triumphs for the LGBTQ+ community. Happily there’s a long list to be thankful for.
Today I’m reflecting on that long list and also two important epiphanies I had years ago. The first, that I will never forget, is the moment when a certain copy of Life magazine, a popular pictorial weekly, arrived at the front door. It was just after the first gay pride march ever — in New York City. On the cover, in full-living color, was a shot of a huge crowd of gay people marching up Fifth Avenue! I read there were chants of “Say it loud, gay is proud.”
I said to myself, “Look at all those people! Out in public! Together! There are so many just like me! I am not alone!” It was so affirming for my young personhood. From that moment on I felt a sense of pride and part of a greater community.