In Urvashi Vaid’s article, she claims that “Today’s mainstream LGBT movement is strangely silent on the broader social-justice challenges facing the world, oddly complacent in its acceptance of racial, gender, and economic inequalities …” What do you think?
See SHe Said for full quote.
Until we have achieved full legal equality everywhere in the United States, it’s foolish to shift focus. The powers-that-be in the LGBT movement are largely white, upper class and politically connected, and therefore at times out of touch. I think we need to be honest about what is what in this country, and stay singularly focused on fostering the equality movement. This does not mean we stay silent on other outrages, but to devote our limited resources for other fights is a mistake.
I feel like the “mainstream” LGBT-Rights movement advocates for a very specific set of rights, for a very specific set of queers and cares very little for the rest. We talk about hate crimes, but never mention that trans women of color bear the overwhelming brunt of them. We talk about discrimination, but have to be fought tooth and nail to include transgender protections in ENDA. We fight for marriage equality before housing protections, and how frequently do we talk about the systemic problem of queer youth homelessness?
I think YES, indeed we are too silent and too complacent. We need to remember that “everyone does better when everyone does better” means going to bat for other vulnerable communities as well as asking for help and proceeding as a unified front.