a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

We Will Not Hide

Posted on: June 24, 2016

©Erika Davis

©Erika Davis

Last year the United States Supreme Court ruled that love is love. And while Marriage Equality is only one step in a long marathon of rights that LGBTQ people not only need but deserve as citizens of the United States, it was a big step. I remember feeling elated. I cried. I hugged and kissed my wife. I felt like we’d made it.

Of course just because LGBTQ folks can legally get married in the U.S doesn’t mean that everything is, well rainbows, glitter and unicorns. In most states you can still be fired for being LGBTQ or gender non-conforming. Transgender folks are victims of hate crimes leading to extreme harm and even death, especially trans women of color. Gay men are still barred from donating blood, even in times of crisis. And hate is still preached from pastors, rabbis, priests, imams and many a tent revival. We are still killed and murdered simply for being who we are.

In the last two weeks I’ve watched my friends and friends of friends post countless articles, blog posts, news clip, memes and videos about the massacre that rampaged the LGBTQ community in Orlando and around the world. I’ve seen religious groups come out to condemn the violence and the resulting homophobia and Islamophobia that has come out of this. And I’ve watched in gratitude as my candidate, the President of the United States and Democrats  filibustered and staged a sit in, all to demand better gun laws, actually saying the worlds LGBTQ and Hate Crime in relation to Orlando.

Make no mistake. White right-wing (and left-wing) media still want to make this about a Muslim terrorist. Yet, the white guy who shot up a black church wasn’t called as such, but that’s a different blog post. That crazy orange man wants to continue to spew his hateful rhetoric about Muslim people and the Muslim faith and I’ve seen far too many blatant homophobic rant about how the 49 dead and 53 injured deserved their fate because they were gay.

Well, I’m not afraid and I will not hide who I am.

I may not “pass” for a lesbian when people see me in the streets, but that doesn’t mean that I am hiding or will hide who I am. Because if I chose to hide who I am, who I love, how I live my life then the people who hate me for who I am win. Just as I can’t hide my skin color from racist assholes, I will not hide my gay pride from homophobic assholes.

I’m here.

I’m queer.

Get the fuck over it.

I have been called every ugly word under the sun for wearing a gay pride shirt or holding my wife’s hand. Our bars, Centers, homes are are havens and our safe spaces, yet throughout history even those spaces weren’t safe and last Sunday proved to us that they’re still not safe.

And.

We will not hide who we are. We will not be afraid of those who would do us harm. We will not be afraid to live our lives, have families, raise our children.

We are here. We’ve always been here. And we’re not going any where. So fucking get over it.

Happy Pride to the wonderful City of NYC. Where I came out. Where I went to my first gay bar. Where I met the love of my life and fell in love. NYC, the city where I held my wife’s hand during the dyke march. Where I stripped down to my bra and panties when the skies opened up above the Gay Pride March 9 years ago (when my wife and I met). NYC where I rode my bike down 5th Avenue with some Dykes on Bicycles and danced with drag queens. Where I met the most bad ass, awesome, loving supportive group of queers that have held me up when I was weak, that gave me shoulders to cry on, who see (and saw me) for who I really am, who love me fiercely and who I know would walk to the ends of the earth with.

Happy Pride to my new City, Seattle! I hear you put on a pretty good parade and Dyke March. I can’t wait to check it out this weekend!

Happy Pride, ya’ll! and Shabbat Shalom!

 

2 Responses to "We Will Not Hide"

Thank you for continuing to post and share your thoughts with the electronic universe. I enjoy your perspective on life.

On the surface we don’t have much in common, but I feel like we’d be friends in real life, if our worlds intersected. I’m a middle aged, hetro, non-practicing Jew by birth. For reasons I can’t explain or articulate, I’ve started thinking about going back to Shul since I found your blog. You often talk about Judaism with a joy that I’m not used to. In my life my religion was always something I had to do, until I was old enough and choose not to. Hearing you talk about how you made this choice and how much you enjoy the traditions I have always taken for granted has made me think about things in a different way.

I know my comment has nothing to do with this post, and I’m not sure why I’m adding it here… Since Sandy Hook gun violence seems to trigger something in me. I don’t understand why we can’t have rational gun control laws in this country, but that’s another story for another day.

Shabbat Shalom – have a wonderful trip to Israel, I hope you’ll blog about it. Safe travels.

This is the sweetest and most thoughtful comment. Ever.
Thank you.

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