Hope for the Future
I remember growing up during the AIDS epidemic, and all the young, beautiful gay men who did not make it. I did some work on the AIDS memorial quilt, and seeing it is almost like stepping into another country of war, of death, of sadness, loss. It’s more poignant when you realize that these people have not died in vain. We stand on their shoulders. The feeling of this sacrifice and loss is something like your generation has not had.
When I look at the GLBT community now I see that the younger generation is not able to gather together in one group. The connection is not as apparent as it used to be. On one hand I think it’s fabulous that we have that luxury and I know that it’s because of that comfort level, because we are where we are today, and that we are not marginalized like we used to be. But, as fortunate as the younger generation is, they have absolutely lost something and it saddens me. But it is all part of the process. With assimilation we lose our connectivity. We don’t have that, we don’t need to have that. Could we still benefit from having that? Maybe, maybe not. Could it be helpful? Yeah, maybe. Is it necessary? No. Are we in a better place? Yes. Ultimately assimilation is a better place to be. The magic – it’s not quite what it used to be. That’s the cost. But I’d say that it was a war well won, and I am delighted to talk to youngsters and see that we have won. To look at these kids who are queer and gender-nonconforming and just very contented, it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing and it shores me up in more difficult times. I see how I have made a difference. That being said, there is still a lot of progress to be made, okay? That is your responsibility, as a child of privilege, to make the world a better place than you found it.