Queer & Present: September 2017

September 25, 2017 in inQueery

Hello! Here is September’s Queer & Present, a quick rundown of LGBTQIA+ news and my take on it.

 

 

Oakland Pride on Sept. 10 attended by thousands

The annual event, a parade from City Hall to 20th and Broadway, garnered thousands of attendees in celebration of Oakland and the East Bay’s queer community. The event was started in 1997, was discontinued in 2004, and restarted in 2008. Far from the hectic festivities of the San Francisco Pride, Oakland Pride is more of a laid-back. “I am so glad it’s back,” said Oakland resident Eden Grace said in an interview with SF Gate. “It’s a great place to take our daughter. It’s much more low key than other pride festivities, and she likes getting to ride her scooter with a bunch of kids.”

Though I wasn’t able to go this year, Oakland Pride definitely seems like my kind of celebration. Larger prides can be claustrophobic at times, and they tend to focus on partying, drinking, and sex– which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can alienate those of us that don’t partake in one or all of those activities. I’m also very glad they reinstated it.

 

Edith Windsor passed away on Sept. 12

Edith Windsor, gay-rights activist, passed away in New York City at the age of 88. When her wife died, she was not able to get any of the government tax exemptions that heterosexual couples get because her marriage wasn’t recognized federally. Her Supreme Court case, United States v. Windsor, struck down DOMA and paved the way for further gains in the Court. Windsor’s widow, Judith Kasen-Windsor, said in a statementthe world lost a tiny but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality. She will always be the light for the LGBTQ community which she loved so much and which loved her right back.”

The courage Windsor had to openly fight discriminatory legislation for the whole nation to see is astounding. Her contributions to the fight for our rights are massive and I think she was one of the most important LGBTQIA+ activists in modern times. Her decision set the precedent for Obergefell v. Hodges, and I’m not sure same-sex couples would have the right to marry today if it wasn’t for her. She will be missed greatly.

 

Queer protesters blocked international arms fair in London

On Sept. 7, queer protesters blocked the transport of the Defense and Security Equipment International fair, which ran from Sept. 12-15. Countries at the fair include Turkey and the UAE, which have been criticized by Amnesty International for violation of basic human rights. The UAE in particular has outlawed all homosexuality. In a statement to Pink News, Sam Bjorn from Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants said, “not only is Theresa May’s government busy attacking minorities in the UK from LGBT+ people to migrants and people of colour, this week they’re also engaged in selling weapons to some of the most repressive regimes in the world.” Several protesters chained themselves to the transport vehicles and ten were arrested.

I agree with the protesters that a relatively progressive country like the UK should not be a venue for more, as Bjorn said, oppressive regimes to buy the weapons that contribute to their unjust power. Also- any protest that involves a cabaret show is, in my opinion, a great protest.

 

 

 

Amelia McBain is a Staff Contributor at InQueery.