The goals are freedom and a community that is supportive.
We’ve won major legal victories—Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v Texas and more recent court cases—and victories at the polls and in public opinion polls in the last few years.
I have been searching for freedom all my life, and it may be that I am, right now, as free as I have ever been.
I am supported in this freedom, by a small group of people. My partner, C, my son, my daughter, my older grandchildren (the younger children don’t know anything about freedom, yet). I have friends, a couple in London, some here in the States, some here in Boston and Somerville who want me to be free and autonomous.
Of course, there are forces that try to deny me freedom. There is the conservative Christian right, and there are those folks who are in the conservative social right. These people say abusive things, and sometimes do abusive things. There are some members of my biological family with whom I am not in contact. I’ve been fighting against these people for the last twenty-five years. But they aren’t strong enough to prevent me from exercising my freedom, from being what I want to be.
Last week, Guy Branum, who is gay himself, complained at length on Huffington Post because Nate Silver, who is gay, hasn’t come out the way he wanted him to. Nate Silver appears to be a wonderful person, successful at what he does, and he told the world about a month ago that he is gay “sexually,” but not “ethnically.” Guy Branum didn’t like that. “Silver’s refusal to fully participate in gay identity is the real problem,” he says. What Branum means is that Silver’s refusal to fully participate in the way that Branum wants is the problem. Silver has no obligation to be gay in the way that anybody wants.
We live in a transitional period. There was a time when, in order to add strength to the gay community to fight its fights, we have had to, all of us, come out and increase the numbers of us who demanded our freedom, but we’re moving out of this transitional time. We’re moving into a period when one of the successes of our movement is the number of people who are able to live uncompromisingly gay lives without actually joining the numbers in demonstrations.
It’s OK for Nate Silver to live his life any way he wants. Actually, what he’s expressing is what many of us are driving toward. Freedom.