Fowlkes’ final sentiment reminds me of something my father used to tell me over and over as a child. Sitting me down to my homework or to read a thick book, he’d say sternly, “As a person of color in America, sometimes you’re going to have to do two for a white person’s one. That’s not fair, but that’s life.”
I wish I could say that no bigots are going to use pictures of a few men in thongs in San Francisco to write off millions of gay, lesbian and transgender people, but I can’t. There’s a lot at stake right now. The community is on the verge, perhaps, of a tipping point for rights and acceptance. Maybe, just once, the LGBT community should try abandoning the scant costumes and embellished sexuality and “do two.” They could march down the center of America’s great cities in all the clothes they regularly wear, exposing themselves for what they truly are: normal human beings. It wouldn’t be as fun as past parades, and it’s not fair. But for now, that’s life.
Cord Jefferson is a writer living in Brooklyn. Some of his other work has appeared in National Geographic, The Daily Beast and on MTV. You can contact him here.