I wrote this today for my solarpunk blog, and wanted to repost it here.
Today the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled in favor of the legality of same-sex marriage, which is a move that I support, as a nonbinary bisexual person and also as a person with a conscience.
On my personal blog, though, so far today, I’ve reblogged basically no celebratory posts. Instead, the posts that have caught my attention to signal-boost are the ones highlighting the importance of sticking to the fight for LGBTQQIAAP+ civil rights, human rights, and protection.
It’s still legal in many states to fire someone, or to refuse to rent to someone, or deny various services to someone, based on their sexuality or gender identity. In 49 out of 50 states it’s legal to fight a murder charge with a defense of “trans panic” – which is to say, you can successfully defend yourself against legal consequences for murdering a person by saying “I only did it because I found out they were trans.”
This is an important and significant (and extremely overdue) step in US civil rights. But a lot of LGBTQQIAAP+ activists have expressed fear that this one issue has become such a visible and central benchmark that many people will feel that there’s no more work to be done; that what was yesterday a gigantic swell of support for the LGBTQQIAAP+ community will tomorrow be a popped bubble; that we’ll face a renewed wave of apathy that will turn into new hostility when we ask for help on these other serious issues.
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When I imagine solarpunk communities for my own writing, more often than not what I’m imagining is a city’s disenfranchised LGBTQQIAAP+ community, especially homeless youth, banding together to protect each other in an environment where they can openly be themselves. To me, solarpunk and LGBTQQIAAP+ activism are inextricably linked.
For the most part, when I talk about what solarpunk is to me, I emphasize that my vision of solarpunk is not the only vision, and that I welcome people to come to it in a different way.
On this topic, though – on LGBTQQIAAP+ activism – I submit that explicit support is an essential solarpunk value. I submit that if your solarpunk is transphobic, queerphobic, homophobic, biphobic, transmisogynistic, gender-binarist, or otherwise exclusionary of LGBTQQIAAP+ people, it’s not real solarpunk. That you’re doing it wrong.
If solarpunk communities are to do better than the civilization they’re combating, they need to be proactively safe spaces for trans, queer, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, aromantic, intersex, gay, pansexual, questioning, and so on…, community members.
I feel the same way about inclusion of race, religion, gender, culture, language, disability, neurodivergence, illlness, and so on – and to be honest I don’t expect this post to be controversial. On these topics I’ve seen almost nothing but open and enthusiastic support for many marginalized groups.
But I did want to say something out loud. None of these oppressions are over.
– T.X. Watson