Six years after Pulse, authorities in northern Idaho are leaving open the possibility of more criminal charges against 31 white nationalists accused of planning to riot at a weekend Pride festival. 

Members of a group known as Patriot Front face misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to start a riot. The region has a long history of domestic extremism.  

Racist, right-wing regressionists run Florida now and come up weekly with more ways to deny gay citizens their rights. From the "Don’t Say Gay” law to the new idea of banning kid-friendly drag shows, legislators in the Sunshine State are making it darker for all of us. 

It is no longer even subliminal, couched in phrases protecting family values or “parental rights.” It is town bullies marching onto Main Street, drawing their guns, and shooting up the disagreeable, the “deviants,” and “the dissidents.” 

You, gay reader, are someone’s target. Sip your Mimosa. March in your parade. Dance on Stonewall Drive. They are coming after you again. This time, there is no cover-up. Any way they can get you, they will. 

Here in Wilton, we are worried about how to pay for a parade. In Idaho, they are planning to lob a grenade into it. 

Our governor, if he could, would close classes that Tuesday, open them Wednesday, and give a speech about responsible grenade ownership on Thursday. 

“Grenades kill people,” he would say, “people don’t.” Maybe so, but I would still take the grenades away. 

Richard Pryor once told a joke to an African American crowd about a Black pedestrian who was struck and run over by a drunk white driver, bumped 50 feet in the air by the car. 

“He was lucky,” Pryor said, “they only charged him with a misdemeanor, leaving the scene of an accident.” 

Gay America, we are Black again. We are everyone’s target. The world may have tolerated us, but now they are trying to hate us all over again, the old-fashioned way, by making bad laws that hurt good people, justifying the horror and the hurt in the name of decency and democracy. 

They don’t want you, your parades, your parties, or your Nights of Vogue in Bars of Sin. They faked liking us. You are still queer, aberrations of God’s path. Now they are trying to register their distaste by deceit and deception in the name of democracy. Bullshit. 

They don’t accept us, don’t want us, and don’t need us. We are Ukraine. They can bomb our homes, kill our kids, and destroy our lives. They don’t care about us, never have and never will. 

They are out there, with gatling guns and AK-47s and all the hate they can muster and save up since Harvey Milk became a gay city supervisor in 1978, only to be shot and killed, well, in 1978. 

Your mettle is being tested, your strength questioned, your honor challenged. Please fight back. You can’t say no. It’s your freedom, existence, and survival at stake. Somehow, somewhere, some way in your soul you have got to know that is more important than FLoatarama. 

Don’t get me wrong. Whether it is a Pride Flotilla or Stonewall Parade, they are so important to our self-identity. But science has improved. 

There are hurricane advisories out there, predictively telling us days in advance that a storm is coming. Heed them. The signs of hate and hurt are everywhere, not in Idaho or Tallahassee alone. They are not just winds, but real-life warnings. 

Like the Jews learned from the days of the Holocaust 75 years ago: Never Forget. Stand up. Be counted. Fight back. Look not just through the impact-resistant bay windows of your ocean-front condo but look back to those days when we were not counted and courted but crucified and condemned. 

The best way of reliving the past is to turn a blind eye to it; forget it. Use your energy, your life, your soul, and your heart to dance for sure, but make it like an Irish jig, stamping out those who would discriminate against you, or see your heart stomped out with glee. 

It all falls upon you to recognize the flames and fires are real. There are those who do not accept you for who you are and who you want to become. Their prejudice is permanent and poisonous.

Your courage is the only antidote and singular force to save your way of life. Your Pride is your power. Don’t be fooled by the glare of false sunlight. Guard the good we have created with the strength we must have, and never forget, that — well, You Can Never Forget.


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