Last night, Mara and I attended the Q Street reception, held in the Longworth House Office building. It was a gathering of LGBT people to honor the LGBT Equality Caucus, which is led by three openly gay/lesbian members of Congress—Representatives Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis—and has more than 70 other members of Congress. We listened to politician after politician get up and speak to a crowded hall about the importance of LGBT rights, of gender-identity inclusive bills, of the need to overcome oppression in all its forms.
For me, it was a reminder of how far we have actually come—I was a resident of Massachusetts in 1987 when Barney Frank’s sexual orientation became public knowledge. I had just come out as a young queer person the year before and it had a huge impact on me that one of us could be here in Washington. The controversy then, of course, was much greater than it would be now. And that’s my point—it’s good to be reminded from time to time that things have changed and that the courage of an individual to speak out makes an impact on generations to come. And it was good to catch the excitement about a world that is safer and fairer for LGBT people, including trans people. We have a long way still to go, but we’ve also come a long way.