Nancy Koppelman, I love how you tie Queer Nation to Howard’s groundbreaking book, which has influenced me a great deal in how I think about queer issues. As one of the first members of Queer Nation, I think you’re spot on when you talk about how we believed that “We’re here, we’re queer,” meant that we’re everywhere.
When we took our street theater and actions outside NYC proper and into exurbs and suburbs, we were not so much targeting straight/cis people as we were trying to give heart to the queer people who lived and loved in those places.
We were working for a day when people in the quiet queer communities outside our self-defined ghettos could be safe to empower themselves and live more freely and openly.
Because of course, many of us CAME from those silent communities. We had chosen to decamp to Greenwich Village, Chelsea and other safe places, but we’d left queer loved ones behind. We wanted them to be free to be where they were and AS they were.
In our youthful hubris, we actually believed we could help make that happen. In the end, I think that whatever progress has been made owes to vast tides of social forces that we had no prayer of influencing, but those were heady days.
BFoundAPen, if you haven’t yet read “Men Like That,” I’d encourage you to put it on your reading list.