Well said, Masen Everson. You know what’s ironic? You can see the discrimination. People are open about it, because they view you as an easy target.

But what a lot of people in LGBTQ communities don’t really get is the silent oppression they face. When they aren’t standing up for you, they aren’t standing up for themselves either.

For example, I can “pass” when I want to. Oh, I camp it up sometimes for fun, but I’m not effeminate except when I mean to be. I blend in with crowds and don’t stand out — not because I want to, just because that’s my nature, whatever that means.

So I DON’T often face visible oppression, persecution, discrimination — whatever you want to call it.

But you know what? I still lost my Manhattan apartment because I’m gay. Nobody was being vicious, I guess, but the laws didn’t protect me, because, well … they don’t. Real equality is a goal, not a reality.

We won’t start realizing the real thing until we stand up together. And those of who “pass” won’t be fully equal until those of us who don’t pass have all their rights too.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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