We left Tribe around 11:30. We walked to our car in total silence, a light rain falling upon our heads. Our first date night in twenty-five years had ended as disastrously as our first encounter in college.
“Not a great night to be lesbian and Jewish,” I whispered as I unlocked her door.
“Not at all,” came the soft reply.
We drove home in total silence as the rain continued to trickle. We were both numb. Not afraid, just numb…and mentally preparing for the old days to return. We were both well old enough to remember those times. I don’t think we ever thought for a moment we would see them again…and now we’d no longer be able to hide.
Pride again has its price.
I can only speak for myself.
We did not get lazy. We were fooled into thinking the majority of Caucasian Americans had moved significantly forward on social progress, and we got our clocks cleaned. It only demonstrates that we have much more work to do. We thought we would be the generation that could rest on the achievements of the original Civil Rights movement and the Stonewall generation, and we have been shown to be very much wrong.
We are now the new Stonewall generation. All of us, family and allies alike. The battle did not end. The opposition came out of their very dark closet and voted into office those who do not have our best interests in mind. I still hold to the philosophy expressed in my previous column, but I do see the need to stand a vigilant watch for each other's welfare.
The Tribe, which includes courageous allies, must form square and drive off any assault upon her kin…especially the youth who pledged loyalty to the Rainbow flag against all pressure to not do so. We may be going back to step one, but we have been there before, and we know how to climb back out.
Do not quit the field of battle just because the job got much harder. We are now Stonewall. We take courage from the generation who walked at Selma and fought at Stonewall Inn. We now fight for ourselves, for our friends from different backgrounds, and for the kids who will come out in the years to come.
I lived as a closeted bisexual male. I am now an open, loud-and-proud transgender Jewish woman who may be conservative in my politics but who has learned how to embrace my female side from my very liberal spouse and very supportive liberal friends. This loss is now my loss. This fight has now become my fight. I will not run away from it as I did last time. I will now openly stand with my tribe. My wife is one of us; my daughter is allied with all of us. My friends are fellow members of this sacred band.
I will now take up the challenge thrown to us by Alt-Right America and redouble my effort to gain full freedom. I will volunteer with HRC and TEP. I will volunteer to campaign for political candidates who fight for our cause. I will continue to be open about who I am, who I love and which team I play for. I will do this as a proud, politically conservative writer. Because I love my lesbian wife. Because I love and respect my liberal LGBTQI friends. Because now there is no going back.
As Winston Churchill probably would have put it: "Do you hear me? There is no going back! The fate of future LGBTQI generations now rests with all of us. There can be only one outcome in this coming fight…and that is victory. Victory over bigots, victory over misogynists, victory over homophobes, transphobes and all who wish to turn the clock back to the worst of American history."
I was inspired in my youth by bedside stories of the Battle of Britain and the total defense against total evil. I am also a passionate optimist who subscribes to a belief that demands I have faith in my G-ddess who protects all of us and to retain hope even in the darkest of times. I openly embrace my British heritage, my unrequested blessing, and this positive outlook on life, respectfully encouraging all who are in fear or mourning to please take all this to heart and prepare for better days.
Sweat, toil, openness, and pride will be key to our coming victory. I will do my part. I challenge all to do the same. Take courage in who you were gifted to be. Roll up your sleeves, and let's go to work together. It's going to be that very long hard slog we hoped to avoid, but love will win. They just cannot defeat us…family and allies together. We are far too strong.