remember by R.Kane
You dancing with your boyfriend at that circuit party;
you two woman with your child in the park;
you in your leather drag riding the city bus;
you are our sons and daughters,
though few of us had children.
When I was a child we could be taunted with faggot,
queer, sissy, with impunity, beaten for it, killed,
and well, wasn’t it our fault after all.
So far as I knew we were them until I realized them is me.
Not much earlier in time we could be jailed just for who we are.
Honor those so brave to visibly be what you take for your right:
the Mattachine society, the Daughters of Bilitis,
Who disregarded “the love that dare not speak its name”;
the drag queens who battled the cops at the Stonewall bar,
so you can dance in your clubs without fear of arrest;
Act Up with their “Silence=Death”
who fought for research to save our lives.
You stand on the shoulders of those who came before.
Each generation ads it’s own level of accomplishment.
Walk the mine field mostly cleared for you.
There are those who would steal this from you and more,
your place in the world, your freedom, even your life.
In my adult lifetime we’ve gone from the self-hating
Boys in the Band to the banality of Will and Grace.
Ever earlier we we’re but veiled references or coded messages;
If we were truly mentioned we always ended very badly.
You have the traditions and rights those before have brought.
So where will you take up, what it is only you can say.
AKA Richard Kane