When you dream of an ideal world ― one that you would truly, emphatically wish to live in, what does it look like? What does it feel like? How do people live together there? How are wealth and power distributed? How do people find happiness and meaning within their day-to-day lives?
Questions like this are at the heart of The Future Is Queer, HuffPost’s theme for LGBTQ Pride month 2018, which presents queerness not just as an identity, but as a conscious commitment to take action in our lives, our communities and across the globe.
Of course, It’s hard to envision the future without reflecting on the past and considering the historical triumphs and traumas of the LGBTQ community that have brought us to where we are today.
The past decade has played host to some hugely transformative developments for queer people in America, from the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to the legalization of same-sex marriage and increased protections for transgender people at the state and federal levels. But as we consider “what’s next” for queer people, it’s largely about defending, expanding and solidifying that progress and considering the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community ― and our LGBTQ brothers, sisters and siblings around the world. It’s also about conceptualizing the idea of queerness more broadly ― beyond just a mode of self-identification.
As I’ve grown and evolved over the last decade, I’ve come to conceptualize queerness as extending beyond merely embodying or talking about sexual orientation or gender identity or what it means to be part of the LGBTQ community.
To me, queerness can also be understood and experienced as an intentional way of living one’s life. It can be an active undertaking ― embracing the intricacies of the world and questioning the absurdity of “traditional” and restrictive attempts to police human experience. And ultimately, it can be imagining and living out alternative ways of thriving in a world that was not built for us.
For all of these reasons, HuffPost’s coverage for Pride month this year is a meditation of sorts on the question: What does a truly inclusive and equitable queer future look like?
Throughout this month we will be publishing stories across our site that seek to represent the broad spectrum and infinite nuances of LGBTQ experience. We will also spotlight 30 different LGBTQ cultural influencers who have challenged and continue to broaden our understanding of queer issues and their relationship to the world.
We’ve come so far in our journey to achieve equal rights but now, more than ever, we’re still fighting for a world and a future where everyone values the lives and well-being of LGBTQ people; where people are free to understand and embrace their own identities outside of outdated and binary ways of thinking; where the young people who make up the queerest generation ever can make a real, tangible impact on the world; and where queerness and being different is seen as something to be celebrated.
We hope that a statement like The Future is Queer ― and all of the possibilities that exist within it ― can in some way help any LGBTQ people who may feel isolated, lost or broken. What’s more, we hope it can inspire and encourage all of us to imagine ― and fight for ― a world that we all want to share and take part in.
Follow along with HuffPost’s Pride Month coverage here.