|Thanks to Maggie Lally and Lisa Fane for the photo!|
Incredible as it may seem, we now have to write ourselves into history. (We will, it's all good!) There are always the deniers. New Yorks' Irish and Irish American influential homophobes spent many years denying the actual existence of Irish LGBT people, and many more years denying our role in Irish home and diaspora communities. Some might have been happy enough to admit Irish gay people existed, but Irish queers and political radicals had to be cast as outside agitators: never really Irish.
For those who never liked Irish queers, it's easiest now to pretend that the parade committee just had a change of heart. Easiest to pretend the change has nothing to do with a quarter century of protest against the smallness of imagination represented by the parade committee and its politically-wired supporters. The work of pretending away Irish queers, activism, and the gains of civil disobedience has already begun in some of the reporting on the end of the parade ban.
That's a silly pretense, but it's effective. Wherever that story sticks, it makes protest seem wrong-headed. Instead, it routes all conversations about injustice through the boardrooms and backrooms that have created the injustice in the first place. There we become people who wait for change, know our place, never question the set up, nor the foot that kicks us, as the song says.
So our work isn't done until we secure the history, and claim the victory for refusing to shut up when told, and working outside the channels of power.