We All Matter

For the last century, queerness has become a larger part of the public conscious, gaining traction in civil rights and media representation at a steady rate since the 1900’s. This has especially been the case in New York City, which has a long history with the LGBTQ+ Community. From the Stonewall Riots of 1969, to the protests towards political apathy during the AIDS/HIV crisis, to the legalization of same-sex marriage a full four years before the Supreme Court decision of 2015. We’ve been fighting for an equal place in the world for years now and we’ve made such progress to make this world a more accepting place for any person who identifies as LGBTQ+.

 

But the problem is that it’s not enough, and that’s precisely why this ecology matters. Despite this progress that we’ve made and the rights that we’ve had to fight for, this ecology and the world as a whole isn’t safe enough for people who don’t identify as heterosexual. Queer people are still up to four times more likely to attempt suicide within their youth, and discrimination against us as a whole hasn’t magically stopped with the national legalization of gay marriage in 2015. Even just a month ago, the federal government under President Trump declared that transgender people don’t even get to go into the bathroom of their own choosing.

 

You might be thinking that this doesn’t really matter that much as New York City is such a sanctuary for queer people, and that it doesn’t matter what happens out there as long as our population is safe. However, nothing is as self-contained as it seems. Political dispositions, moods, and ideologies flow between entire populations, as affect does. As described by Teresa Brennan in “The Transmission of Affect”, “…indeed the transmission of affect means, that we are not self-contained in terms of our energies. There is no secure distinction between the ‘individual’ and the ‘environment’” (6). What happens in the outside world affects us and gives us affect as much as we affect them. Just think back to the Stonewall Riots of 1969; those protests gave motion to national changes in policy across the entire nation. With a single spark in such a small area, affect was created and spread throughout such a wide group of people, and this is especially accentuated within the digital age where materials can become viral in a mere instant.

 

The matters within my ecology, from the historic buildings to the current queer populations and advocators, will be utilized in my site in order to inspire people to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community so that queer youth will receive the basic human rights we all deserve. Combining these current emotions along with the historical contents will create affect that will call people to action, as Brian Massumi says that “The body [when experience affect] doesn’t just absorb pulses or discrete stimulations; it infolds contexts, it infolds volitions and cognitions that are nothing if not situation” (30).

 

We cannot allow ourselves to believe that the severe mental health issues that are so strongly associated with the LGBTQ+ community are the results of only individuals. In “Nuclear Wasteland” by Valerie Kuletz, she states that “Efforts to individualize the nuclear problem effectively mask the real social nature of nuclearism and constitute a mechanism of exclusion on a mass scale, in effect saying “radiation doesn’t cause cancer, (individual) people do” (87). As she explains that people tried to blame individuals for the negative effects of the situation rather than the larger systematic issues that caused it. This is highly unacceptable. We shouldn’t build a world where people feel like they are second class citizens because of who they love or how they identify themselves. In the end, we need to know that we all matter.

Brennan, Teresa. The Transmission of Affect. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2004. PDF.

Massumi, Brian. “The Autonomy of Affect.” Cultural Critique, no. 31, 1995, pp. 23–43.

Kuletz, Valerie. “Nuclear Wasteland.” The Tainted Desert: Environmental Ruin in the American West. New York: Routledge, 1998. N. pag. Print.

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~ by leonardjsantos on March 26, 2017.

One Response to “We All Matter”

  1. This is an extremely successful blog post. Right off the bat, in the first paragraph, you provide contextual and factual evidence to just a fraction of the struggles and triumphs that the LGBTQ+ community has encountered, evoking an empathy from your audience towards the issue and the ecology. You then utilize that empathy to explain in the later paragraph why this ecology is important, providing even more factual evidence to back the claim that the LGBTQ+ community and all that it endures and suffers is important to recognize and take action for. When you incorporated outside sources, you did so beautifully, directly relating them back to the importance of your ecology. Great job.

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