Colorado has marriage equality and legalized marijuana. When I was in Denver for the 27th Annual National LGBTQ Task Force Creating Change Conference, I suggested that the Task Force should sell specialty Colorado license plates. Under the snow-capped mountain logo, the tagline: “Marriage Juana?”
Speaking of taglines, after a year-long, goal-setting, soul-search, The Task Force has a new, minimalist, tri-colored logo and the tagline: “Be You”. Clearly “F You” has already been taken. Their preferred pronoun, ‘you’, is a bit too neoliberal and ruggedly individualistic for me. I’m more interested in what happens when a whole bunch of brilliant, fierce, furious LGBTQ activist Yous join forces.
The week before the conference, Denver police shot and killed a 16-year-old gay Latina, Jessie Hernandez. Instead of marching to the police station, conference activists honored the wishes of the family and held a memorial in her honor.
Young black and brown LGBTQ activists have kept visible the racist, police violence that has been kept invisible for years. Young LGBTQ activists have led the response in Ferguson. Three young queer black women started #blacklivesmatter. They spoke out at the conference. Their fury and frustration fueled every conference issue: transgender, youth homelessness, immigration, reproductive justice, and seniors.
I am wired, tired and inspired. The torch has passed to the next, next generation. Here are my conference take-away taglines: You’re on. I’m in. What do you need me to do?