The Power of #QueerSelfLove

(awesome article image used with permission from @arucelli )

“People are taught to hate queerness and many queer folk have been taught to hate themselves. It is a dangerous and destructive pattern that feeds itself like a vicious cycle. “ —Dylan Marron, creator of #QueerSelfLove

I first saw writer / creator / actor / activist Dylan Marron perform at the New York Neo Futurists. He wrote a frantic one-minute play satirizing TED talks, in which he breathlessly marched all over the stage, aping the “trendy young CEO” gestures that we are used to in every every tall white cis man who has something terribly important to teach us. Music begins to drown out his words, which slowly evolve from bland, privileged statements to a desperate cry to be heard — the less we hear him under the music, the more important his words. To me, this illustrated perfectly the crystal clear platforms those in power get, even to speak about disenfranchised groups — and the rushed, often drowned out voices of those whose life experiences are directly touched by oppression. Like any good piece of theatre, it spoke to me about my own lived experience, but also spoke to people completely different from me.

“As a queer man of color I am too well acquainted with the harassment I get simply for existing. The taunts of high school bullies don't disappear, they just transform into sidewalk threats, media talking points, and sometimes even laws. My husband and I no longer hold hands in public because the threat to our safety became too great. Yes, even holding hands with your spouse can even be a dangerous act. There is an undercurrent of homophobia, transphobia, and femmephobia that is almost intrinsic to our society." —Dylan Marron

We — and by we, I mean people who need their stories told as well as people who need to hear stories they can never directly relate to — rely on artists like Dylan to see ugliness and react with beauty. To see hate and counter-attack with love.

I asked Dylan why #QueerSelfLove is so important.

“I was rocked by the Orlando massacre where we lost so many of our queer siblings, mostly queer people of color, people who looked just like me, who dared to love themselves and each other out loud in a world that told them not to. They can no longer speak for themselves, so I figured that to honor them we should love ourselves out loud, fully and unapologetically." —Dylan Marron

I saw Dylan’s own spearhead into this project:

Immediately, I had to add my own.

And within hours, a flock of incredible images and words followed, more diverse, truthful, and powerful than any stock image meant to represent us, or Hollywood actors dramatizing our experience. This is our rainbow brigade. Our self love is revolutionary. Here are some of the wealth, and some of the geekier tweets, some from our own Geeks Out staff: if you need healing and uplifting.