Halloween is one of America’s favorite yearly activities. Unfortunately, Halloween can be America’s scariest, too - especially for those of us seen as costumes you wear rather than the human beings that we are. Asian Americans, Native Americans, blacks, and Muslim women in burqas, hijabs, and Muslim men in turbans with beards are frequent targets of race-themed costumes.
Black Christians give away forgiveness like it’s confetti, and white Trump evangelicals give it away sparingly, if at all. As an African American, the act of forgiveness appears to be our immediate go-to place in the face of unimaginable racial honor done to us.
Eighteen years ago America changed forever as terrorists commandeered four commercial airliners and purposefully flew them into the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon. The fourth jet was headed to Washington D.C.but crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after the passengers were able to overtake the hijackers. 2,996 people were killed that day, many LGBT people among them.
(Author’s note: the names of the immigrants described here have been changed to protect their safety.)
I met Juan I and Juan II while they were detained in Otay Mesa Detention Center, a San Diego immigration prison. Both are 20 years old, both are gay. Juan I is from Venezuela. Juan II began his journey north in El Salvador.
In 1969 the Stonewall Riots against legal police brutality towards our community inspired organizers in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego to hold “Christopher Street Liberation Day" marches or "Gay-ins" in 1970: the origins of Pride events as we know them today.