But I got inspired to say something tonight.
I was watching Bloodsisters tonight. A constant theme in this landmark documentary is how the Leather Dyke scene had to fight so hard to get to where they were that day. That constant activism was and is needed in order to allow us our freedom to seek out our pleasures in life. Pat Califia spoke very candidly about his history in the scene, how much he had to fight, and how he became a champion for social change.
And then he expressed an interesting point. He talked about young dykes who were coming out and could step directly into their leather lives without the fights and struggles within the self and with greater society as in years past. And then Pat said it... it took him back, but then he was able to feel pride because his struggles for social change had succeeded - that he enabled future generations to live their lives to their fullest and with their own definitions.
The ability to define ourselves. To define our lives. To define our lifestyles, and our desires, and our very inner beings.
This is what frustrates me the most about the constant old vs. new debates. Why I feel so hurt by my elders when they try to kick me down.
Because they don't realize that in some very magical, important ways, they won.
I'm 32. I didn't have to fight the sex wars. I wasn't alive during the great Summer of Love. I was 3 during the 1st March on Washington in 1979. I was 11 for the second in 1987, the first to have a major SM/Leather presence. I was in high school during the 3rd in 1993, still not knowing the leather community even existed.
But my elders, and the elders who I struggle against at times, they were there. They marched, they fought, they spoke, they rallied.
And they did it for me. And you. So that we could be included. So that we could be recognized. So we coud live our lives peacefully with our own definitions.
So whenever someone goes their own way, does their own thing, creates their own style and traditions and way of life - we celebrate your victories. We are the result of your efforts. We are the living expressions of everything you fought for.
Maybe we don't say thank you enough. That might be true. So allow me to say it here - thank you. Because of your amazing efforts, I am allowed to live my life.