When Did We Stop Fighting?
2 min read

As a young queer person, it’s easy for me to just walk down the road in a ‘stereotypical’ gay outfit and be seen as ‘normal’ or ‘equal’. Yet I sometimes forget to acknowledge the vast history that our queer ancestors left behind.

The marches that they undertook. The amount of social stigma and shame they received, the fact that once upon a time being gay was illegal. All so we could live in a world today without fear or prejudice. 

gay rights and law reform on 25 May 1985
A crowd marches in Wellington in support of gay rights and law reform on 25 May 1985. Photo: Evening Post / The Dominion Post Collection / Alexander Turnbull Library

So, when did we stop fighting and just start conforming? Was it after being gay became legal and we no longer had to hide who we were? Or was it when we earned the right to marry?


Why do we no longer fight and march to have our voices heard? Why do we feel this inherent need to conform to social standards? 

I can tell you right now we still have a long way to go within the queer community before we can be considered “equal” to our heterosexual counterparts, for example, here in New Zealand, sexuality and gender identity aren’t even recorded by the government in their 5-yearly census of all New Zealanders.

Queer people were outraged! As a result of this outrage, most of them took to social media. Where was the protest or boycott of the census? Where was the social outcry? Or is it because we now live in a social media world we feel the need to vent our frustrations via a Facebook post and get likes from our friends or a comment in support to make us feel better.  

I feel like the younger generation of the queer community have turned into social conforming beings. Why do we not feel the need to leave the house to protest the stigma still surrounding HIV/AIDS?

What about fighting for better access to gender-neutral toilets for those whom don’t conform to gendered norms or fighting for better healthcare and access to healthcare for transgender individuals?

What about stopping homophobia and transphobia in schools leading to an increase in teen suicide?

What about putting a stop to homeless queer and gender diverse youth?

New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt, 5th October 1991
New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt, 5th October 1991

I know if the older generation were still around they would be out there marching. Standing up to this injustice and fighting for the rights of those within its community who felt like they didn’t have a voice. Yet here we are safe inside our social media bubble too afraid and socially awkward to leave the house.

Instead, a Grindr notification seems to be more important to us than going out and taking social action. 

What happened to the once strong community that use to exist? … now it just seems like a forgotten piece of history, something that is in the books and can’t be accessed unless you go to a library. What happened to the fighters? 

Last Updated on Apr 17, 2018

The news team for Gay Nation love tips from our readers. Got tips or a news story that you would like published? Go here to tell us something.
Visit the Gay Nation store Now