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The Student News Site of Mt. San Jacinto College

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The Fight Isn’t Over

The Harsh Reality of the Queer Experience
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Andrea Jean-Roberts

Though our ancestors got out there and fought for our full integration into society, they always understood that the fight would never end for us. Since 2016, when Trump was elected president, the bubble of extremism burst, along with a swarm of false information and the resurrection of traditionalism. Transgender people have begun to face a vaster type of discrimination. Many never grasped the full extent or even understood our existence. As Americans learn more about us and propaganda explodes, Temecula, a rather right-leaning town, tends to make peculiar moves to eradicate our existence from blooming minds. 

As a transwoman who started her transition in the fall of 2016 at 16 years of age, no one understood my existence, and no one around me related. As you drive around, you’ll find many people holding signs that say, “One man, one woman” or “There are only two genders,” protesting against our existence. The Pride flag has been a hot topic, as the Temecula school board had set out to ban its presence in schools. ABC7 reported that “the Temecula Valley Unified School District board voted to adopt a controversial new policy governing the display of flags at campuses within the district.” Many people got out there and agreed with this notion. ABC7 stated that one person even said, “Do you know how children work? When they see something, they become curious,” another woman said, addressing the school board members. “When they become curious, they want to try it out.” There was one confident red-headed transwoman who got out there and bravely voiced her irritation and disgust at this recent ruling.

Deep in the hills of Wine Country, there is a sanctuary for queer folks that can be found. The Savage Ranch was founded by Love Bailey, an artist, musician, businesswoman, and author. You may have seen the viral video of Love, dressed like a siren office woman, defending the honor of the LGBT community.

I sat down with Love, and we chatted about the struggles of queerness in a conservative town.

When asked about the adversities she had experienced in the town, she recounted the struggles that the ranch had faced due to a racist and homophobic church. She wasn’t allowed to develop a plan for weed to grow on her own property, which would have been sustainable constant income. This church created the town association rules and even began attacking Love online.

She then went on to talk about a traumatic experience that took place in a grocery store where “this lady gets mad that I’m in the restroom and says why don’t you use your own restroom, you mentally ill person.” The woman then proceeded to attempt to hit Love.

We then talked a bit about what’s happening in these schools. Pride flags are being banned, and now kids are forcefully being outed to their parents.“What’s happening in these schools is causing kids to be kicked out of their homes, experience greater bullying at their schools, and be targeted with acts of violence.” It is unsafe for these children to not have a choice in coming out to their parents. You should never, ever force such a thing. This places children at greater risk of harm or displacement. Is it not dystopian? What do these people plan to achieve by outing teens or middle-schoolers? Why is this crucial, self-understanding part of adolescence and development the business of adults, especially adults who do not live with these children?

“Was it nerve-racking to get out there in front of the council?” I wondered.

“No,” she said, “I have been using my voice for a very long time… this only feels natural   to get out there and fight for our community.”

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 “Why is it important that we get out there and fight?” I asked her.

She said, “We have to stand up, even if it doesn’t affect us personally, because it affects everyone. We have to defend our democracy. The bigots want to call themselves freedom fighters, but they are actually doing the work of the oppressor.”

Since all of this had gone down, Love and everyone else who stood up and protested got a bigoted Temecula board member recalled. This is just one step but a significant step, nonetheless.

Love is an admirable woman. She represents the true essence of what it means to stand valiantly with your own community. She inspires self-acceptance and creative exploration. In a world where we are too familiar with the stress and anxiety of cultural erasure, we need more symbols of hope, more expressions of courage, and more acts of love. To all queer folk, if you are lost, confused, or seeking community, I urge you to seek Love. 

Instagram:@loveisbailey

Andrea Jean-Roberts

Astonishingly, we live in a society where many seek to tear down and erase all that once was fought for. Many people neglect to understand that our erasure and eradication will only be the beginning. When you let one community suffer under the weight of discrimination, you are saying to the oppressors that their behavior is okay. Do not ever neglect to see how the totem pole is balanced. Minorities are not separate. Even if you think we are, we are all one in the eyes of a historically oppressive archetype. Be wary of who you let become oppressed, for you never know if you may be next.

I am leaving you with this quote by Albert Einstein. “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

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About the Contributor
Andrea Jean-Roberts
Hello, my name is Andrea-Jean Roberts! This is my second semester at MSJC and I am an English Literature major. I am a writer and social media influencer. I am curious about people and the world. I want to express my observations through literature and other various outlets. Recently I moved back home after living in New York for three years. Living in a city occupied with a tremendous amount of eclectic figures and lifestyles created a thirst for understanding and learning about those that I, and maybe the public, may not fully understand. I am also more interested in the things that people may not want to fully see or accept about their own lives, or those whose stories or creations may inspire others. At the moment I am currently working on my first short story collection. I adore literary fiction and film. My favorite books are Franny and Zooey by J.D Salinger and Down the Drain by Julia Fox. When I have time to spare I enjoy running, vintage shopping, endlessly watching YouTube videos, or renting a plethora of movies and binging them with my cat Dahlia."
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