Breaking the silence: On the 50th anniversary of the Washington Blade

“Lying is done with words, and also with silence.”

Adrienne Rich

Two daddies, their toddler and yellow lab go to brunch. On a bus, a grandmother on her phone reads in the Blade about drag kings.

At a stoplight, a 20-something man turns to his mom. “I like him a lot!” he says, “but I don’t want to marry him!” An ordinary

day in Dupont Circle in 2019 – nearly one-fifth through the 21st century. As unremarkable as air. Yet, unthinkable five decades

ago! Then, trapped in closets, behind closed doors — within ourselves — we didn’t dream we’d ever have such days.

In October 1969, months after Stonewall, the Blade began to unlock the lies that kept us locked in fear. Telling

our stories in the light of day. Not as bullies’ twisted lies or as we’d like to believe. But, truthfully. With the precision

of a laser beam – the sharpness of a sword. “Rare, Fatal Pneumonia Hits Gay Men.” Reagan refuses to say “AIDS.”

The 1993 Gay Rights March. Lesbians and breast cancer. Matthew Shepard. Love winning over hate: Edie Windsor!

Divas: Barbra! Cher! Judy! Laughter: giving us the guts to face the news! Wanda Sykes! Kathy Griffin! Families:

queer moms, dads, kids. Fifty years in, the Blade presses on. Breaking through the silence and lies. Happy Anniversary! 

Kathi Wolfe is a poet and Blade contributor. Her newest collection is ‘Love and Kumquats: New and Selected Poems, (BrickHouse Books)’.

Published at Sat, 19 Oct 2019 19:26:47 +0000