Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969. He has spent the last 20 years writing editorials on the struggles that lie at the heart of the LGBTQ+ communities attempt at equal rights. He has been at the forefront of many battles and while I do not agree with all his opinions, I feel his book is a mandatory read.   

First let’s get the places where I differ with him out of the way. One the title of the book while is eye catching seems to imply that achieving same sex marriage and a few other rights implies that we won the war for equality and as a trans-woman I just don’t feel that to be the case.   Secondly, he endorses the outing of people against their will and while that may be a valid choice if for instance a senator who endorses anti LGBTQ+ legislature is found to have had a homosexual relationship I do not feel that people like a relative of a governor should be off the table.   

That out of the way let’s get to the reason I think this should be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in promoting equal rights for the community.   History is something that can be too easily forgotten in this social media infused world.   A lot of people growing up now have never lived in a world where research into a disease killing thousands of people could be ignored or a world where they were allowed to serve in the military and even the right to marry a partner of your choice is taken for granted. He rightly makes the point that all of this could be taken away from us.     As I was reading through his editorials it took me back to the 2000’s when none of these things were foregone conclusions.   He makes the point about how targeted group efforts are the best bet for progress and sometimes it takes acts not just words of support.    Many of the things he speaks of can be used as examples of ways to move forward. 

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