Rantz: WA Fish and Wildlife LGBT Pride tweet saved my life
Jun 4, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Jun 5, 2023, 9:38 am
(Photo from Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife)
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s LGBT Pride tweet saved my life. And its leaders deserve the credit they’re so desperately asking for.
Many of you don’t know this about me. But I never felt comfortable being outdoors. Sure, the idea of sweating and panting through a hike while hoping I don’t get an asthma attack sounds awful. And I think I’d vomit if I had to put live bait on a hook before casting a line (or a rod, or whatever that fishing thing is called) into the waters. But I’ve always wanted to be one with nature. I just never felt like I belonged because I’m gay. Thankfully, that’s all changed.
The WDFW posted a tweet that changed everything, single-handedly telling me what I never knew: everyone belongs outdoors!
WDFW believes everyone belongs outdoors. pic.twitter.com/FElKXb8ScT
— Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (@WDFW) May 30, 2023
LGBT Pride tweet tells me I can go outdoors
I did not know that I, as a gay man, belonged outdoors.
I always thought the outdoors was an exclusive space for straight (and white!) people. After all, we live in a heteronormative culture. It’s steeped in heterosexual supremacy thanks to the patriarchy or some other progressive buzzword that proves I’m woke on social justice causes. Surely, I couldn’t go hiking as a gay man! The second I’d take a foot on a trail, I’d be hounded by Westboro Baptist Church protestors or be chased by a homophobic squirrel.
But thanks to the WDFW, I now know that I belong because of a virtue signaling, pandering tweet posted solely to be a part of a movement proving the department is run by inclusive staff members who care about me solely because of my sexual orientation. Instead of being insulted with anti-gay slurs while hiking, I’ll only have to suffer through anti-conservative insults and anti-Semitic attacks (I mean, I do live in Seattle).
Nature is therapeutic and contributes to a happy and healthy life. I think I can honestly say that I owe my life and well-being to WDFW (for at least the month of June when they pander to me).
Let the pandering begin
June marks the start of LGBT Pride around the country when corporations change logos to look like the rainbow flag, straight politicians don “Love is Love” t-shirts, and government workers take over its social media channels to declare their support for the LGBT community.
It’s easy to dismiss these logo updates and proclamations as a way to give like-minded corporations our business and earn social currency. But you’d be foolish to think this is merely a way to get attention. After all, they care for a full month. Frankly, it’s offensive to assume these companies, politicians, and government agencies don’t care about the LGBT community for the 11 months out of the year when they don’t suddenly turn into Pride-themed brands.
I’m also grateful for the politicians who tell me that they care during LGBT Pride. Their messages are brave. Sure, they could just care about the community without demanding attention for caring about the community, effectively begging for credit and implying I wouldn’t have rights if not for their activism, but that wouldn’t be meaningful, would it?
Happy Pride Month! And if reading that phrase bothers you, then take your hate and shove it.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 1, 2023
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