LGBTQ advocates need to get over their championship hangover

Ever since the momentous nationwide victory over gay marriage last summer, the LGBTQ advocacy community has not had its act together. To borrow a sports metaphor, we seem to be suffering from a championship hangover, where the winning team from the previous year starts the next season playing below expectations.

From the loss of Proposition 8 in 2008 through last summer, the LGBTQ community was a team of destiny. Even if we didn’t win every battle in every state, everyone could feel that victory seemed inevitable. Since then, though, the playing field has shifted and the community hasn’t been prepared to fight back. States like Mississippi have always been among the least LGBTQ-friendly in the nation, but there’s no excuse for losing something like the HERO (Houston Equal Rights Ordinance) referendum.

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If you stand for nothing, Marco, what'll you fall for?

In the almost omnipresent Broadway musical Hamilton, the titular character of Alexander Hamilton is often contrasted with his friend and rival, Aaron Burr. While Hamilton constantly advocates for his beliefs, regardless of their popularity, Burr always holds back, more concerned with ending up on the right side of a debate than the actual details within. As revealed in one of the musical’s standout numbers, what Burr really wants far more than any particular policy is to be in the room where it happens. He achieves that by switching parties and running for the U.S. Senate against Hamilton’s father-in-law. When Hamilton confronts him about it, Burr doesn’t even seem to understand what he’d done wrong, saying that he’d merely seen an opportunity and taken it.

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