Bobby Berk uses plenty of bricks to remodel the homes of Queer Eye’s heroes, but he might be picking one up for a more political purpose. According to Berk, we need more riots like Stonewall — you know, the one that jumpstarted the contemporary LGBTQ+ rights movement — in the age of queer complacency. According to Berk, the liberties queer people have achieved “are in danger now that the cloak of ‘religious freedom’ is being used to attack us.”
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Berk explained that “even though we have come forward, in a lot of ways we haven’t. We’ve fallen backwards in a lot of ways. In coastal cities we’re ahead of the times, but in Middle America we need more Stonewall riots — not violent, but definitely to keep up the fight.”
Berk says that folks like him, who have large platforms, need to use them. “With more visibility comes acceptance.”
The Fab Five’s resident contractor hopes “we pass enough equality laws that even conservative judges have no choice but to uphold them.” He added that “the only way to ensure our rights continue to grow and be secure is to get out there and vote and not be complacent. Don’t think other people’s votes will count for you, you need to vote yourself.”
Berk is right in saying that we still have a long way to go when it comes to queer rights — we don’t just need to worry about the rights we’ve gained being rolled back, we need to realize that those rights benefit the most priveleged members of our community. Sure, it’s scary that marriage equality is under attack, but we have it. Meanwhile, five trans women have been killed or found dead this month alone — where are the laws protecting them? Berk is right in saying our rights need to continue to grow, but that growth needs to center the most vulnerable in our community.