Why Your Resistance Needs To Include Queer Women

by Lea DeLaria
Sarah Stone

After the Women's March on Washington in January, Orange is the New Black actor, comedian, and activist Lea Delaria offered advice about how women could keep resisting the Trump administration long after the march. Now, in the aftermath of the Day Without A Woman strike in March, DeLaria is ready with another plan for resistance. Here's how she plans to keep fighting for all women — especially those in the queer community, as told to Associate TV Editor Martha Sorren.

I kind of wish we never left Washington after the inauguration. I kind of wish we’d camped out on the White House lawn the way they did on Wall Street and just never left. So, I feel we need to keep the pressure on as if we never did leave. But as we continue our state of protest, we cannot forget queer women.

I think when we talk about diversity, dykes should be included, especially when we’re talking about women’s rights. If we’re talking diversity, we are part of that conversation. I’m a proud and strong feminist who will always be visible and always be present and always be there for the fight, and I don't like being ignored. I don't want to see the feminist community split between liberal feminists, white feminists, and lesbian feminists. We need to remain together because we’re winning. We’re wearing them down. And we are doing that together. Women, trans women, queers, dykes, all of us together.

"No matter what they throw at us, as long as we all ... stick together, we can stop them."

You know, watching this administration, every day there's another horror. And just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. I think now should be a national protest time. There are enough of us to schedule protests that take over the city streets. That block traffic. We can go again and again, and we can do this every month — we really can. Mother's Day, Father's Day, Independence Day. But, I don’t know if that’s enough. Maybe it should be more than every month. We need to keep the pressure up, and we need to remain in their face. We could do that nonviolently, but staying on the sidewalk just screaming and yelling, I’m not sure if that changes anything. You stop traffic — that will do something.

Some people feel depression or pessimism about the state of things. But I feel strongly about my activism, about our protest. I’ve seen the world change in my lifetime in a way that I never, ever thought I would see. I’ve gone from a place where it was illegal to be gay when I came out, to gaining the rights I have now. We can have open discussions about who we are, queers are able to get married, anti-hate laws are on the books — I’ve seen those things happen in my own lifetime. It makes me think that no matter what they throw at us, as long as we all — trans, gay, lesbian, dyke, bisexual, queer, men, women — stick together, we can stop them.