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2000's and '10's
The 2000's and 2010's represent decades of success and discovery for the queer community. In the early 2000's the political needle began to inch towards queer acceptance as more and more states legalized first civil unions between gay and lesbian people and then marriage rights. In 2003 the Supreme Court ruled that it was no longer legal for any state to criminalize queer intimacy, banning so-called sodomy laws that had allowed police to enter someone’s home and arrest them for making love to their partner if they were gay.
For queer youth, the 2000's followed up the radical air of the nineties with cartoonists like Ariel Schrag and Mariko Tamaki depicting the pseudo-acceptance of the counterculture as acceptance became trendy in certain parts of the country. As a consequence of this and general capitalist forces, independent queer communities began to die off at the hands of larger corporations. Those communities were generally moved online allowing a level of communication and interaction that hadn't really previously been possible for queer people.
In 2015, gay marriage was legalized in all fifty states by the Supreme Court in the case Obergefell V. Hodges and queerness essentially became normalized. Despite large public opposition until as late as 2010, the fundamental right to marriage marked a solid starting point for further moves towards queer rights. The 2010's also saw a boom in transgender recognition as trans kids and celebrities entered the public eye and amassed recognition and systemized access to medical care that had previously been largely underground.
Queer people are still fighting for rights: legal protection from employment termination as a consequence of gender identity or sexuality only becoming ratified in 2020. However, things have consistently improved as a result of communication, political action, and bravery of those who came before us. It is the duty of those of us here today, whether queer or ally, to continue to fight for and protect the rights of all queer people as a community, since legal protection and recognition is significantly more tenuous than many people realize.