QUEER HERE AND NOW: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN THE 21st CENTURY
The first decade of the 21st century brought new challenges and familiar controversies to Bloomington's LGBT communities, while also creating new opportunities to consolidate previous gains and strike out in new directions. The contested presidential election of 2000, and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, made it seem all the more imperative to many in the LGBT community to link issues of sexuality and gender to a more encompassing resistance to U.S. governmental policies at home and abroad, in an era defined by new concepts of "homeland security." New wars in Afghanistan and Iraq heightened the debates about gays in the military; the right-wing's rabble-rousing in the 2004 presidential election intensified debates about gay marriage; and economic instability fractured LGBT alliances along lines of class, identity, and political ideology. The election of Barack Obama in in the 2008 presidential election unleashed a welter of conflicting responses that ranged from radical leftist cynicism about the perceived failure of his progressive promise, to disappointment that he was not the "fierce advocate" of LGBT civil rights that he had proclaimed himself to be, to increasingly violent actions and rhetoric from the reactionary right. In the midst of the most tumultuous social climate since the 1960s, GLBT life in Bloomington continued unfolding in its own ways, building on existing conditions to address local concerns while grappling with a rapidly changing world.