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20 Queer Q's with Activist Jason Rosenberg

20 Queer Q's with Activist Jason Rosenberg

20 Queer Q's with Activist Jason Rosenberg

Get to know more about ACT UP NY and Queer Liberation March activist Jason Rosenberg!

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The 20 Queer Q's series seeks to capture LGBTQ+ individuals (and allies) in a moment of authenticity. We get to know the subjects, what makes them who they are, and what they value.

The goal of these intimate conversations is to leave you, the reader, feeling like you just gained a new friend, a new perspective, and that you learned something new about or saw a different side of someone—maybe someone that you don’t see online, but someone that’s maybe like you.

This week get to know activist Jason Rosenberg. Working with ACT UP NY and the Queer Liberation March, learn about what his queerness has given him, internet authenticity, his advice for queer youth, and more!

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Name: Jason Rosenberg

Age: 28

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His

Sexually Identifies As: Queer

What do you love about the LGBTQ+ community?

I love that we are always challenging ourselves, challenging our community, and finding ways to greater support each other and fight for liberation.

What are your thoughts on dating in the LGBTQ+ community? 

As a 28-year-old, growing up queer we would find community in online spaces like chat rooms. But as we progressed, we felt way too comfortable finding each other online and not in-person contact, which in some ways saved us at the time but now has really challenged us with finding intimacy and in-person contact with queer people. 

How did you feel attending your first Pride?

It was a year or two after I came out in college. I was visiting my uncle and he was in this facility called Rivington House on the Lower East Side. I asked my parents and uncle if it was okay if I snuck out and checked out Pride, and I think that’s how I think there is a connection between my uncle, who was a long-term survivor and had a lot of New York community. I didn't get it at the time that it was a significant moment, I was just sneaking off to check Pride, but it ended up being a vital fiber of who I am and the work that I do.

What does Pride mean to you?

It means celebrating our queer and trans elders that helped get us to where we are and who did life-saving work to have what we currently do. It’s also to remind ourselves that Pride is a protest, and we have work to do. It’s remembering that we cannot neglect parts of our community. We can’t have full liberation without Black liberation, we can’t have full liberation without trans liberation. It’s just reminding each other that we still have so much work to do to fight for each other. 

Who is someone you consider to be an LGBTQ+ icon?

I think Miss Major is a living, breathing veteran icon. She paved the way for so many issues including prison movements, the HIV movement, trans liberation. She is truly the epitome of someone we should emulate and someone we should not forget is a living breathing icon. 

What advice you have for LGBTQ+ youth?

To engage with our queer family, whether that’s online or in-person, and to show up to everything you’re physically able to show up to. It’s listening to everything, reading everything, and making sure that what you’re doing is intentionally radical and intersectional. It’s following the right people, showing up at the right places, and reading the right material that could make you better informed and ensure that you're putting yourself in the right way. 

Do you believe in love?

Sometimes.

What are the values that you look for in an ideal partner?

A sense of humor and someone who may not totally be engaged politically, but has the ability to be engaged and is patient.

Describe what being queer is like in 3-5 words. 

Loving, radical, resistance.

Does religion play a role in your life?

Definitely. I think our Jewishness is always tied to protecting others and fighting for liberation, so my Jewishness is always connected to movement work.

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What hopes do you have for the LGBTQ+ community in the future?

Beyond pandemic, we keep engaging in mutual aid and we keep showing up even when things open up and people have plans. I hope that people will keep giving and engaging in ways that are supportive, affirming, and important. That’s what I worry about with this pandemic is that people are showing up because they’re jobless or don’t have anything else to do. It’s something for people to do but I’m hoping people feel inspired and moved by people's words that happen year-round. 

What is something you want to change about yourself in the next six months?

I think one thing that I’ve learned in this pandemic is that, through the work, continually unlearning certain behaviors that can harm others that people don’t realize they’re doing, and challenging myself to be a better ally, person, and organizer. 

Fill in the Blank: When you think of comfort, you think of _________.

Community.

What is the title of the current chapter of your life?

Healing.

Do you feel that people are as authentic online as they are in person? 

No, I think it goes half and half. I’ve met some amazing people from online and have been able to connect with others from online. There’s been some great people I’ve met online, but then there’s definitely been some people that are less sincere about their intentions and you kind of have to navigate through that, which can be challenging, but ultimately, meeting people online has been rewarding. 

What are some deal breakers for you when dating someone?

If they don’t ask questions, they aren't a good listener. If they don’t treat service people with respect and don’t tip, a lot of behavioral things. Just respect people, be a decent person, and you’ll have my attention. 

Fill in the blank: In 5 years, I want to _________.

Be a better person. 

What are the values that you hold near and dear to your heart?

Listening to others and showing up.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who cared. 

What value/quality has being queer given you? What have you gained?

Radical love, showing our better selves, showing up for others, and having a really intentional and thoughtful way. I think we are the best community that shows that intersectionality is real without identity and all of our fibers of ourselves. We’re everywhere. Queer people are Jewish, Palestinian, Black, and trans. We are everywhere and we’re making sure that we’re seen by being visible, by being aggressive, loud, and just by pushing each other in ways that we didn't think possible. 

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Keep up with Jason and any protests or marches over on his Twitter and Instagram.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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