Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sorry Tina, We DO Need Another Hero

When you stop and realize that the gay rights movement is really only about 40 years old, it's amazing to see how far we've come.  

GLBTs have battled against discrimination on the federal, state, and personal levels.   We've fought against those who called us abominations and a class of people out to corrupt children.   We have, as a community, fought against a disease that ran rampant through our ranks and all the while...each decade, each year, each day have managed to look fabulous while doing what we do as Out Gay Americans.

One of the main problems I see with the Gay Community today, is we lack cohesiveness.   When the movement began, we flocked to protests, rallys and demonstrations against the likes of Anita Bryant, and the Briggs Initiative (and eventually the US Supreme Court and a President who won office by villifying us all over again). When AIDS reared it's ugly head, we rallied against a common enemy and found our strength, our voice and our dignity.  We did all these things, and more, without a governing body of gayland.  We had no mayor, no figurehead, no vast organizational machine....and yet we perservered because of hero's like Milk, Larry Kramer, Phillis Lyon & Del Martin, Lawrence V Texas, and the innumerable queers who though their names fail to appear in any accounts, attended the marches, and lived their lives to the best of their ability...openly and proudly.

Where are our heros today?  

I believe apathy is the enemy.   I read about present day queers "shedding gay labels", causes and stereotypes.   Assimilation has become the mantra, but at what cost?  Because life has become arguably 'easier' for today's gays, many have adopted the attitude of just not caring. 

Of course the picture isn't completely bleak, we do have our notables.   A handful (maybe) of stars who are out and proud, although I can only think of Ellen as being the one who came out willingly.   There are a couple high profile politicians who are out as well but their first loyalty is to their constituents (or it should be).

So where are our Harvey Milks and Phillis Lyons of today?  

The National Equality March in DC is coming up the weekend of  October 9-11, and it's going to offer a myriad of activist training workshops, memorial services and of course that big march and rally on the West Lawn. 

Are you going to be there?   If not, have you written and called your elected officials to let them know they are also representing you as an out and proud citizen?   Have you donated to the cause?

Here's the deal folks...if we become apathetic, we're going to lose more rights than you or I could comprehend right now.   If WE don't care, who will?

Right now we do in fact need another hero..........will that be you?


Larry Ohio said...

Greg and I will be there. Wouldn't miss it. And I just got through talking with a friend from Oakland, Cal. who's going to be there with his husband. It's time to get excited about this. Two and a half weeks to go!

kris gilman said...

I have to say that I really like your writing and this post rings so true about needing heros. I wish we could go Geoff.

Kelly said...

AMEN!!! Very well said... I hope and look forward to being there...

Brooke Santor said...

At first I was like "what is this white boy doing, telling ME what is and waht isn't"? But I must say that you are right on. I was on the fence about going but the more I think about it the more you are indeed right Mr Geoff and there is no question as we should all be there. Sending a bodyhug your way.

Charlie said...

If being a gay hero means being out then I think it becomes a tricky subject. I am out but I wonder about those who cant be because of their job or being forced into a marriage because of the time they grew up in. Then again, I think you are right so scratch all that. We all bear the responsibility.

ConfessionsFromATrailerPark said...

5 of us are going! This will be my first anything. Wishe me luck!

Marcie Allen Stein said...

I tried to get a number of people to go with but they all baled. (which sucks!) But I like your suggestion about writing the politicans and calling them. A double whammo like that should spell out some support!

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