November 19, 2008.
There is a TV quiz show in which the contestant is asked, “Is that your final answer?” It seems that for many newcomers to the homosexual community — most of whom have no idea about the movement — gay marriage is the only answer and question.
And apparently these shallow citizens, most of whom have never been activists nor given much thought to the issues of being homosexual unless they have been harmed by their family or other students, have thought about running away to Canada or some “paradise” for “gays” after hearing of the anti-gay vote in California, Arizona, etc.
Like all Americans, these citizens would not enjoy what this nation has to offer — nor would there be a nation — if our founders had thought and acted as these young citizens are. It took brave people to even start this nation and the civil rights movements of America, for Blacks, women, homosexuals, etc.
Thinking Americans, and certainly Black Americans, are saying, as we prepare to have the first black American president, that it took Rosa Parks on a bus, and Dr. King and others walking and sitting, to get Barak Obama to the White House (which black slaves built). Where are the homosexuals saying that we have gotten to almost having marriage and not having sodomy laws because homosexuals in the 1950s and every decade since met in secret, and and published a magazine in public, and fought legal cases and picketed newspapers, and talked on TV shows — to get gay marriage today?
And every step of the way there were those, in and out of the movement, who complained that we didn’t do it the right way, or we were using the wrong term, or we chose one aspect to work on rather their “their” issue, or that by pushing one issue, such as homosexuals serving openly in the military, we harmed some other problems. We were told to never deal with young people as it would make us get accused of molesting children. We were told to not attack churches or religion as that would make us enemies. We were told to try to “get along” with the “helping” professions as they would cause trouble if we attacked them — as if psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, attorneys, etc. were not already harming us — sending us to mental hospitals or making money from counseling us to change us, etc.
So here we are in the 21st century with no sodomy laws, major corporations giving us equal treatment, gay-friendly media for the most part, with community/movement organizations and publications serving every aspect of our lives; young people (GLSEN), The Point Foundation, LGBT groups at most colleges; the military (SLDN, Palm Center); legal issues (Lambda Legal, GLAD, NCLR); religion (Dignity, Integrity, Affirmation, Kinship); community service (LGBT centers in every major city; resources preserving the history of how we got here: Quatrefoil (Minneapolis/St Paul), Gerber Hart (Chicago), Stonewall (Fort Lauderdale), Lavender (Sacramento), ONE/HIC and Mazer (Los Angeles) etc.); and professional groups for medical doctors, anthropologists, police officers, journalists, politicians, etc.
What all of these resources have to do is know themselves. Sadly, we get little more on our subject from gay and lesbian journalists than we do from general journalists. What good has LOGO done for our knowledge of homosexual issues? And the same incompetent “news” we get from the 24/7 news shows is what we get from most g/l news sources — only the “current” celebrity and issue coverage. We have no long term thinking. We get 24 hour coverage on gay marriage while we hear little about other issues.
Our cause has made constant progress since 1950 no matter who was president, or how friendly the media was, and with unpaid workers. Why have all the highly paid “professional gays” at HRC, The Task Force-once honestly known as the “Gay & Lesbian” made less progress than we did — most major changes had started even before Stonewall. And it seems a few unpaid bloggers can reach more homosexuals and organize a major event in less than a week than well-paid staff can in years.
So onto the Internet, and unpaid but concerned people who care about being equal. Back to basics, such as knowing what homosexuality is. Knowing where each issue in our community/movement is on the totem pole. And knowledge that we don’t quit and run if we lose a battle in the war for civil rights.