Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Civil Rights progress

There's an interesting thread over at another forum in which I'm an active participant. There was a news story about a high school student who shot another student because he wore a dress and make-up to school. One poster there believes that the cross-dressing student brought his murder upon himself because of what he wore. It's created good conversation.

The comment was also made that the sanitation strike was 40 years ago and that we've only made it this far in race relations. I believe we've made enough progress that most people are upset over this type of
behavior. Yes, there are a few Neanderthal out there who believe that
what we wear justifies us getting the crap beaten out of us or worse,

That we have many on that board who have effectively
shouted down those who believe the above statement tells me that we
have made progress. Yes, we have a long way to go but we're slowly
getting there.

I had a school/teammate in Jr. High that killed
herself because she couldn't accept her sexuality. She heard the talk
in the hallways. True enough, they weren't directed at her. Very few
knew her secret. I was one of them. But the talk about "queers" was
enough to affect her.

I have always maintained that those who
holler the loudest about "queers" are struggling with their own
sexuality. If you're secure in who YOU are then what difference does
it make what someone else is or does or says or wears?

getting there. But we--the gays and lesbians--have to take some
responsibility for our own progress. We have to come out. We have to
show our friends and co-workers and co-forum posters that we really are
pretty normal people and that the extremes (who seem to make the news
in disproportionate numbers) are not the norm. I am. My friends are.
We are Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers (and those numbers would startle
you), politicians, mothers and fathers. Our contributions to society
throughout history are enormous but they aren't being talked about.
Not like they should. Our contributions today aren't being talked
about because "gay" and "lesbian" still makes people uncomfortable.

have the same concerns that everyone else does. I worry about paying
for my kids' college if they go. I worry about making the mortgage
every month, paying my utility bill and gas bill while having enough
left over to buy groceries. I worry about having enough money for
retirement and taking care of my life partner. I worry about making
sure I have the right paperwork with me if I have to take my youngest
to the hospital just so I can make medical decisions for him. Do the
hets have to worry about that? I worry about having the right
paperwork so that I can make medical decisions for my partner of 20
years. Do married couples have to worry about that? I worry about
having the right paperwork so that if something happens to me, custody
of my oldest will go to my partner and if something happens to my
partner custody of my youngest will go to me. As current law stands,
the in-laws have more right to the children than we do. Do married
couples have to worry about that? If my partner survives me, she will
not get my pension. That doesn't happen with married couples. What
married couples take for granted, we have to plan for. There were 5
sets of legal papers we had to sign when we decided to have children.
I'd bet that most married couples don't have to go through that.

even with all of that, I still say we're making some progress. We
still have a long way to go. One day, we will be a none issue.
Probably not in my lifetime but hopefully in my children's. At least the conversation is occurring.

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