First of all, thank you Jude for giving me the opportunity to talk about a social issue that is very important to me. I have been doing research and speaking about adoptive families with gay and lesbian parents since 2002. As, no doubt many of you know, there has been an abundance of research on families with gay and lesbian parents whose children emerged from previous heterosexual relationships or who were planned through donor insemination. The 20+ years of research on these families is uniformly positive and has certainly influenced the emergence of research on adoptive families.
October 11th is Coming Out Day. I can’t help but wonder what it is that prompts a gay person to come out. Especially in a place like a workplace, where your very livelihood is at stake. As a straight person, I can only imagine and I would never have the audacity to say this is something I know or feel. In last week’s Closet Talk interview with Jen Dugan, of the 1st Annual Nationwide You Are Loved Chalk Messages Project, Jen told her own coming out story and how surprised she was at the support. Many individuals told her that had they known, they would have supported her. She used the words “It goes unsaid.”
As part of our Heroes project for October’s LGBT History Month, we are delighted that Frank Voci accepted our invitation to write a blog about why he started White Knot for Equality. You might remember seeing actors from the movie Milk wearing white knots at the Academy Awards. If you are attending the National Equality March, we encourage you to wear a White Knot not only for yourself but also for others who could not attend. And make a few extra knots to hand out and make new friends. Why knot?
The National Equality March is just around the calendar corner, Sunday, October 11, 2009, in Washington D.C. Actually, there are events planned all weekend.
We know that there are many people who are going to the march. We also know that there are many people who would like to go to the Equality March but can’t. Either the timing is bad, they can’t afford it, or it’s too difficult to make the trip.
There are still ways that you can help. This message is for everyone, gay or straight. In honor of the eleventh of October, which is also Coming Out day, we have eleven ideas for you. Because ten ideas is so straight.
The National Equality March is coming soon. It’s just around the corner, October 10-11th. Thousands of people will gather together from all over the United States and many others will wish that they could attend. This coming together reflects a crystallizing moment in the LGBT movement for equal rights. The stars aligning if you will.
As a straight person who decided to start blogging about gay rights after Prop 8, I have gone through my own journey. While I had a few close friends who were gay, and I always felt quite welcome in gay social circles, I really knew very little about gay activism. And I really did not know that many people who were gay, even though I have had gay friends for over thirty years.
Caster Semenya, a young female athlete from South Africa, is making headlines due to genetic and hormonal testing that was performed when she was suspected to be male. Setting aside for a moment that she was tested without her knowledge and that the result should not have been made public, setting aside that I wish she had not dropped out and that this is a heart breaking story, I would like to take a moment to let you know that your high school biology teacher was wrong.
Maggie Gallagher of NOM, the National Organization for [Heterosexual Only] Marriage recently said:
“This is not an issue of free speech but of neighborliness. Fundamental decency requires that we treat each other with respect, especially when we disagree deeply on hot moral issues. Sadly, I’ve grown used to the reality that tolerance is now a one-way street for gay marriage advocates. It no longer matters how respectfully and civilly one makes the case for humanity’s marriage tradition.”
You see, Maggie is upset that people think she is a bigot. She is upset that people tell her that what she is doing is gay hate. Maggie just wants to be your neighbor. Because she has been respectfully and civilly making the case for humanity’s marriage tradition.
“I don’t care what gay people do, just call it something else.” As if the word marriage is owned by religion. Marriage is a religious word. Really? Then why does it appear on almost every form or document that you fill out? Should we have different sets of forms now? Civil unions, domestic partnerships, marriage. If the point is to have all the same rights, why have different names? I’ll tell you why. So straight people can call attention to gay couples. “No, I’m not married. But I am in a union. A civil union.”