Perseverance will pay off in California next year. Restore Equality 2010 officially launched its petition drive along with a social networking site, today. The statewide group is a coalition of organizations committed to repealing the unconstitutional Proposition 8 which narrowly passed last November, damaging thousands of families in the state and destroying what could have been the election’s most prized lesson: prejudice and discrimination are a thing of America’s past.
No matter how you spin it, there is something for everyone in being an activist. Within the broad gay community, we have developed our own labels. Some of those labels cross the boundaries into the straight world, some are fairly queer specific. Queers United covers many of these gay phrases under “Word of the Gay,” which I link to several times in this post.
This listing was inspired by conversations with various people within the gay community about “assimilation” and the fear that the marriage movement is absorbing our “queer” identities. I disagree with that ideology, but that is not the point here. The point is, “I’m here to recruit you.”
I just spoke with Jeremy DaRos of RageAgainstTheRight.com who is attending the No On One Maine party in Portland at the Holiday Inn. Attendees are cautiously optimistic as numbers are slowly working their way in. Because Maine precincts are small, Jeremy tells us we can expect faster results than most states with large metropolitan city centers.
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.”
Perhaps the most annoying thing about helping protect marriage equality has been the state by state battles. The LGBT community at large has human resources available, but many of us can’t just get on a plane and fly to Washington, Maine or California to help our brothers and sisters.
Protect Maine Equality has come up with a wonderful way for all LGBT people in the U.S. – and I suppose even abroad, to help fight against those that oppose full civil equality – virtual phone bank!
Tonight I sat in a room with roughly 30 other members of my local LGBT and allied community listening as Joseph Garrett moderated the conversation, asking one question, “What would you like from a Community Center?” The list started fairly humbly with suggestions such as a visitors center, or a place for groups to meet. But as the list grew, so did the dreams of a community that has so often been forgotten. Eventually we had dreamed up a community center with after school programs, a nursing home for seniors, meeting space, offices for LGBT organizations, a place for LGBTQ kids to live should they find themselves on the street and an LGBT history museum.
As previously discussed, Springfield, MO, has a law in its books titled, “Solicitation by Homosexuals.” The law reads:
“It shall be unlawful for any person in a public place to invite, entice, persuade or to address a person of the same sex for the purpose of inviting, enticing or persuading such person to commit sodomy. Sodomy means any sexual act involving the genitals of one person and the mouth, tongue, hand or anus of another person.”
As you’ve likely heard by now, members of the LGBT community have been experiencing more and more acts of harassment for public displays of affection which have heretofore been allowed only if the couple is heterosexual. In El Paso, two men were told that, “faggot stuff” wasn’t allowed after they exchanged a kiss standing in line at Chico’s Tacos. In Salt Lake City, two young men were forcibly detained by security after giving each other a kiss on a prominent and high traffic promenade because of a kiss. In San Antonio, two women were asked to leave Rolling Oaks Mall after allegedly kissing in public. Even more recently, two men at Inferno, a wine bar in SAN FRANCISCO, were allegedly forced out onto the street and called derogatory names by the owner after exchanging a hug and a kiss at the bar.
Today would be Hart Crane’s 110th birthday. However, the American poet left this world at the young age of 32. One account of his death reads:
“Hart Crane was not yet thirty-three when he removed his topcoat and jumped over the rail of the Orizaba. It was just past noon, 250 miles north of Havana, and 10 miles east of the coast of Florida. ‘Man overboard,’ someone called and the Orizaba shut down its engines. For two hours the lifeboats circled in vain, then the ship resumed its voyage.” — The Lonesome Death of Hart Crane.