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I am dangerous for believing in LGBT Equality.

March 18, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Thursday, March 18th,  three LGBT activists were arrested. Lt. Dan Choi, Captain Jim Pietrangelo and Robin McGehee. It made more news than the 200,000 LGBT equality supporters made when they marched on Washington D.C. last October.

This is only the beginning. I will not wait any longer for my friends to have the equality and protection that they deserve.

I am not willing to wait for a world where LGBT children can grow up in a society where all of us know that they are normal. Where being LGBT is as different as being a redhead or left-handed.

I’m imagining a day where LGBT activists go into every legislative building in this country.

This is not a call for violence. This is a call for demanding equality. Citizens have the right to peaceful assembly to protest the actions of their government. We did that last October. Very little changed.

Some have called this a juvenile act that will set back the LGBT movement. A circus. A stunt.

Do we remember Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa, Mahatma Gandhi as juveniles?

If refusing to move off the White House lawn, Capitol Hill, an elected official’s office, a government building in order to stand up for what is right, results in me being arrested, I will wear that as a badge of honor. I will have accomplished something with my life. I will make my family proud of me. I will have harmed no one. I will be living my values, not just writing words on the Internet.

I’m straight. I’m a child of the sixties. Civil disobedience is in my blood. I’m going to be wearing comfortable clothes, comfortable shoes, have my cell phone, some cash and a jacket just in case. My civil disobedience survival pack is ready to go.

I would like to see the embarrassment on a politician’s face when an older, average looking, slightly overweight, mom-type gets hauled off by the police. Because I am so dangerous for believing in LGBT equality.

Now. Who do I visit?

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude, the author of this post, is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science.

GetEQUAL Goes to Jail, But Passes Go.

March 18, 2010 By: jaysays Category: DADT, Featured, LGBT Action Alerts, LGBT News, Uncategorized

Today, I learned that action is inspiring.  Tomorrow, I hope to learn that it’s also contagious.

As my facebook, twitter and email exploded today with little clips of the DADT Rally, I marveled at an act of well timed genius.  While the HRC was negotiating equality with the well-oiled political machine, the people were speaking.  Grassroots activists took to the streets refusing to negotiate their rights… our rights.

When the group of marchers reached the steps of the White House, Robin McGehee assisted Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo as they handcuffed themselves to the gates and demanded a repeal of the militant Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy established under the Clinton regime.  For her assistance, Robin was thanked with a set of charming silver bracelets becoming the first arrest of the day.

Simultaneous demonstrations were underway.  By 3:00 p.m. activists such as Kip Williams were staging “sit-ins” inside Nancy Pelosi’s offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. demanding an inclusive ENDA be taken to the floor for a vote.

But now tweets bounce back to Lt. Choi – he and Capt. Pietrangelo have been cut down from the gates and arrested.  My Spanish Novellas are suddenly much less dramatic than my twitter feed.  Gay, Inc. and their supporters are pissed and claiming that the jouvenile acts of today set us back, are immature and make us look crazy.

Now, not only do I have to wrap my head around one of the most important moments in LGBT History, I now have to think of it in terms of “politics.”  Am I not allowed to simply be proud of my brothers and sisters?  Must I now think in terms of political strategy.

But what has that political strategy been – what has it done for us at the Federal Level?  It’s the same kind of political strategy used during the Clinton Administration to keep him in office as an LGBT friendly president while allowing him to pass Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as a compromise to our rights.  It’s the same kind of political strategy used that allowed the same LGBT friendly Clinton to pass the Defense of Marriage Act.

I’m tired of negotiating my rights.  I will not stop until my personal life is deregulated.  It’s time to GetEQUAL.

Lt. Dan Choi, a CSPAN Camera Man and Duct Tape

October 12, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, iQreport, Thought of the Gay

Lt Dan ChoiPerhaps I’m stretching a bit, but there was a moment at the National Equality March that I will never forget. Perhaps I’ve made it more profound than it may have really been, but I feel the need to share it.  When Lt. Dan Choi, the U.S. soldier and Arabic linguist discharged under the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy, took to the stage to speak to the crowd, his mouth was symbolically duct taped closed.  He stood there for a moment, saluting the marchers before tearing the duct tape from his mouth and beginning his speech.  It was a moment of dramatic flare that spoke volumes.  Lt. Choi would not be silent:

As you’ll note, the video above was taken by CSPAN.  I just happened to be stationed right next to a CSPAN cameraman.  A couple of hours into the rally, the platform he was standing on broke and he came tumbling down.  Thankfully, he was not injured, but without the platform, he would be unable to properly direct the camera and capture the shots like those you see in the above video.

After examination of the platform, it was discovered that the locking hinge on one leg had broken.  A volunteer near by, a kindly lady that kept saying to the jaysays.com team, “Don’t rush the stage,” had the solution.  She grabbed a roll of the nearby duct tape and wrapped the hinge over and over, fixing the cameraman’s perch.

I found the moment very metaphoric.  Lt. Dan Choi used the duct tape as a symbol of silence; however, this volunteer used it to repair the cameraman’s platform and thus, make our voices heard.

Photos from the National Equality March

October 12, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Featured, iQreport

david mixnerI wanted to share some of my photographs from the National Equality March this weekend. I hope you enjoy them.  I met some fantastic people and had a wonderful dinner at The District Chophouse with Genia Stevens, Andrea, Lester Leavitt, Mickey, Jonathon, Jae, Elisa, and, of course, our very own, Jude.

We had a bit of time to just kick back and get to know each other in person on Saturday night, but Sunday came at us fast and there was a lot of work to be done.

The speakers were fabulous and a lot of memories were made.  Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing stories of those I met with video and photographs.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these photographs.  More photographs and videos from myself and the other iQreporters are available at http://iQreport.usfreedomring.com.

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