Saw this on Towleroad the other day and wanted to write something about it rather just pass it along, and then, as usual, the end of the week got so busy. You may have read the post I wrote earlier when the story of the vandalism broke. I read it directly after having been in Beaver Fall PA for a screening of Out in the Silence, and it struck me how, in small towns and big cities alike, we still have much work to do to counter intolerance. But it goes far past intolerance. This type of vandalism- where to some it seems acceptable to set fire to the property of others- is way past simple intolerance. It rises to the level of terrorism and intended intimidation.

So New York City is saying, we won’t be intimidated! We won’t be silenced.

There is a massive shift happening, that is both exciting and scary at the same time. gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders and our allies everywhere are starting to say, enough is enough, and that we will no longer sit back and be silent. Groups are forming like GetEqual which is confronting the old and established means of queer rights activism. Brave men like Dan Choi are handcuffing themselves to the fence at the White House. And the old established machinery continues to do the type of advocacy work, it has always done. These efforts are meeting, new work by the opposition.Our opponents continue to tell lies and misinformation, and some (many??) feel emboldened to act out violently against us/ Like torching a Pride flag, or brutally beating women and men. These confrontations will continue and increase, but I believe equality is worth it.

I do not mean to suggest that there are only two distinct and exclusive paths for activism- what appears to be the old and established methodology or a new in-your-face direct action. Some claim that the old way- give money to large organizations like the HRC and wait until federal laws are changed isn’t accomplishing anything. Others claim that direct confrontational action is counter productive. I do, however, very clearly do mean to suggest that if gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender women and men are to receive full and equal civil rights, we all must refuse to be intimidated and silenced. We must all become engaged- ourselves- individually as well as within groups. That engagement may take many forms.

  • Put a picture of you with your partner on your desk or cubical at work.
  • Send a check of support to an organization.
  • Sign a petition.
  • Talk to a neighbor, a co-worker, or someone who doesn’t know you or your story. Give voice to what the real life of a GLBT person is like.
  • Become engaged in the legislative process. Call and schedule a meeting to sit down with your elected official.
  • Give voice for your desire for full equality.
  • Get involved.

There may be a hundred different things that can be added to this list, but the important point is- do it. Don’t sit back waiting for someone else to do it.

NYC LGBT Center to Defy Hate Vandals with Installation of New, 20-Foot Rainbow Flag – Towleroad, More than gay news. More gay men.

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