James Holmes

Is Refusing Service a Proactive Way To Change Minds?

Filed By James Holmes | February 23, 2012 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Antonio Darden, governor, New Mexico, Susana Martinez

My partner sent me this video yesterday, and I have struggled with how I should feel about it. In the news clip out of New Mexico, we meet Antonio Darden, a gay man and now former hair stylist to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, explaining why he chose to discontinue his professional services over the governor's stance on marriage equality.

My gut reaction was, "Hell Yeah! We should all get onboard with this and stop serving all elected officials that politically dehumanize our community. Show them our numbers and our strength. Say no to us, and we'll say no to you!"

But would this in any way win people to our side? I strongly doubt it. I know it would scratch that itch of bent up anger and frustration for awhile, but what else?

One of the most successful ways our community has changed minds is by coming out and sharing our stories - not coming out then shutting out our detractors. Darden had the most powerful person in his state in a chair in front of him with her full attention. Once he started snipping she HAD to listen unless she wanted to leave with her hair looking more like a work by Edward Scissorhands than politically correct.

Tell her your story. Tell her about your partner of 15 years. Humanize the issue. You literally have her in your hands!

Now she just has another reason to shut us out. If I have learned anything about Republicans over the years - it's that they tend to play snip-for-a-snip rather than turn the other cheek.

What do you think?

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