I started my morning in L.A. rush hour traffic listening to Congressman John Lewis talk about his experience of being stopped on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by state troopers as he and other fellow Black Americans marched for the right to vote followed by Dr. King's speech about Bloody Sunday and the march for freedom, "Their feet are tired, but their souls are rested."
Civil rights movements are long and hard. In the LGBT equality movement, which includes the simple right to exist, to express our true selves and to love openly, we have had many casualties. Some of our fallen are remembered, like Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepard, Brandon Teena, Tyler Clementi. Others we will never know.
Every civil rights fight exacts a toll on those who participate. We have been subject to hate speech, physical brutality, public scrutiny, shamed, denied the right to simply pursue happiness with the guarantees of our equal protection, etc. Yet, even still, there is always something redemptive in our personal sacrifices, in our refusal to let the status quo of discrimination remain.
We can feel rested in our souls if we continue to do everything we can to stand up for full equality, dignity, and respect for ourselves and fellow LGBT Americans. I continue to call on all LGBT and fluid people to courageously come out of the closet and boldly exclaim the love your heart beats to. I call on all non-LGBT people to continue to boldly show your support for the many beautiful ways love shines its light! Engage in pro-LGBT equality conversations, put another bumper sticker on your car, post a rainbow or pro LGBT picture on your FB page, show up at a rally, join PFLAG or Straight for Equality, make a donation to a pro-LGBT rights organization.
The march for LGBT human and civil rights is a long one, far from over! Today alone our hearts cry out in outrage over the brutal beating of a young woman in Alabama. Our hearts cry out against the injustice in Uganda where a bill to execute Gay Ugandans and their supporters gains momentum. Our hearts cry out for justice in our U.S. court system. Prop 8 violates the mandates of our constitution, yet it has been allowed to remain on the books for 4 years, denying Americans the guaranteed freedom to marry. DOMA denies LGBT Americans access to 1,138 federal rights.
We must continue to demand the liberty and freedom that are our birthrights as Americans. Even more than that, as I sit here writing from a café across from Sony Pictures Entertainment and listen to a writer pitch an idea for a new movie or TV show, it hits me again how invisible LGBT people are in the mainstream media. Our love stories rarely told. I think about all the young people who killed themselves last fall and the dearth of boy meets boy and girl meets girl love stories in the motion picture industry. I for one want to see more same-sex romantic comedies, not just harrowing dramas or stories with one isolated gay teen or a neutered gay male best friend. Seeing images of the beauty of same-sex romances and love is part of the new frontier of LGBT equality.
I look forward to celebrating the repeal of Prop 8 with you on Monday!
With liberty, equality, and romantic comedies for all!