October 18, 2009

My experience with the National Equality March - Part 1

October 11th, 2009 was an incredible day for many of us in the GLBT civil rights movement.

About 2 months ago, I joined several local and national organizers in planning a march on washington. It was called the National Equality March. About 30 of us met locally every week leading up to the big event. We talked strategy and we planned fundraisers, etc. We encouraged each other to reach out to everyone in our sphere of influence to try and get as many people as possible to attend this historic march!

Now, I know some of you may think, "Why bother? Nothing ever changes!". Or you might think, "Why go to DC when no legislators are going to be there?". I'll tell you why...

I decided to go on this journey because I have become tired of sitting by and watching others work for my civil rights. I live in a fairly metropolitan area. My partner and I are treated pretty well. We don't fear anyone hurting us for being who we are.

However, if I were to become sick and have to be hospitalized, I'm not sure my partner would be able to even visit me, much less be involved in my care. If I were to die tomorrow, she wouldn't get social security death benefits. If I had a pension, she wouldn't be entitled to it. It's not fair or just that someone who spent 16 years with me and loved me as any husband or wife would love their spouse should be treated as a virtual stranger by the system because we don't have the legal right to marry.

Not long ago, a transgendered woman and her friend were stabbed on the streets of Washington, DC. She wasn't trying to "flaunt" herself. She wasn't doing anything wrong. She was just walking down the street. Tyli'a "NaNa Boo" Mack was killed.

It's not right or just for someone to be harrassed or beaten or killed in the street because they look different or are different. It's wrong and it has to stop.

When I read the Bible, I don't see Jesus saying that we should treat everyone equally with love, except gay people or black people or Jews, etc. Jesus said to love our neighbor and to me, my neighbor is anyone I come across. We need to remember to love one another and leave judging to God.

So, I joined the March to speak out for all gblt people. I joined to let everyone know that I will not tolerate the hateful language that comes out of some in the Church. I will no longer keep silent when I hear someone say "those people" or "faggot". I won't do it. I don't care who you are, you do not have the right to be hateful or mean to me or anyone else. In America, you don't have a right to hurt me or anyone else because you don't like the looks of us or what we wear or who we hang out with or what you think the Bible says about us. Whatever the Bible says, it also says that God is love and that His followers need to be love to this world.

In my next post, I will talk about the process of planning the National Equality March. Thanks for listening!


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