As a perk of this blogging gig, I was invited to go to the preview of the new movie Milk last night. I am not allowed to review it until it comes out in two weeks, but I am going to say that watching the events of Harvey Milk's life reminded me why action is important today.
Didn't see these until the way out, but how VIP!
In the 1970's, every gay victory around the country was celebrated all around the country, and every gay defeat was a call to arms for every gay person everywhere. Each victory by Anita Bryant and her posse in Florida and other states spurred gays in the Castro to march in protest. And they fought hard, and they mobilized the everyday gay to get out and express his or her outrage. And their successes made the complacency of today possible.
Proposition 8 banning gay marriage in CA should never have passed, and I think everyone on our side thought it wouldn't. The loss was a huge wake-up call to gay and straight people alike who honestly thought we were on our way to a more progressive, inclusive America this election. The amount of outrage we have seen emerge about this says to me that gay people are finally realizing we need to assert ourselves if we want real equality under law.
Now let me be clear: I can barely get a gay date, so you can be sure as hell I have no personal interest in gay marriage. And I think Keith Olbermann is a FREAK for his whole "this is about love" commentary on MSNBC. This is about fairness. Commitment ceremonies are about love.
I will tell you this much though, I am fucking tired and a half with gay people being viewed as somehow less than fully human, and that needs to stop. It's bad enough I have to deal with all the self-loathing quasi-closet cases around town. I don't need my government overtaxing and underrepresenting us too.
I didn't live through the gay rights protests of the 70's, but I did watch the protests of Queer Nation in Boston and participated in ACT UP demonstrations in Washington, DC. I was in the March on Washington in 1993 and went to the biggest showing of the AIDS Quilt on the Washington Mall. I wasn't hardcore, but I was paying attention. But then - like everyone else - I stopped pushing.
Now we have another reason to push ... or rather push back. This weekend we can be part of a demonstration that lets people everywhere know it's really time to grow up about this. And we can be part of a demonstration that gives us a sense of solidarity and a stronger sense of ourselves. If you have never participated in a demonstration, you may find it does as much to change your inner world as it does the outer world.
I have come to a point where I feel it is absolutely imperative that as many supporters of gay marriage show up to protest on Saturday as possible. Gay people should obviously be there, but our straight friends need to show support too.
Please come with friends to the protest demanding marriage equality this Saturday, November 15, at 1:30pm at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in downtown Detroit.
We can dress up the Spirit of Detroit too.