The gay rights movement is in the midst of a perfect storm. Hurricane Prop 8 has thrown our community into disarray. How we get out of this is the question that is on everybody’s mind. I propose that we start listening to and stop talking past each other as has been the case between the Pro-2010 versus the 2012 camps. As turbulent as it is while in the eye of the storm, we should keep in mind that there’s a rainbow after the rain.
Have we bothered to understand other people’s struggles without slight in the form of a dismissive arrogance of their point of view and minimizing their plight? If we can hold empathy, compassion and compromise in our hearts, we can truly engage and support each other in this Herculean task of winning marriage equality back in California.
At the very least, we must admit that the world does not revolve around the LGBT community, and, specifically, the burden of loss and the pain of having our civil rights stripped away is not the White LGBT community’s to bear alone. One would be hard press if we look at the Pro-2010 contingent with their go it alone at any costs mentality. The sacrificing of the most vulnerable of our community, people infected and affected with HIV and the POC LGBT community is a blind spot for most Caucasian LGBTs and is a demonstration of selfishness and self-centeredness to the extreme.
That, I think, is the root of our problems and a besetting weakness!
We all want and demand change, but CHANGE in and of itself is not some ethereal concept floating out there in space. Before we go demanding that people change their convictions, we have to change ourselves. That means that the gay culture has to change. Can we give up our tendency to be insulated and become a part of the larger society?
It’s a give and take! If we want acceptance and respect we have to earn it. If we want to join the larger society, we have to prove that we are worthy of it. Nothing transmits the message of love more than altruistic actions. Otherwise, our demands for change will fall flat on its face because it’s entitlement at best and hypocritical at least.
If there’s any consistency in human behavior, judging from my on the ground experience with regards to the complacency of the gay community during the No on 8 Campaign, gay men specifically, most if not all of us only concern ourselves with our preoccupation with the Dicks, the Dollars, the Drinks and the Drugs. We don’t have room to give a damn about anybody else if it doesn’t concern us and what we want. One would only have to look at the low turnout at Tuesday’s HIV/AIDS Protest at Pershing Square to see the latest example that Peter Pan is still unwilling to leave his ivory tower to come down to earth to join the POCS in the other good fight besides the gay marriage equality fight.
Right now, the Pro-2010ers don’t have much experience and they don’t have a plan. They don’t even know how to collect signatures to qualify for a ballot initiative. It’s scary to think that these newcomers hold they can steamroll the POCs and EQCA without having any kind of strategy or skills to get a ballot language qualified let alone run a successful campaign to win back marriage equality for California.