As 2011 comes to a close, I can’t help but look to the new year with hope (and maybe a little desperation). This year has seen a lot of positive change in the LGBT community — and just as many heartbreaks. I’m hoping that 2012 will bring more in the way of advances in LGBT equality and far less in the way of setbacks.
As I write my final post of 2011, I wish for one important thing: true equality for all LGBT citizens.
I hope that the good people of these United States will ultimately figure out that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is not a lifestyle choice but rather, an identity. It’s no different than identifying as heterosexual. I hope that those who have supported LGBT rights will fight harder this next year to educate those who continue to rally against the community.
I wish that politicians would stop fueling their campaigns on discriminatory anti-gay issues. If I hear one more politician promise that he or she will fight to the death to make sure gay couples can’t marry, I will shoot myself. Well, maybe I won’t shoot myself (that could hurt) … but I will most definitely scream.
I wish that people would understand that civil union and domestic partnership is not the same as marriage. I also wish that those same people would understand that heterosexuals aren’t somehow more deserving of the marriage vow. Actually, truth be told, I’m wishing that we could just tell the homophobic heterosexuals that they can’t get married any more … they will hence forth only be allowed to enter into a civil union. Marriage will be reserved for non-homophobes only (which includes lesbian and gay couples, of course). Ha!
It’s my blog and I can dream if I want to.
[Forgive me for badly paraphrasing Leslie Gore’s 1963 hit song]
Folks, I spend a lot of time every week pondering ways to make every citizen understand that equality is the right of every human being. Yes, even those who are not heterosexual. Hmm. Novel concept, it seems.
I know that education paves the way to literacy … so please vow to educate your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors in 2012. Change the world one person at a time. It’s an election year so your efforts may make a true difference.
When most intelligent people engage in honest and open dialogues with other intelligent people, they tend to learn. When I explain to straight people that lesbian and gay couples can marry in my state but that if they travel to another state or country, their marriage might not be recognized at all … those people cock their heads to one side and say, “really? I didn’t realize that.” Then they tell me how wrong and unfair it is. Those same people do something to make it right and fair by voting appropriately. They oppose anti-gay referendums. They don’t vote for candidates who believe that gay rights should be ignored.
If you do nothing else in 2012, make a donation to an organization that fights for the rights of LGBT citizens. Those hard-working groups create the changes that benefit the entire community. I can’t possibly begin to name each of them in this space but you might consider supporting Gay Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), Lambda Legal, Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Give A Damn Campaign. They’ve all been amazingly effective in creating positive change and they will continue to do so in 2012. Ask your friends and family members to donate as well. Every dollar helps the cause.
I wish that each LGBT person could awaken on the first day of 2012 and know that he or she has been given the gift of true equality.
As I said earlier, it’s my blog and I can dream if I want to.
Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.
copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski