|(Sorry to sound preachy. I'm just wanting to help redirect anger in a productive way!)
Several friends have shown their disappointment with 11 US states losing ground on gay marriage and the fact that Kerry will likely lose the presidency. On a national level, it was not a strong year for the rights of gays and lesbians. I jokingly suggested to a friend last night that we need to “protest.” He agreed.
So, I suggest we all protest! Protest by doing small things in our lives to promote our community and investing in ourselves!
Our disposable income continues to grow and, where many do not have of children, some of us also have disposable time. NOW IS THE TIME FOR US TO GET INVOLVED AND HELP OUR GAY BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
What we have learned is that the vast majority of people in the US do not care about us. Now, more then ever we need to help ourselves!
What can we do?
- Be a role model. Have straight people look at you and say, “Wow. That is a person that has their shit together. S/he is an asset to our community, a good person and someone that I like to be around. The fact that s/he is gay is irrelevant.”
- Come out of the closet. You’re a great person and you deserve to be able to share all of your life with your colleagues. While you don’t want to force your values on them, share yourself. When you open up, people will open up to you and good things happen! (Caveat: this is not possible for all people. Don’t endanger yourself or your career!)
- Bring out your gaiety. God made you the way you are and likely gave you a special talent (such as Kevin’s uncanny sense for design and fashion.) Find out what that talent is! Embrace it! Help others!
- Promote the elimination of AIDS/HIV in our community. We to be educated on the disease and know that it is not something that one wants! If you are positive, be honest and make good decisions. We need healthy, long lived people in our community!
- Reach out to gay people of the opposite sex. Solidarity, sister! Although some prefer satin and some prefer flannel, let’s come together for our common goals. We have so much in common. Let’s talk!
- Live and worship in straight communities. When people get to know us, they realize just how great we are.
- Fight for the small things that make us equal. For example, if partners do not have the right to be in the ambulance of their partner in an emergency situation, let’s fight to change that.
- Pull out of United Way and other general purpose organizations. If you are going to give to non-profit organizations, don’t diffuse your dollar. Have it go directly to the needs of the GLBT community by giving tax deductible to causes that affect us directly.
- Reach out to others. There are people in our community who need emotional support. Between insecurities, family issues, stresses and drama, we all need support at times. Identify when someone needs help, and ask them if they would like to lean on your shoulder. (Caveat: if you are a person who needs support constantly, look at yourself and find ways to grow so that you, too, can help others.)
- Promote others’ career development. Know of someone who needs help with their resume? Hear about a job opening in your company? Let people know about it.
- Frequent gay establishments. Get a directory for businesses in our community and patronize them. The trickle down effect applies to our community as well.
- Get involved! Seek out opportunities to promote gay causes. Volunteer your time, be it at your yearly pride parade or HIV/AIDS organization. Oh, it makes us stronger and promotes good karma, too!
The goal is for us to be a strong, affluent community of caring individuals. When we are strong then we cannot be hurt. When society sees us as people, then good things will follow!