We all wanted King Obama to sweep into office, wave his magic wand and make discrimination disappear. I really wish he would, but it is clear that he won’t - or at least not as quick as we desire. So, why don’t we pry ourselves away from DC for a moment and try using our resources in alternative ways?
Anyone remember AIDS?
Ever hear of the multi-million dollar ex-gay industry that pumps out reams of propaganda to portray gay people as sick and “sexually broken?” Few people seem to notice, even though these groups spread harmful myths and poisonous stereotypes that impact our daily lives.
What about increasing funds to help GLBT youths who are thrown out of their homes? Or, scholarships, so these teens can succeed in life and maybe one day run for Congress?
How about focusing on the abuses against GLBT people overseas?
The aforementioned issues will not get you on a Congressman’s speed dial. It is unlikely that you will win a sparkling trophy or have a marble bust made of your head. The cable shows may not be dialing you at a frenzied pace. But, you might have a disproportionately positive impact and even save a few lives.
The other problem with our political addiction is that it breeds bad messaging. We are coming across as a powerful lobby that is demanding action as payback for money and votes. While there is a place for such muscle flexing, it masks our true agenda.
The immediacy of our cause has to do with the trauma we all faced as children. Now that we are strong, we don’t want one more GLBT teen to commit suicide while Congress dithers. It is unconscionable for another youth who dreams of serving his or her country to be turned away while Obama plots his reelection. It is an insult - right down to the core of our soul - when our government tells us that we can’t marry the person we love.
Our movement is not about Obama’s career, nor the happenings in Congress. What we seek is to reclaim our basic dignity and end needless suffering - both goals that one is unlikely to achieve solely in the glamorous quicksand of Washington.
By Wayne Besen, columnist, 365gay.com 07.01.2009 11:00am EDT