This event made me miss my old life. Since moving to Florida, I've not had many opportunities to attend marches or protests. In college, Dustin and I did this often and both loved it. Yes, standing on that sidewalk Sunday did not suddenly change the world, but it still made an impact. The main problem with all gay issues is that there are tons of people in this country who never have to knowingly face a gay person. It is very easy to hate someone you don't know and have only heard horrible things about. Peacefully protesting at such events, like the one last Sunday, makes people at least have to put a visual with their hate. You are telling me I can't marry and shouldn't have equal rights not just some mythical gay creature some pastor made up. There are real people involved, and we aren't all like the happy homos on TV who are there to fix your hair and plan your hetero wedding (though after seeing one of the Concerned Women for America, I am wanting to start a group called Concerned Gays for the Concerned Women for America).
Florida has some of the worst gay laws on the books, yet I've found very few gay people in Florida who seem to care or seem to want to do anything about it. If you haven't noticed, gay rights are still being fought for every single day. We still don't have many basic rights that other citizens have and take for granted. The focus has been on marriage, but we can still be fired for being gay. We can't serve openly in the military. We can't give blood. In Florida, we can't adopt. This fight is far from over. Hate crimes against GLBT people are on the rise. Why don't people care? Orlando is full of gay people, yet only 100 took two hours out of their Sunday to stand up for equality. I'm not saying you have to devote your life to fighting this battle, but when the opportunity is there you have to take it. I don't do something political everyday, but I do live an open life. I talk about these issues with people I meet, and I write about them. A good portion of my poetry could be called "political." But even I know, I could do more and should.
I know many people who don't like it when I say you, as a gay person, have a responsibility to be out and to stand up and fight, but I don't care. It is true. Until more people, more gay people, take an interest in their own rights and equality nothing is going to change. There is a little glimmer of hope in California as I write this, but that doesn't mean the fight is even close to ending.
There is a time for action and this is that time. In some ways, I feel lucky to be alive at this point in history, and I hope someday to be a person who can say I remember when I couldn't get married.