Editorially speaking where do we go from here?
In writing this article, I am just leaving San Francisco, after having been here for about a week, and having walked around the Castro, thinking about Harvey Milk: I wonder what the state of the LGBT human rights movement encompasses today. Has the LGBT rights movement in America progressed? Has it regressed? What would Harvey Milk think of the fight for gay rights in the early 21st century? Given the growing conservative climate in the United States, is it conceivable that those of us that make up the LGBT community will have to go back in the proverbial closet just to survive? The questions could go on ad infinitum.
Despite all of the jokes about those currently running for President of the United States on the Republican ticket, it is very important NOT to forget that all of those running either are currently elected officials, or have been elected officials at both the state and federal levels. And all of these Grand Old Party presidential candidates have vehemently argued against the LGBT community, in no uncertain terms, and without being fully cognizant of the horrific consequence their polemics instills in everyone. At times, it is as if the United States has regressed back to the 1950s, and then the polemics begin making the current climate appear even worse. The whole notion of social conservatism, has taken on such an odd shape, that it is a notion that is warped and dangerous.
The continued rash of teenage suicides of mostly young gay males MUST stop, yet these conservative candidates vying for the most powerful political position in the land, continue to vilify as opposed to offering evidence of leadership qualities. For LGBT youth, this is lethal and should not be allowed, but even if the 44th President of the United States is re-elected in November 2012, damage had already been done. The idea that the pen is mightier than the sword rings only too true, and those of us that make up the LGBT community, along with our allies, must continue to fight and stay strong.
Harvey Milk paid the ultimate price in his struggle, and he was adamant about the notion that if he should be killed by a bullet "let that bullet shatter every closet door." And we must not forget the hate crimes continuing to plague the country as well, that strikes at every aspect of the LGBT community.
We, in the LGBT community, are not second-class citizens. The old phrase taxation without representation is NOT an old historical phrase for those of us in the LGBT community. It is time for us to turn up the proverbial heat and show that we will be neither vilified nor marginalized anymore.
It is also important that those of us who have gone through the struggle, keep our youth safe and constantly remind them that they are unique and special individuals, no matter what. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU! BE PROUD TO BE QUEER! STAND STRONG, we cannot allow the closet door to be slammed shut, that door should be pulled off its hinges and discarded. In today's society there is no room for closet doors.