Gay folks… be proud, demand more
From the Gay Games blog:
In the last few days we’ve seen the gay press, and a lot of LGBT people, get very excited about not much.
The Queen loves us! She’s going to sign a charter against LGBT discrimination in the Commonwealth!
Well, no. Not really. Not at all, in fact. She is required as a figurehead to sign a toothless charter that actually goes out of its way *not* to say anything about LGBT people. And it’s for a Commonwealth where in the majority of countries it’s illegal to be gay.
There’s a new Pope! He’s new, he’s different, he looks like a kindly grandfather!
Well, no. He’s still the head of a Catholic Church that denigrates and insults and rejects us, where their own pedophiles are protected as they decry homosexuals. He himself is a major homophobe, as demonstrated in his protests against marriage equality in Argentina.
Leading GOP politicians come out for marriage equality!
Well, no. A bunch of (mostly) has-beens with no ability to affect change sign a letter. It’s good, but it’s not much.
And today, a sitting Republican senator comes out for marriage equality!
Today we learn that Rob Portman, the junior senator from Ohio, supports marriage equality. This is a step up from the has-beens. He’s actually in a position to act. But we learn that his change of heart is not due to a realization that his opposition was based on nothing more than hate. Instead, he’s now pro-equality because his son has come out. His message should not be: I changed my mind. It should be: I realize that my opinion, like yours, you haters, was based on pure homophobia, and not on any moral principles.
We like this from Gay Games Ambassador Brian Sims: Dear Senators who DON’T have gay children which are apparently necessary to give you the empathy to recognize that your anti-equality actions have been un-American, you DO have gay neighbors, staffers, extended family members, and constituents. That should be enough…
So why is the press, and why are we, so eager to jump up and down at these stories that prove so empty? Do we hate ourselves so much that we need these signs of approval from the rest of society? Are we so deprived of our own achievements that we can only celebrate false victories from outside?
We don’t need some old lady in a tiara signing a piece of paper to know we are worthy. LGBT people around the world are doing great things, without waiting for crumbs of approval.
Look at our brothers and sisters in Russia. The population is increasingly homophobic. Anti-gay laws are spreading from city to city, and now nationally. And yet they defy the hate and come together to do sport. Just two weeks ago, they joined to skate, to ski, to dance, to play volleyball and soccer, in the Russian LGBT Sports Federation’s second Winter Sports Festival.
In Durban, in a South Africa where homophobic, and in particular, lesbophobic, violence is growing, people from our member organization KZN LGBT Recreation will again come together next week for a picnic and workshops and sport on their Human Rights Day.
In five cities on two continents, dozens of men and women are devoting countless hours of unpaid time for the privilege of contributing to the cause of LGBT equality by hosting the Gay Games.
The world won’t change without allies. Homophobia can’t be beaten without government support. Rob Portman is a senator from Ohio, where 10,000 people will come together next summer to celebrate equality: will he join us? Equality is won by changing hearts and minds and beating back hate. Let’s appreciate and thank those who work with us for change, but let’s not forget that change starts at home, and that one of the places progress is achieved is at and with the Gay Games, the games that change the world.