Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Civil Rights Movement Isn't Over

Today is the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk.

If you aren't familiar with Harvey Milk, please take a moment to visit that link and read about him.

I have to admit that it makes me so mad when I hear people talking as though gays should not refer to our movement as a civil rights movement. As though, somehow, the oppression that gays have endured for thousands of years is less valid than the oppression endured by other groups.

Gays have died, too.

Gays have been assaulted, raped, assassinated, burned at the stake, arrested, convicted, jailed, lost jobs, lost families, been locked up as crazy, been murdered.

I watched that video of what happened “after” on the Dr. Phil Show. The video where the African American woman stands up and says you've never seen someone who was ex-black.

Well, darling. You've never seen someone who was ex-gay before, either.

It's not something that's chosen. The choice that gets made is whether we are going to live our lives the way God made us, or whether we are going to live our lives the way society at large deems we should. That is the only choice.

You may well have seen someone who chose to walk away from who they are to make others happy. But you have never seen someone ex-gay.

Because this is a common misconception, and because gay was, until very recently, considered a mental disease, it was not uncommon for gays to be treated for “the crazy”. Locked in mental wards, subject to treatments that were not that far removed from experiments. Drugs that weren't safe, electroshock “therapy”.

Lesbians and gays were rounded up, confined and murdered in Nazi Germany.

Lesbians and gays were burned at the stake. In fact, it was common practice under the laws for a lot longer than burning witches.

I can go on and on. I can ask why, why aren't our violations, tortures, murders as valid as yours?

But I shouldn't have to.

This isn't about which of us has the bloodiest history.

This is about Civil Rights.

I've seen it written that calling this the “new Civil Rights movement” is a fallacy, and I agree.

Until everyone has equal rights and protections Federally mandated under the law, THE Civil Rights Movement isn't over. It never was. Maybe it was having a bit of a lay-low to regroup and find its direction. But it sure as hell wasn't over.

This is not the Gay Civil Rights movement.

This is THE Civil Rights movement.

If 51% of the population can revoke the rights of a minority, what's next? Whose rights are next?

I apologize. I was mistaken.

There is one other choice in this.

You can choose love, or you can choose hate.

I choose love.

1 comment:

Unapologetic Feminist said...

You are absolutely right. I wrote a couple posts discussing the role that the black community played in passing prop 8 and received a storm of hate as a result. I have been listening to black people all over America saying that their struggles were harder than gay peoples' struggles and to even compare the two struggles is wrong. That is absolutely wrong and hateful thinking- on the part of the black community. In fact, I think that sexism and homophobia are arguably much LARGER problems than American racism because they are tied in with religion. Every country in the world is steeped in sexism and homophobia. However, there are countries where black and brown heterosexual MEN run everything. Look at the middle east or Egypt.

I think that the black community in America needs to wake up and realize that they cannot violate another groups' civil rights without being called out for their hateful behavior. You don't get a free pass on hate just because you are black.

Likewise, gay people and women don't get free passes on hate either.