Thursday, December 09, 2004

Donning our Gay Apparel...

Has the Human Rights Campaign finally begun to get it? Take it from someone who’s lived as an openly gay person in a rural area of a red state for many years… you don’t gain acceptance by demanding something straight people don’t understand in the first place. You win acceptance by showing them there’s nothing to be afraid of from someone who is essentially just like them, a person with a family who’s trying to make his way in the world, playing by the rules, especially the Golden Rule.

Excerpted from a New York Times piece about the Human Rights Campaign (the largest gay rights advocacy organization in the country) national meet-up in Vegas recently…

"The feeling this weekend in Las Vegas was that we had to get beyond the political and return to the personal," said Michael Berman, a Democratic lobbyist and consultant who was elected the first non-gay co-chairman of the Human Rights Campaign's board last week. "We need to reintroduce ourselves to America with the stories of our lives."

Steven Fisher, the campaign's communications director, said the group's emphasis in coming months would be on communicating the struggles of gays in their families, workplaces, churches and synagogues. The story of gay men and lesbians in the United States is often told through the prism of sensationalism and stigma, Mr. Fisher said.

"When you put a face to our issues, that's when we get support," he said. "We're not going to win at the ballot box until we start winning at the water cooler and in the church pews."

I wish I’d said that.


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