Barbara Giddings, LGBTQ+ activist from the mid-1950s until her death in 2007, said that “Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.”
Winning the hearts and minds of the community has been my goal since I came out in 1975 at age 22. As an activist in the Kent Gay Liberation Front (KGLF) at Kent State University, I helped organize annual conferences open to the public and I delivered talks to classes and community organizations. The most memorable of these was a talk I gave to inmates deep in the bowels of the Mansfield Reformatory in Ohio!
We have seen remarkable change since those days, up to and including legalization of same-sex marriage. That was something I never expected to witness in my lifetime. In my wildest imagination I never dreamed that one day I would be legally married. This progress never would have happened if we had allowed homosexuality to remain "the love that dare not speak its name" (Lord Alfred Douglas, 1892). The LGBTQ+ community has won its many victories, and more to come, by leaving the shadows and coming into the open — by coming out.
Since the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, opponents of LGBTQ+ rights have shifted gears and opened a new front against us. They realize they've lost the marriage battle. They can't overcome the fact that public support for marriage equality is overwhelming. So now they're aiming their attacks against the transgender community, seeing this as our weak flank. Their strategy and rhetoric come straight from the old Anita Bryant playbook in 1977. I put today's attacks into historical context in my blog post 'Deja Vu All Over Again: The New Wave of Anti-LGBTQ+ Attacks.'
LGBTQ+ rights are basic human rights. I've written extensively on the issues and challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community along with relevant videos and links to external sources. The buttons below will take you to my blog.