As we approach the ending of 2014, there is a lot for which to be grateful as LGBTQ Persons. Marriage Equality still has its fight on in some states, but the battle has been won in others, and truly – I see this as going the same way the ERA did years ago. Popular opinion of the vast majority of the population in America shows support for Gay Marriage, or at the very least…indifference as to the need to oppose it. We’re almost there.
Of course we know from humankind’s history that you can legislate prejudice away, but eliminating it as a practice is quite another issue. I still believe in Respect and Dignity for All. I don’t expect to change everyone. I just want to co-exist peacefully alongside my neighbors and have the same rights and protections for my family, as they wants for theirs.
I want to know that “community” is not just a campy word used to describe a sub-culture or fragment of the population, but a truly inclusive term that encompasses my neighbors, my fellow residents of state, country and planet.
I received an email from Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force with an invitation to let her know what my concerns were for the coming year. Of course, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only person who got that email, still it was a personable gesture and I took some time to put my thoughts together and share.
Here’s what I sent. I share these with you who have followed this blog, and those who may be checking in for the first time. They aren’t necessarily unique or profound, they are just mine…
Thank you for this opportunity to communicate with you directly. I have 2 major areas of concern that I would like to see as part of our focus for the coming year.
First, according to the StopBullying.gov site, there are still no Federal laws on the books that specifically address bullying. Although bullying can be covered under other anti-discrimination legislation, I believe that still permits for a degree of “interpretation” when it comes to schools and other institutions. We have made excellent advances in awareness on this issue, but I would also like the awareness and proactive work to extend to the workplace as well. Again, we have made great strides, and I believe we can go even further to ensure that Everyone is guaranteed their Rights and Freedoms as fellow human beings.
Secondly, I’m not even sure what work has been done in this area, so forgive me if I am asking for something already in progress, but I would also like to see more educational efforts and outreach within the LGBTQ community, as well as with law enforcement and other agencies, in the area of domestic violence within LGBTQ relationships and partnerships. I believe we must first remove the “stigma” and element of denial within our own community, and then help to educate the appropriate agencies so that there can be accurate assessment and help can be given to those in need.
I appreciate all your dedication and work on the Task Force, and this invitation to offer my feedback. May you, your family, your staff and friends and their families have meaningful and joyful holidays. After all, we deserve it! :)
author, MsQueer blog: www.msqueer.com