With Pride

Word is that we will have a decision regarding Prop 8 on one of these 3 days – June 13th, June 17th or June 24th.  With that said and regardless of the outcome (I believe victory will be ours), I got to thinking…  And after the searing pain from that had subsided, I was left with a sense of awe for what the LGBT community has accomplished over the last decade. 

Now, I could sit here and give you a laundry list of our legal victories but instead I have chosen to focus on something I believe to be even more important…  Something that no court will ever be able to rule on and no governing body will ever be able to legislate…  Something that we have total control over…  Something that is the only victory that will really ever matter…  Our sense of self.  We are “coming out” in record numbers.  In sports, in politics, in the entertainment industry, at work and with friends and family…  We have made the commitment to be true to whom we are and in the world we live in today with its bigots and religious zealots, that is nothing short of heroic. 

We as a community have found our voice and have made it perfectly clear to the world that we are no longer willing to live in the shadows of society.  More importantly, we have made it perfectly clear that we deserving of equal rights because we know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that we ARE equal.  We laugh just like heterosexuals…  We cry just like heterosexuals…  We experience pain and loss just like heterosexuals…  But more importantly we love just like heterosexuals…  Our relationships are exactly the same.  We fight.  We argue.  We worry about paying the bills.  We raise our children with love and pray that they will grow to be happy, functioning adults who have compassion for their fellow man/woman.  We dream about spending our lives together with the person we love…  To grow old and gray together and to be grateful for the experiences we have shared as a couple.  That is who we are…  Equals in every sense of the word. 

From where I sit, all of the progress we have made can really be credited back to that one very simple, but for some, very terrifying, thing…  “Coming out”.  Visibility is now and always will be our greatest tool for educating those who believe that we are “different”.  There is no family, no culture, no religion, and no ethnicity that doesn’t include us in their ranks…  They may not realize it, but it doesn’t mean we are not there.  So, regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling this much is clear.   We are responsible for our own progress, not a court.  We must continue to “come out” despite our fear.  We must continue to honor the person we were born to be…  Because if we don’t, why should anyone else?

 

Michael Foley

 

 

About the Author

Michael Foley

Michael Foley

Michael Foley currently lives in Los Angeles where he pursues his passions. Writing, psychology, spirituality and politics. He has been a fierce advocate for LGBT rights since the early 80′s, during which time he was part of New York City’s Act-Up and a volunteer at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. He has worn many hat’s over the years including nearly a decade in Corporate America where he was an Operations Manager in the Insurance Industry (please don’t hold that against him). Today he is a produced playwright and actor who continues to support and fight for LGBT equality and the healing of the LGBT Community.