This morning, the following comment appeared on the “About” page of this blog – which I wrote over a year ago. I started to respond, but then realized it was a good opportunity for me – and all my readers – to weigh in. I’d like to hear all your thoughts.
Here’s the comment:
“I appreciate the attention you are giving to the gay rights movement, however as a gay man in the South, I believe this blog is a bit heavy-handed and tactless, beginning with the very name.
“You’re open about your lack of awareness about our movement beyond California, and it seems like you just woke up one morning and declared our movement “The New Civil Rights Movement.” Do you have any familiarity with “the old” civil rights movement, and were aware that that movement is far from over? Calling ourselves THE new civil rights movement as opposed to A new civil rights movement typifies the arrogance that so many gay people are tarnished by, especially those who freely admit that they were completely oblivious to injustice until they experienced it directly.
Again, you are providing a valuable service and I appreciate it. I just hope that as you continue with your civil rights activism that you gain a holistic appreciation for the tone and context of civil rights discussions.”
And my response:
I don’t make a habit of responding to every comment, but to yours I feel compelled.
I’m glad you are supportive of our attempts to find equality for the LGBTQ community.
However, I must make a few observations:
First, I am not the one who “declared our movement “The New Civil Rights Movement.” After Prop 8 passed in November 2008, that was the moniker that was applied to the many grassroots demonstrations and efforts to stand and fight for our equality. And I fully support the use of it in this manner, on this blog. As a matter of fact, as I was debating names for the blog, I offered my followers on Twitter an opportunity to weigh in, and resoundingly, that was the name they chose.
Second, I assume you’re pretty new to the blog, or at least, not a regular reader. I hope that will change. Were you more of a regular, you would see that time and again I have written that the struggle of the LGBTQ community walks in tandem with that of the African-American civil rights movement, and their struggle. Until they have won full equality, the LGBTQ community will not be able to. I have said several times that it’s time our community reaches out and helps support the efforts of the African-American community in their quest for equality. This rarely-spoken but obvious “battle” between some in both communities is, quite frankly, stupid. Were we all to realize it, and end it, both communities would be far better off.
The piece I wrote last month, “Does The LGBTQ Community Blame The Black Community For Gay Marriage Losses?” I think supports my position rather well. I hope everyone reads the piece, and not just the title.
In it, I wrote,
* No one, and I mean no one, owns the patent, trademark, or copyright on civil rights. Not blacks, not gays, not anyone.
* No one, and I mean no one, owns the patent, trademark, or copyright on civil marriage. Not the Catholics, not the Jews, not the Christians, not the Muslims, not anyone.
* It is unacceptable that an oppressed minority would turn tables on another oppressed minority. For blacks to not support the LGBTQ community (and vice-versa,) for the LGB community to not support trans people (and vice-versa,) is unacceptable as we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century.
Lastly, I cannot but find irony in the fact that at the top of this blog, yesterday I wrote,
“Friday, January 15: The birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.,
perhaps the greatest civil rights activist of the twentieth century.
“In the twenty-first century, we all need to be civil rights activists.
Watch: “I Have A Dream“
I invite you to spend more time here. I hope you, and others will. I think you’ll find that while yes, my focus is on helping to secure equality and respect for the LGBTQ community, I work with an eye toward civil rights for all. I do not consider myself a “gay rights” activist. I consider my self a civil rights activist. And I hope, in time, as we move forward in our fight, that fight will support all communities, and together, all communities will find true equality.
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