Betty’s Corner

2018, Betty Desire, June

June has arrived! We begin celebrations of Pride throughout the nation. This is the month that has been set aside for us to remember the hard work and sacrifice of those who have come before us and battled to the point of death so that we would have the opportunity to live and love openly without fear of reprisal. It was not that long ago that we were expected to hide our love in the shadows. Even now there are places in our Country where it is still safer for us to be unseen and unheard. Hate crimes are up since the election of our current leader, but we have still come a long way in the last 40 years. There was no one, myself included, who would have believed in the mid 1990’s that we would have gained the right to marry our lovers and have that marriage recognized in all 50 States. Most of the States have laws protecting our employment, though not all. Most States have laws that forbid discrimination in housing. Though not all. We still have work to do until all of us are equally treated as equal citizens.
The difficulty with rights won by legislation and at the ballot box is that the moment we let our guard down those rights can be taken away. The struggle to maintain the freedoms we now enjoy continues. As long as there are those who preach we are “abominations “ There will be a continuous need for diligence. Why do we celebrate out and proud? Because as the first gay man ever elected to public office said so well, “visibility saves lives” When the young person just coming out is able to see he is not alone, he is less likely to be a candidate for suicide. When we are visible, we blaze a trail for those who follow after. We make the journey easier for the next generation. It is my hope that in the coming years we can resist the temptation of fracturing into our separate tribes and instead come together under a common goal of continuous expansion of equality for all. It is paramount that we realize an attack on the rights and freedoms of one, is an attack on the rights and freedoms of all. We have enemies. We always will. We must unite to overcome them. So as we commemorate our past let us commit to continue to push forward in the present so as to secure a safe and vibrant future! HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!

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