LGBT History Month 2013: Reflections and Work Yet to Be Done

30 Jun

AlbusDumbledoreAs we celebrate the last day of LGBT History Month, I am reflecting on the victory of the Death of DOMA, the tepid Supreme Court Decision regarding Prop 8, and the work yet to be done towards full equality for the LGBT community.  The striking down of DOMA does not mean that LGBT folk are no longer targeted or marginalized. Of course, the marginalization is even worse for people of color who are also LGBT.

Sadly, when I shared my Death of DOMA article on a social work social media page, most of the comments I received were from “Christian” social workers that were defending DOMA and acting as if they were victims because they were afraid to come out as Christians.  Really?  REALLY?  When was the last time a bunch of folk committed suicide because they are Christians? When was the last time in the United States people were denied housing, health care, employment because they are Christian?  I candidly was ashamed of my colleagues in the field of social work and I fully understand why people outside of the dominant culture would not trust us!

We still have a long way to go regarding equity and equality for the LGBT community.  Regardless of Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, in most states in the south it is still illegal to be gay and in most states in the south it is completely legal to deny employment, healthcare, housing because of being LGBT, not to mention the many states that have constitutional amendments banning marriage equality, including South Carolina.  You remember South Carolina, the state where they just re-elected Mark Sanford after he spend tax payer money abandoning his job to take his now famous “Appalachian Trail” hike.

While we have so much work to do, I do want to close with a very sweet celebration of LGBT History.  For me, it was absolutely profound to learn that Dumbledore, the Headmaster at Hogwarts, was gay.  What a lovely message for J.K. Rowling to send to young people, that LGBT folk can be wonderful caretakers of children and role models of integrity.

15 Responses to “LGBT History Month 2013: Reflections and Work Yet to Be Done”

  1. Central Oregon Coast NOW June 30, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

  2. Meri Equality Justus June 30, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    I believe things are gonna get much crazier, they are going to play the hurt roll and how we are now going to take away all their rights, and we are going to (as part of our agenda) have a Law passed banning Hetro. marrage?????? I dont know about any one else but my agenda Is just to be happy and equal to every one else in this world.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 30, 2013 at 8:40 am #

      Meri, I fear you may be right. I suspect there will be a significant backlash against the LGBT community for awhile. The bizarre irrational fears are already hitting the airwaves: “All hetero marriages are now invalid and you must wait in the queue to be assigned your new same-sex spouse,” and other truly bizarre irrational fears from the dominant culture.

      • Kathleen Saadat June 30, 2013 at 9:30 am #

        Two thoughts: 1) We must stay principled, strong and focused on developing the tools to teach. We cannot afford to dismiss our critics as stupid. 2) We must understand that regardless of color, those of us who support liberation in this climate are vulnerable and if the religious right can find a way to take the vote away from GLBT people, they now have a tool and they will use it. In the words of Sweet Honey in The Rock, “We who believe in freedom cannot rest”.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 30, 2013 at 11:16 am #

        Kathleen, You know how much I love Ella’s Song, and I always love your voice of building coalitions and building understanding!

  3. dykewriter June 30, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    I tell them to get off the cross

    we need the wood for low income housing

    • dykewriter June 30, 2013 at 10:15 am #

      fuck them

      they’ve been feeding us to the lions for centuries

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt June 30, 2013 at 11:19 am #

        Nina, I want to make sure I create a space to honor your experiences with Christians that have been most unkind to us. I also want to create a space that honors those Christians that stand in solidarity with us and are amazing allies. Finally, I feel we have to believe in bell hook’s transformative experience and create space for those that act against us, for we can build bridges of understanding and community here.

      • dykewriter June 30, 2013 at 11:47 am #



        I am more …

        no more Mr. Nice Gay

  4. Bruce Thompson July 1, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    Michael, I want to thank for calling a spade a spade (some social workers, unfortunately others in the psychological/helping professions) to continue to identity the social barriers to our freedom, and therefore everyone’s freedom to BE! Although “Christians” are not illegal or suppressed in this country, much of the “Christian” rhetoric and dogma have lead to many of them committing crimes in the name of their religion and has been a catalyst for the psychological harm to gay people, especially gay children. It is the media that will continue to impact our social advancement or an obstacle to not only social acceptance, but also appreciation and respect in the advancement of civilization.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt July 1, 2013 at 7:28 am #

      Well said, Bryce! I cannot underscore enough that we must work together will all religions around the world to ensure inclusivity and celebration of counter narratives.

      • Bruce Thompson July 1, 2013 at 9:12 am #

        Thanks again for the validation, Michael. I am in total agreement! I do believe that gay folk, if they are “religious,” to not be afraid to be vocal about their convictions and religious affiliations. We have to include in the social discourse that being gay doesn’t disqualify a gay-identified PERSON from being a child of God and are just as entitled to “marriage” and having a ceremony in a church just like anyone else. The legal entity of all “married” couples, no matter the genders, are civil unions. Some do choose to be “married” in a religious ceremony without choosing a legal binding contract. This is a spiritual union/”marriage.” And to remind those on the “Right” (view “Meet the Press” episode of 6/30/13) that we were gay CHILDREN before we became gay adults; and that most GAY children are born to heterosexual couples. All children need to be SAFE, “PROTECTED,” and nurtured!

  5. Didion July 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    I’m more worried — with you, Michael — that people will feel that the fight has been won, without thinking of the multiple ways this is a small victory. There are so many rights that remain denied. Not to mention the many rights that the Court took away this session. I celebrated as much as the next person after hearing these two rulings, but there are so many more reasons to weep.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt July 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

      Absolutely, Didion. We must create that space to both celebrate and weep and then move into action. “We who believe in freedom cannot rest.”

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