June is recognized as LGBT History Month, a time for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community to come together and celebrate who we are and stand in solidarity with each other. We celebrate in June because it was June of 1969 that jump-started the Gay Liberation Movement in our country’s history with the Stonewall Riots.
In 1969 it was illegal in the United States to be gay and we were targeted by police for raids and put in jail. Sadly, the LGBT community is still policed disproportionately and there are still 14 states where it is still illegal to be gay, most of those states are in the South, despite Lawrence v. Texas. Yes, most states in the South have zero protections for LGBT folk, so one can be denied employment, denied housing, and denied healthcare just for their sexual orientation.
As much as we think It Gets Better, we still have a long way to go. One wonders why we don’t have a better campaign that says; Make It Get Better, and put the onus on the dominant culture. We know from the 2010 National Health Report that harassment and violence against the LGBT community have increased by 20% and the increase of violence is even greater for LGBT folks of color.
Sadly, this trend is international and shows no sign of abating. Look at the spike in protesting and violence in France that started as marriage equality began to work its way through the legislative process. Look at the violence in Russia and the Ukraine and the official indifference — or outright support — it receives. Nigeria just passed “All Gays to Be Jailed” law. Closer to home, look at the TEN anti-gay hate crimes in New York City in just the past month: bashings, beatings, assaults, and at least one murder. The closer we get to equal, the angrier — and more aggressive — our foes become.
Granted, our heterosexual brothers and sisters do have to live in fear of the Gay Agenda, but when are we going to have actual movement towards civil rights? Will the Supreme Court do the right thing and send the message by overturning DOMA that we must treat all of our citizens equally and equitably? Will the Boy Scouts’ lame half-measure finally break them as the California legislature plans to strip them of any non-profit privileges for their incessant discrimination?
LGBT History Month provides a time and place for the community to celebrate and come together in “numbers too big to be ignored” (you I love me some Helen Reddy). I ask all of our heterosexual brothers and sisters to stand in solidarity and support all LGBT folk in the many colors and lives we represent.