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The fight for gay marriage is over. Now what? #LoveWins

The fight for gay marriage is over. Now what? #LoveWins

The fight for gay marriage is officially over.  If you want to get married, there isn’t a state in the Union that can deny you, period. The US Supreme Court made it perfectly clear: the Constitution says you can’t be denied, and as such the fight is over.  I’ve said it for years: sure gay marriage IS important. It’s just not important to me.  I won’t knock your need/desire to get married, and you don’t give me shit if I don’t find it necessary to walk down the aisle, ok?  I got away from reporting on gay marriage based on the simple fact that virtually everybody with a website talked about nothing but gay marriage – to the exclusion of everything else.

Sure, there’s going to be some nut jobs who “just aren’t ready” to accept the ruling and they don’t have any choice.  It’s the law of the land, and they have to abide by it or face the legal consequences.  We can’t expect them to scurry off quietly back under the kitchen sink from whence they crawled. They have to show their “supporters” they still have some fight left, even if it’s all bullshit.

With that out of the way, now what do we fight over?  What’s next for the “gay agenda”?

1. Back to the HIV/AIDS fight? There’s an entire generation of gays who haven’t put it together yet that the fight for gay marriage was born out of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  There were legions of our partners dying in the hospital, and they legally had the right to throw us out of the front door and deny our visitation rights.  If your loved one did succumb to an AIDS related condition, their surviving members of his family could swoop in and take any of the things that belonged to you both.  Legally.  If we were married, those things weren’t going to happen anymore.  The problem now is that with the HIV/AIDS pandemic being virtually ignored by the LGBT community for the past decade or so, how do we get people to pay attention to it again? More than 1.2 million people in the US have HIV, and more than half a million of them don’t even know it. 13,712 people died with an AIDS related diagnosis in 2012

People still die from this.  It’s not just “take a pill a day and you’re fine”, though that’s a very common perception.  There’s no reason in the world you can’t have a normal life expectancy, but it’s not promised or certain without work.  Will the gay community pick up the mantle on this again?

2. LGBT youth homelessness. These statistics ought to scare the crap out of you:

  • 20% of homeless youth are LGBT. In comparison, the general youth population is only 10% LGBT.
  • While homeless youth typically experience severe family conflict as the primary reason for their homelessness, LGBT youth are twice as likely to experience sexual abuse before the age of 12.
  • LGBT youth, once homeless, are at higher risk for victimization, mental health problems, and unsafe sexual practices. 58.7% of LGBT homeless youth have been sexually victimized compared to 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youth
  • LGBT youth are roughly 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than heterosexual homeless youth
  • LGBT homeless youth commit suicide at higher rates (62%) than heterosexual homeless youth (29%) 

And for the better part of a decade we abandoned them – for the most part.  Sure, we did a few cursory things here such as It Gets Better, but we all know that was a sham. It died on the vine almost as fast as it started and was really only a PR vehicle for Dan Savage.  Ask anybody about that “project” now and the common response is “Is that still out there?” Their donations have dropped 85% since they started. There are other things we did to help the organizations that are out there, but did we apply the same focus and attention to the kids that we did to marriage? Not. Even. Close.

3. LGBT hate crimes.  In 2014, of all the bias crimes reported the second biggest demographic group is – wait for it – sexual orientation. It makes the news when it happens, but when to we assemble as a group, dig our heels in, and start screaming that we’re not to put up with it anymore?

There are scores of other subjects; I could make this list a mile long.  Where exactly will we focus our collective attention next? I don’t have a clue, nor do I have a loud enough voice to sway the masses.  I’ve taken my boots-on-the-ground activism from 20 years ago and moved to my sunset years and cyberspace.  I don’t have the time to get back in the street and more to the point I don’t have the desire to.  I gave decades of my life to HIV/AIDS activism, and these are the years now where I reclaim my life and live for me.  To a point.  I still have to open my big mouth on occasion.

I’ll be very interested to see where we go next.  If we go anywhere at all.

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