Thursday, December 31, 2009
The 00's: a big step, but miles to go
In '99, gay rights were not big news. Middle schoolers and high schoolers were saying "that's gay" to refer to something stupid; GSAs were few and far between. Transgender awareness was unheard of.
Over the past decade, gay marriage has become a regular headline, The L Word and The Logo Network came into being, transgender awareness has begun budding, GSAs are everywhere, celebrities have been coming out left and right, The Matthew Shepherd Act has finally passed, and churches have divided over gay rights (apparently Jesus wanted people to discriminate). Advances have been made . . . and taken away. Promises have been made . . . and broken. The queer movement has gotten so big that it's actually begun dividing. Many queer people, especially younger generations, are not going to sit down and politely ask for teeny tiny rights anymore: the time has come to demand full equality.
Illinois, thank goodness, has made it illegal to discriminate in employment on sexual orientation and gender identity. And, come on, it's CHICAGO. Unfortunately, some of my coworkers - who are generally friendly and sociable with me and who are my age - say "that's gay" both at work and online. Online, I've spoken up and my statement has been deleted. And here I thought that being adults in one of the biggest and most diverse cities meant that this part of me wouldn't be an analogy for stupidity anymore.
Obviously, there is a long way to go before full equality and respect. I don't care what political parties and churches people attend, but I can't tolerate being treated as a second-class citizen.
May the 2010's be a decade of FULL EQUALITY AND RESPECT