Monday, June 29, 2015

Equality for all of my friends



Friday- what a wonderful and emotional day this past Friday was. I kept reaching for the kleenex as I read posts and articles celebrating this long overdue victory for civil rights, equality and love. One  post in particular had me tearing up with its bittersweet reminder that we have a long way to go before the LGBT community can freely enjoy all of the liberties and freedoms the rest of us enjoy without a second thought.
My friend Joe's words say it better than I could ever hope to. Please read and remember that there is still work to be done.

(From June 26, 2015)
That time in Council Grove someone slowed down to yell at us from his truck.
That time in Shawnee a prospective landlord told us to stay where we were in no uncertain terms.
That time someone walking by us on Mass St. yelled at us.
That time we had a high school boy as a new roommate because he was evicted by his parents and was homeless.
That time I had to conduct business with a company exclusively by phone because their servers returned any email containing the word "gay".
That time a law firm hiring committee member told me years later that that I was passed over because the firm wasn't sure it was ready for an out attorney.
That time someone straight woke me at 3am to insist I get ex-gay "therapy" because they couldn't sleep thinking about me being gay.
That late night at the office when drunk co-workers yelled through my door.
That time after family law class when the professor told me I was the first student in 30 years of teaching to come out during the same-sex marriage discussion, and 3 other gay students sat nearby silently.
Those times Drew has been called my friend, roommate, brother, business partner, or skipped in introductions entirely (and vice versa).
That time I was closeted and my employer asked my out co-worker to go back in the closet so as not to scare away customers (he refused).
That time I overheard a straight classmate saying he wouldn't associate with us gay students.
That time a gay friend attempted (but thankfully failed) to commit suicide.
That time I got a personal hate message sent to me online.
That night in the restaurant our family ate out next to the state attorney general and his family while he had been fighting recognition of our family by day.
That time a parent told me other parents wouldn't let their children eat food made by a classmate with lesbian moms.
That time five days ago when we met a gay couple who had 30 swastikas etched on their car, and the police said it would have taken a lot of time to do that.
That time my state representative told me in a conversation that gay rights weren't civil rights.

Today's decision is about a specific technical legal issue but it's also about all these times.

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