Views & Voices

Time for LGBT people to get their heads in the game, be their own heroes


The moment that everyone is talking about is Thursday night’s Republican debate, when audience members booed a gay soldier who asked a question about “Don’t Ask, Son’t Tell.”

And candidate Rick Santorum didn’t help matters by giving a sleazebag answer conflating gays serving openly in the military to sexual intercourse:

This piece is not a sell for Barack Obama, but a plea for the gay community to recognize who our true enemies are.

I know that so many of us are angry at the president because we think he has not moved fast enough on our issues. Fair enough. But those always ready to lodge a comment on how worthless Obama is forget one thing:

Electing Obama was only half the work.

Let’s be honest. So many of us expected that when Obama won, the sky would open, heavenly choirs would cascade down from the skies, and automatically the LGBTQ community would gain instantaneous equality.

It doesn’t work like that. It never has and it never will.

The mistake of so many of us in the community is the simple fact that we viewed Obama’s election as an end rather than yet another facet in the plan which would ensure our equality.

We sat back as if we ordered a meal in a restaurant and expected Obama, as the waiter, to bring us what we ordered, specifically to our specifications.

The struggle for equality is not that easy. Obama needed to be prodded to do the right thing, but instead of recognizing this simple fact, some of us complained about it.

I personally didn’t give a crap that he needed to be prodded. I did care that he responded to our prodding. You think “President John McCain” would have cared that several folks chained themselves to the White House fence? You think any Republican president for that matter would respond to any protest by Get Equal?

Of course not.

Thursday night’s shameful moment should send a signal to the lgbtq community that our equality is not dependent one person, no matter how powerful they are. Furthermore, if we are waiting for a magical moment such as when President Lyndon Johnson adopted the language of the civil rights movement during one of his presidential address in a show of solidarity, we are going to be waiting for a long time.

It’s time we stop expecting a hero and be our own heroes. It’s time we start talking into account the cold fact that our struggle for equality is like a game of chess.

And it’s time we stop pussyfooting and start mastering the game.

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