Monday, November 17, 2008

Why the Rallies Matter

There's been all this negative talk among people about the Prop 8 protest rallies that we've been having in California and, today, across the country. If you read the blog comments and hear the talking heads commenting, they keep saying things like, "What's the point to the protests? You're not going to get the vote overturned by holding up signs." That may be true, but I think people are missing the real point of the protests.

For the past several years--in fact, the last 15 years or so--the gay community has been living in general complacency. After ACT-UP folded in the mid '90s, the gay rights movement virtually disappeared from site for a lot of us. We got so used to being part of the mainstream (thanks, "Will & Grace") that we've forgotten that there is still a lot of bigotry and intolerance in the world. When "Brokeback Mountain" came out and did so well at the box office, it was almost as if we'd finally been welcomed to the captain's table on "The Love Boat." We got this idea that mainstream society had finally accepted us. Or, to paraphrase the indelible Sally Field, "You liked us. You really liked us." Because of our increased visibility in the mainstream, we forgot that we still needed to work together to keep the momentum going. We moved to our gay ghettos and ate at our gay restaurants and went to our gay gyms and got so used to just being around other gay people, we started taking each other--and ourselves--for granted.

The one good thing about Prop 8 passing is that there's been a wake-up call in the gay community. Suddenly we got to see what a lot of people who said they embraced us and loved us really thought about us, and it wasn't pretty. They thought we were funny on TV and they loved our movies, but deep down, they still thought that we lived unnatural and immoral lives. The honeymoon with the rest of the world is now officially over, and we are once again forced to look within our own community for the support and encouragement that we need to get back out in the streets and tell the world that it's not OK to think of us as any less than any other human being. That's why these rallies have been so important. They are bringing us together again in a way that we haven't been for more than a decade, and they are mobilizing us to take action once again. We are now beginning to see how important it is for us to stay bonded and united in strength, not splintered into high school cliques, as we have been.

The rallies have gotten us out of the bars and the gyms and off the Internet hookup sites and into the streets. And the more rallies we have--the more time we spend coming together for the cause--the stronger we will become again, and this time, there will be no stopping us. This time, we'll get our equal rights, because we've tasted a little bit of what it feels like to be "accepted" in the world, and we aren't going to stand for anything less. These rallies may not get Prop 8 overturned, but WE will. Just you watch. You just can't keep a good gay down.


At 3:41 PM, Blogger Daniel Delevin said...

hey KEN... YOU see... i´m not only see yours pictures with porn starts... hehheeh

hugs, daniel

At 4:19 PM, Blogger Zack said...

Dude are you the Ken Knox the fly by commented on my blog? on my "thoughts on sex and the Fall and decline of society part 1"

Bro we could've had a great convo, bring it on back dude!


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