Equal Rights Blog Hop: Together We are One

equalrightbloghopI’ll confess, when I was asked to participate in this Equal Rights Blog Hop, knowing the theme was ‘what does being a part of the LGBTQ community mean to you?’, I felt a bit like a fraud.

What did I know about being a member of the LGBTQ community? Sure, I’d been bullied in high school, threatened both mentally and physically. I’d been pushed down a flight of stairs, shoved into a locker, and ambushed by a pack of violent girls. But not because I was gay. Because I was *smart*. For some kids, all it takes is being different to make you a target.

And no, I’d never been attacked in a dark alley because of my presumed sexual orientation. I’d not been trapped in an upstairs bar with iron rods on the windows while a deranged man firebombed the stairs and burned me and my friends and family alive. I couldn’t even conceive of being the victim of that kind of hatred.

I’m just a middle aged white woman who happens, like so many others, to write M/M romance. I love the genre. I love the community. But I am a heterosexual woman in a happy relationship with my boyfriend. So yeah, feeling like a fraud here. That is, until I went searching for the banner to attach to this post, and I realized I have over a dozen banners that show my support of the LGBTQ community in so many different ways. homophobia-216x300

Until I began looking at the postings of my friends on Facebook, and realized that for every post I make about equal rights for the LGBTQ community, one of my friends within that community is making a post about equal rights for women, or a post about discrimination against people of color.

Because in the end, it’s not about equal rights, or women’s rights, or the rights of African-Americans, or Hispanics, or Muslims, or Christians, or whatever. It’s about civil rights. That is something that far too many of us take for granted, assuming these battles have been fought and won by other people and we no longer need fear of having these rights taken away from us.

Bullshit.

These rights belong to us as long as we defend them. As soon as we become complacent, as soon as we stop paying attention, some politician whose only agenda is keeping his party in power will be sneaking in sweeping policy changes with a single line in a bill. Yes, the LGBTQ community won a huge victory this past month with SCOTUS declaring DOMA unconstitutional. But the war is not over–it will never be over. We’ve merely won one round. While many countries in the world are standing up and declaring that same-sex marriages are legal, other countries are actively encouraging hate crimes against members of the LGBTQ community. Women’s reproductive rights are being eroded bit by bit. Communities are moving to make it harder for people of color to vote in certain states, now that the Voting Act has been struck down.

What is important is that alone, each of us are minorities. But together, we are one voice, one powerful voice for change. So yeah, maybe I’m not so much a fraud after all. πŸ™‚

As a participant in the first annual Equal Rights Blog hop, I’m offering a signed print copy of my latest release, The Boys of Summer, to anyone who leaves a comment here. The contest runs until July 7th. Winners of the print copy are limited to the Continental US, however, if a winner is chosen who lives outside that area, the winner will be awarded their choice of an e-copy of anything in my backlist.

To enter my giveaway, please leave a comment with your email address. You may be asked a question regarding this post that requires a one word answer in order to enter the running for the Grand Prize. My favorite color is blue. Blue is the answer to the question regarding this post. πŸ™‚

Be sure to go back to the main site and head on over to the next participant in the Hop! Also on the main site are chances for you to win more entries for the Grand Prize Raffle: one of three $25 gift cards from Amazon, gift cards and prizes from contributing publishers as well! What are you waiting for? πŸ™‚

Be sure and come back tomorrow as I’ll be doing a Blog Talk Radio interview with Write On The Edge! Details to follow…

68 thoughts on “Equal Rights Blog Hop: Together We are One

  1. Just here in support as I’ve just posted at my own site. A great post, Sarah, and you make a real point here: those most vocal against LGBT rights are also those who’d diminish ours, as woman; or who’d cut back on services to people with disabilities. The battle is not just for a few. It’s for all of us.

  2. I believe in freedom. The freedom to be who you want to . The freedom to speak your mind respectfully. The freedom to simply be. There is not reason that I can think of where people should be persecuted for who they are!
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

    • I think the idea of ‘us against them’ is hardwired into our psyches. When we were hunter/gathers such a mindset was beneficial–it meant you were more likely to survive, that you had someone at your back to protect you. These days it is more likely to be used to discriminate against everyone that doesn’t fit the personal viewpoint of ‘us’, and since that varies with every individual, the most powerful groups tend to be the ones that rally the followers around the Hate Flag.

      I think the only way we’ll get there is when we make intolerance intolerable. πŸ™‚
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Equal Rights Blog Hop: Together We are OneMy Profile

  3. These rights belong to us as long as we defend them. As soon as we become complacent, as soon as we stop paying attention, some politician whose only agenda is keeping his party in power will be sneaking in sweeping policy changes with a single line in a bill.

    So true. A few months ago, John Scalzi was writing about Random House’s new imprints and their atrocious contracts and he said, “The fences will always be tested. It’s why it’s important to keep the fences electrified at all times.” It’s a great phrase and it’s stuck with me since then, and you’ve hit the hammer on why: rights belong to us as long as we defend them.

  4. Great post and so very true, Sarah. Equality is not just a GLBYQ issue, and never think that as a str8 woman you are a fraud! You help empower and bring love to many “in the community” with your wonderful writing. You are a part of “us” … you’re the ally part and we NEED you!

    Tempe O
    (Oh, and Blue, lol)
    Tempe O recently posted..The Equal Rights Blog HopMy Profile

  5. Great post, Sarah! For long time, I felt like you did. I’m a straight woman as well, and wondered if I had a ‘right’ to consider myself a member of the LGBT community. Then, I started thinking about it and, like you, have always supported LGBT rights. It started in 1965, when I met my best friend and Lesbian. I defended my right to be her friend and support her although there was a lot of opposition to do so. I told them that she was my friend and they might as well accept it! A few years ago, I felt even more included when my youngest child came out as Transgender male. It sounds strange, but instead of being upset, I was proud because now I had even more reason to cheer for a community I’d always embraced. Thanks, Sarah!

    lena.grey.iam@gmail.com

    • Wow, it takes a strong person to be able to stand up for their friends–most of us as teenagers are heavily influence by the pressures of our peers and society. To do so when defending a friend could endanger your own life is even more courageous–and I think it is people like you who have paved a way for a generation of people now who say, “No, this is wrong and it must stop.”

      But someone always has to be the first to stand up. Bravo to you!
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Equal Rights Blog Hop: Together We are OneMy Profile

  6. I think you hit the nail right on the head. If one segment of society is not treated equal then we have to realize that all parts of society is at risk for that kind of treatment. We all just need to help one another because it is the right thing to do. Like you, I’m a straight ally, but I can’t believe that love is every wrong.

    • Like you, I’m a straight ally, but I can’t believe that love is every wrong.

      Same here. Nor do I believe that people should be discriminated against in the workplace (or otherwise) because of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, you name it. I find it interesting that Jesus never said one word about homosexuality in his teachings–but he had a lot to say about the rich and the powerful. πŸ˜‰
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Equal Rights Blog Hop: Together We are OneMy Profile

  7. Blue! Okay, thanks for joining this blog hop. I get what you are saying about feeling like a fraud. I discovered M/M romance a couple of years ago quite by accident. My own beliefs have changed a bit by that. You are right that we have to fight for our rights or lose them.

    • I can tell you that I’m not the same person I was 20 years ago. I grew up in a Christian household, listened exclusively to Christian music, etc. And while I still have strong beliefs, I became gradually disenchanted with the Church as a podium for political platforms versus a place to come together and commune with God.

      In the last 20 years, I’ve traveled more, experienced more things, met new people and had my mind opened to many new cultures, societies, and ways of life. I credit the internet with that, but also the friends I’ve made through fandoms, and a large part of fanfiction is more inclusive than mainstream entertainment can be. I don’t regret a single moment! I think it’s made me a more compassionate and mindful human being, and I am constantly having my horizons challenged and expanded these days. πŸ™‚
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Equal Rights Blog Hop: Together We are OneMy Profile

  8. Great post. I think everyone should have the same rights. I don’t care if your straight, gay or whatever. I have pissed off my family more than one when one of them says marriage should be between a man an woman only. I have two comments to that one is everyone pays the say taxes and everything and the other is what are you going to say if one of your children tells you someday that they are gay. I love my family but sometimes I can’t stand their attitudes.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  9. Fantastic post, Sarah! It’s so true. Though it’s important for those who are LGBTQA to speak up and fight, it’s also important for those who are not to fight. Allies, aw yeah!

    I legitimately don’t understand people who are against gay rights. We’re not forcing *them* to get a gay marriage, we’re just opening that possibility up for others. No one’s forcing them. Their arguments that it’s against God’s will or whatever makes me angry, as well – separation of church and state. Please don’t make laws based on your religion – that’s not what this country is about.

    severus.fan@gmail.com

    • I know! Same sex marriage doesn’t affect one iota what happens in my relationships, any more than celebrities who marry and divorce in less than 30 days, or people who cheat on their spouses, or people who choose to remain celibate!

      I saw the funniest twitter today (though I forget who posted it). Someone tweeted: Seal Team Six is pounding at my door and demanding that I marry @stephen_fry! #DamnYouObama!

      Yeah. Right.
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Equal Rights Blog Hop: Together We are OneMy Profile

  10. I’m so glad you feel like a part of our community, and you certainly are no fraud! I would hope you feel a spirit of inclusion vs exclusion. My best friends growing up, and even into adulthood have been straight women, and I have loved them dearly. I’m so glad there are wonderful people like you in the world. YOUR BOOKS ROCK! πŸ™‚

    Jim Evans
    lakeviewfella@yahoo.com

    • Aw, thank you, Jim! You don’t know how happy that makes me feel (or how hard I am blushing right now)! That is very kind of you!

      You know, I think that is part of what draws so many people to the GLBTQ community–that feeling of inclusion vs exclusion. Many of us, for whatever reason, have experienced marginalization and isolation. I think that’s why I can identify with some of my characters, and why so many women like me feel comfortable in this community. Sure, it’s not without it’s problems–any community has them–but by far and large, it is more inclusive than exclusive. At least in my experience!
      Sarah Madison recently posted..Equal Rights Blog Hop: Together We are OneMy Profile

  11. I loved reading your post. You don’t have to be gay to be part of the GLBT community. That’s one of the great things about said community, it is open to one and all equally. You are definitely a part of it. πŸ™‚

  12. I couldn’t agree with you more. It seems that for every battle won, large or small, someone is sneakily removing other rights. Sad.

  13. Great post. Thanks for sharing what you know/found out about the GLBT community.
    I couldn’t agree more about uniting to be one great voice.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  14. I’m here in support of the Hop and to voice my happiness that the Prop 8 fiasco in California looks like it’s finally buried.

    Long live Equal Rights! πŸ™‚

  15. “These rights belong to us as long as we defend them. As soon as we become complacent, as soon as we stop paying attention, some politician whose only agenda is keeping his party in power will be sneaking in sweeping policy changes with a single line in a bill.”

    Years ago I heard a quote from am unknown person that says the same thing
    “Bad things happen when good people do nothing”
    Throughout history you can see the truth of this. We have to protect & our civil rights,as well as make sure everyone has them, or we will find we don’t have them anymore.

    Your favorite color is blue.

    Wolphcall(at)bellsouth(dot)net

  16. Hi Sarah! Thanks for participating in the blog hop. Wonderful post! I agree wholeheartedly. We need to continue taking a stand for our rights, and not leave it up to political parties to decide what they believe is best for us, and the best way to do that is by speaking up. Have a wonderful weekend!

  17. So glad you are part of the hop AND the LGBT community, Sarah. I firmly believe allies are part of it, even if from a different perspective. What’s not different is wanting equal rights and working towards them. Yes, that means for everyone, and it’s a hard and long road. The good thing is that the travelers on the road are getting more and more plentiful, and that is a beautiful thing.

    Thanks so much for sharing with all of us.

  18. I am a married (to a man) soccer mom from Texas, and I believe equal rights means equal for everyone. I support your right to marry the consenting adult who you love and who loves you back, regardless of gender. I agree with your post, and I love a great love story, gay, straight, or other!
    terrihawk66@yahoo.com

  19. I too have felt, as a married heterosexual woman, that I don’t necessarily fit into the GLBTQ community. But then I realize that is part of the problem, the issue is about equal rights for everyone, breaking people into groups doesn’t help that goal. Part of the fight is looking at people as people, regardless of our differences and recognizing our similarities instead.

  20. Thank you for your excellent post and for participating in the blog hop. Congratulations on your recent publication!

    • I adore my latest release–not the least of which is because I was able to write about a period of time in which being homosexual was punishable by jail time or chemical castration–facts I think we tend to forget about from generation to generation. It’s important to remember how far we’ve come–and how easy it would be to slide back if we’re not paying attention.

      As recently as the 1970s, it was illegal for a woman to rent a car in the US without the permission of a male relative. I had no idea until I’d begun reading about the abortive attempt at a women’s space program. I think sometimes we think because others have fought and won our battles, we can sit back and forget about them. But that’s what others are counting on.
      Sarah Madison recently posted..The Equal Rights Blog Hop Continues: And Sarah Madison does a Blog Talk Radio Interview!My Profile

  21. Excellent post! What it boils down to is when one of us is diminished all of us are diminished. We all need to stand up in this fight.

  22. I’m a straight guy but have no problem with gay marriage – that it’s even a question is what’s disturbing – equal rights but only for some? doesn’t sound equal to me..

  23. There really seems to be a war on freedom going on right now. I just saw a post on Facebook about this resurgence in anti abortion & women’s health restriction, where a gay man said he shouldn’t have been surprised that as the LGBT community was gaining rights the conservatives have stared taking them from women. Someone has to be oppressed by the ‘moral right’ at some point. πŸ™
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

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