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