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New generation finds ways to spread equality

By |2018-01-15T20:38:27-05:00August 16th, 2007|Opinions|

Sure, we can mope about how we don’t have marriage rights. Or, on a smaller level, how we risk getting starred at when we kiss our partner as we stroll through the mall. Instead, why don’t we start to find hope in a new generation of LGBT-rights advocates, who are paving the way for a brighter tomorrow through persistent fighting – like Rachel Loskill.
The Lansing native finished her tour to 32 conservative colleges in May, traveling to each and spreading equality, along with 52 other young adult activists, to those who aren’t tolerant of our lifestyles. During her journey on Equality Ride she was arrested three times, a small price to pay, she said, if she could get the word out, and let thousands of students know that it’s OK to be gay. And many of them were. Problem is, a fair amount of them have never met another LGBT person.
“It was life-changing for myself and, I know, for a lot of the people I talked to and had conversations with at the schools and have continued to e-mail back-and-forth since then,” she told Between The Lines in this issue.
Loskill, along with other riders, shared their lives with these complete strangers, reaching out their hand and, in so many words, said: Take it, and together we’ll walk. They shared a part of them that often times people are too scared to talk about. They endured slurs, they endured police – but, in the end, none of that mattered. These youngsters were there for one reason: equality.
More and more young adults are taking opportunities to speak their minds, addressing new generations on LGBT issues. It happens in schools every day, where students meet during gay/straight alliances to brainstorm ways to spread acceptance at their educational institution. It happens when a student simply calls out a classmate who says their homework is “so gay.” It happens when people, like Loskill, step up to the plate and risk punishment, like being arrested, just to offer help to their peers.
Like tireless advocates who have come before them, a generation of oppression-fighting youngsters are swarming conservatives with a simple sentiment that some are too narrow-minded to face: That whether they deny us right now, one day we will win. For that, we admire their hard work. Their dedication. Their attitude.
Most of all, we adore them for speaking for us when it’s easier to hide in the shadows. Or when we are too discouraged to even try, or when we want change to happen with the wave of a magic wand. As young as these fighters are, they know that gaining LGBT rights and tolerance isn’t part of some fairy tale. But they do know, eventually, we’ll prevail with our own happy ending.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.