How are we going to provide a roadmap?

By |2018-01-16T05:27:13-05:00June 2nd, 2011|Uncategorized|

A wise man once said, “I think we owe a duty, and by we I mean LGBT organizations and programs, to set forth a road map: How are we going to get there, what’s it going to take, what needs to happen? I think people have to have a clear understanding of what it all involves.”
That wise man happens to be Jay Kaplan, the arm behind the ACLU of Michigan’s LGBT project, and you can read more about him on page 40. He has an excellent point: with all that LGBTs are facing in Michigan, how are we going to guide us to a better place?
Let’s start with where we are: You can take a look at “Out of the closet, under protected” on page 22 and see the basic ways LGBTs are discriminated against in Michigan. Or you can read about Chris Armstrong on page 38, the openly gay University of Michigan graduate who was harassed by then-Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell last fall. We live in a state where Shirvell was fired for blogging on company time – not for harassing and stalking a college student because he was gay.
Sure, things here aren’t shockingly terrible – we’re not Tennessee with its “Don’t say gay” bill (and if you don’t know what that is, Google it, for heaven’s sake) – but things are pretty terrible, and they cannot be ignored.
Another wise man once said, “I challenge us to remember that we are all in this movement together. We gotta work it out. Together.”
That wise man was Curtis Lipscomb, the executive director of KICK, and you can read about him on pages 14 and 32. He too has an excellent point: We are all in this together, and we are going to work it out.
So we say to you: enjoy Motor City Pride this weekend. Enjoy its return home to Detroit as it kicks off a month of Pride celebrations nationwide. Enjoy the sun, the food and the performances in Hart Plaza. Enjoy the drinks, DJs and dance parties. And when all the fun is over, we challenge you to think about how we are in this movement together. How are we going to utilize our strengths to work toward our common goal of equality? How will we support one another and make up for each other’s weaknesses?
Motor City Pride’s return to Detroit is a signal that we are ready to leave behind antiquated laws that don’t defend us and also, more importantly, the overwhelming sense of complacency felt by many: that if things aren’t life-threateningly terrible for us LGBTs, well then they’re OK.
It’s not OK.
We need a road map. We need a unified plan. We will make life more than just OK for us in this state. But we’re only going to do it together.

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.