“Did you hear about the Hunger Strike at Affirmations?”
That question is being asked all over the country, and especially here in Michigan where someone can be fired just for being gay, Michigan families were stripped of domestic partnership benefits, and there is not marriage equality. Gay families are denied second parent adoptions, and there is not hate crimes protection.
Right now the Community Center Network, a coalition of eight LGBT community centers in Michigan are looking for people to step up and take a 24 hour shift of the 100 day strike. Each day from now until election day someone will be sitting in the front window of Affirmations, being televised across the web. The requirement is they stay in their area and they go without food from 9 a.m. to 9 a.m. They are able to answer questions, wave at people in the windows, interact with viewers online and take pride in being the face of the equal rights movement.
And they also need people to spread the word. Posting information online and starting conversations with friends, neighbors and co-workers can help educate them about the issues facing LGBT people. Another great person to start a conversation with is your elected official or those who are running for office.
Asking people if they have heard about the strike gives you an opportunity to talk about the issues. “Most people are shocked when they find out that people can be fired for being gay. They get mad when they find out that partners and children had their benefits stripped by the state. People know a little about equality and marriage, but they don’t know the different ways we are discriminated against,” said Johnny Jenkins, one of the organizers of the strike, which is being held at Affirmations.
Getting people informed, and outraged, is just the start. Stepping up and taking part is important as well. Which leads to the next question, “Are you signed up to be a striker?”
Strikers can sign up by contacting Megh Hollowell at Affirmations at 248-398-7105.