Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
Some days, one can’t open a newspaper without feeling like we are living in the worst of times.
BTL isn’t covering the Iraq war, Bush administration corruption scandals or Vice President Cheney’s seeming inability to safely handle a gun. However, because BTL mainly covers LGBT news, the temptation to feel like any week’s paper is covering one of the worst of all possible worlds is perhaps stronger even than it is when reading the mainstream press.
This week is no different. On the national front, the Supreme Court of the United States has given military recruiters special rights to violate the anti-discrimination policies of universities. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force tells us that the “ex-gay” movement is cynically targeting, and hurting, our youth in an effort to change the open minds of young people and thus, in the long term, enact even more discriminatory laws. This week’s Creep of the Week is a particularly well-named one, featuring a police chief who may have caused the death of a gay man. Why? Because he forbade the man’s friend to perform CPR, claiming that because the victim was gay he was HIV positive.
Almost makes you want to close the paper, doesn’t it – or else use it to help insulate your closet?
But wait – because this week, as most weeks, there most certainly is more. Yes, Bush is still in our White House, which means that all cannot be well with our world. The Bush presidency and the religious wrong notwithstanding, though, there is still plenty of positive news to keep you turning pages and marveling at the strength of our community and the commitment of our allies.
On page 7 we tell you about Michigander Joe Fitrzyk, Genre magazine’s first Genre Man of the Year. The best part of the story isn’t about a gay Michigan man receiving an award from a gay publication, but the fact that Fitrzyk, an openly gay man, has recently been promoted to vice president and creative director of one of our area’s major advertising agencies. Oh – and the fact that he received “overwhelming” support from the straight community in winning the award.
Speaking of the straight community, on page 8 we tell you about upcoming Detroit-area appearances by Dr. David Myers, member of the conservative Reformed Church, faculty of the conservative Hope College, and author of a recent book in favor of equal marriage rights. Yes, you read that correctly.
In national news, in addition to the usual coverage of anti-LGBT bigotry, there are positive signs as well. Like the transgender woman who won her fight to use the women’s room in New York, the Presbyterian minister who will now continue officiating marriages for same-sex couples following a church ruling, and the defeat in Virginia of a bill that would have threatened gay-straight alliances in that state’s schools. Looking closer, we see that a possible Republican successor to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney favors adoptions by gay couples and Republicans in Colorado are putting forward a bill that would include same-sex couples in limited benefits.
In others words, while these are hardly the best of times, they are also hardly the worst. They are slowly changing for the better – and why? Because of out, proud gay men like Joe Fitrzyk. Because of the courageous advocacy of NGLTF, of our own Triangle Foundation, our soon to be built new Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center in Ferndale, and the dozens of organizations and countless individuals, queer and straight alike, who are struggling for full equality for all our citizens.
Mostly, though, the times are changing for the better with every closet door that opens and with every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person who steps out and simply lives their lives.
So, go ahead. Please keep reading this issue of BTL, and do what you can about the bad news you’ll see here. But don’t forget to revel in the good news as well, and while you’re at it come join in the fun this Saturday in Dearborn where 2,000 folks will be enjoying the 10th Annual Lesbian and Gay Comedy Festival.