I am just a 40 something straight man who gives a damn. I am one that realizes that the problem lies with us: the straights. If we can educate or help our straight brothers and sisters understand gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) folks, we will have come a long way to reaching full equality for all.
Besides, many GLBT people have been the innovators, artists, writers that have given us a much richer experience on this Earth. I can’t imagine a world without this wonderful community!
I hope that someday they will never have to feel shame or hide. They should be able to express themselves as freely and openly as the rest of us–and never feel “separate” ever again…
…which, in turn, we can hope, eliminate hate crimes and discrimination of any kind…
I am a straight ally to the cause for equality! I’ve been aware of homosexuality for as long as I can remember, because my Uncle Kevin has been in a committed relationship with my Uncle Lalo (short for Eulalio) for almost my entire lifetime. I never thought twice about their relationship growing up; they were my Uncles, and they lived upstate, and I loved them.
When I got older and started to learn about the inequalities facing gays (as well as all members of the LGBTTQQPI, did I get that right?, community), it broke my heart to think that these men, who were such an integral part of my life and learning, may have faced discrimination. I have never asked them about their journey, because they are so very private and I respect that. But I know bits of their story, and they make me GIVE A DAMN!
I know they bought a house together 14 years ago because a conscientious lawyer understood that they might need legal ways to prove themselves a legitimate couple. I know that Uncle Kevin’s brother (my mom’s oldest brother) never accepted Kevin’s sexual orientation. Family gatherings were alway on neutral ground (at my grandparents’ house), and since my Grandmother’s death, they have not visited one another. I know that my uncles have both faced hiring and workplace discrimination, both on the basis of their sexual orientation and on the basis of Uncle Lalo’s Mexican heritage.
I also know that my Uncle Kevin grew up as a Christian, but faced so much discrimination that he has left. My faith is important to me, and it is disgusting to know that someone has been turned away from a God I love so much because of his sexual orientation. As a Christian in support of homosexuality and homosexual rights, I burn with anger when I hear about people who have lost all hope and love in God because of the prejudice of some people. My Uncle Kevin is my Godfather. My parents asked him to be my Godfather at a time when they knew his sexual orientation because they love him the way he is and accept every facet of his identity. He has been the best Uncle and Godfather I could have ever hoped for.
They may be a private couple, and I may not see them often. But they have taught me so much about being open and loving people for who they are. They have been together for 15 years now, I believe, and engaged for a year. I hope and pray and work and vote and speak for a time when they will not have to drive to another state to have a piece of paper signed for their marriage. I love them, and I want to see them have every right and freedom I will enjoy as a heterosexual.
The time is now for all of us to give a damn and let “love” shine and let hope open the door for a life worth living for today-tomorrow and forever!!…
“You Don’t Even Know my Name”
You don’t even know my name.
Your visions of religion daunt and taunt me with shame.
You fear me in your schools as student or teacher,
Yet you don’t even know my name.
You say I cannot marry my lover,
Who are you to make life decisions for she/he and I?
How dare you requite with your hatred and busy mind games,
You don’t even know my name.
Your fear is not my fear that is your blame.
You mock me like a jockey in some sort of race,
Where only the right breed takes first place.
I have kept this secret in some hidden way,
No longer will I allow you the key to my drawer.
Get out of the way for there is healing to be done,
I don’t have time for your brain to catch up to this enlightened mind frame.
I do not hate you, nor fear your regulated rules of what I can do
Because in the end, this is not a game for you or I to play like tabletop pool.
There are no dice to roll, no favorite picks, win or lose,
This is cooperative play we wish to approve.
I have a plan and it will be bold,
But there are millions of others whose stories are here to be told.
So hold back your voice just a little bit more before you spout,
And clench your tightened fist.
It is the voice of a name I’m sure you have heard,
His name is Harvey Milk, who tugged at your heartstrings,
And may have knocked at your door.
You don’t even know my name, but you can be sure, that oh one day
I believe your heart will open the door, at least that is my plan.
Where hatred and fear are no more.
But rather a life worth living,
Where hope is an open door.
“I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you… And you… And you… Gotta give em hope.” Harvey Milk
On November 4th, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA, I was glued to the TV. I was watching the presidential election as Obama took state after state. It was a historic, exciting, joyful moment that almost moved me to tears.
It was a celebration, but I went to sleep also watching the polls come in on Prop 8 and it was 50-50, neck and neck, tied. The next morning, it was official, Prop 8 passed.
I went about my regular routine with a heavy heart. When I got to school, my teacher took one look at me and said,”hey, you cant beat yourself up, the LGBT community will get the rights, you guys just have to keep at it.”
So, with that I excused myself and went home. I couldn’t believe that my state of California, who I have forever thought as a great place, would pass such a law, telling me that I was less then.
This is why this fight for equal rights is important to me, because I dont want to see this discrimination passed onto another generation. I was 19 at the time and I can honestly say it hurt. I dont want any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender teen to ever feel that discrimination that I felt.
Thank you for giving a damn. Thank you for this great organization.
My name is Connor and I am gay.
I think at one point or another, we all have a dream of the perfect wedding. You know…that hope of one day marrying the one we love and walking down the aisle. Being a male, I was always led to believe that I should marry a woman. However, as years passed I came to realize that I did not want a bride. Instead, I wanted a husband…to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, ’till death shall we part. This realization, to my dismay, became a crippling part of my life.
For the past five years I have fought, day in and day out, trying to give people even the tiniest idea of what it is like to be a homosexual in the world today. I have been cursed at, spit upon, and threatened…even by members of my own family, simply based on the fact that I love other men.
Love is a gift. Plain and simple. And I feel that those of us lucky enough to find it, whether it be for men or women, do not deserve to have that denied by anyone. A man can love another man the exact same way that a man can love a woman, or a woman can love a woman. Love is universal, yet so many people fail to realize this.
Life is precious, and we all must shine for one another. Dark times lie ahead, and how can we ever expect to make it through if we deny each other that which should not be controversial in the first place.
I have fought these past years to try to make a difference in the way people view one another, and in the way homosexuals are viewed. And if I have helped one person…just one person, realize that everyone is equal, then I consider my life a success.
We may not be able to marry one another now, my friends, and the fight will be long…but it will make it all the more sweet, when we can finally say…
Hello, my name is Kendra and I am a lesbian. I have been a lesbian all my life, I just didn’t know it until I heard my friends in high school talk about gay people. Growing up, I thought what any teenager these days thought, that being gay was BAD. I was terribly wrong. I got that idea brainwashed into me in elementary school when all the other children were running around and playing, then when one of the kids wanted to play something else another kid said he didn’t want to. So, the kids started to call him “gay” because he didn’t want to play what everyone else wanted to play. Ever since then I thought being gay meant something bad, something that I didn’t want to be.
Then, I went to high school. I attended The High School of Art and Design in New York City. I was talking with one of my friends who came out as gay to everyone. I finally started to understand what being gay meant. I knew I was gay at that moment on. I came out as a lesbian and EVERYONE in my school knew it. I was proud to be gay, STILL am.
I have graduated from high school and now attend college and I want to pursue a career in the cooking industry. I want to establish a restaurant where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people are welcomed with open arms. I am also “goth” so the restaurant will be “goth” based but will PROUDLY display the gay flag on its doors and walls.
Now, the REAL story; I have a beautiful girlfriend. Her name is Karolina. I love her with all my heart and soul. I have plans on marrying her one day. But, in the state of New York, gay couples don’t have the RIGHT to marry. I want to have a family with her. We have plans to run the restaurant together as an openly gay couple. I want us to be able to tell our customers and staff that we are a MARRIED gay couple but how can I do that if I don’t have the same rights as a heterosexual couple has? Can someone help me and my girlfriend become not just a gay couple but as a MARRIED gay couple? Thank you to all who GIVE A DAMN for me and the MILLIONS of other LGBTQ people.
I live in California, the state that has a reputation for being so liberal. So why is it that 5 other states and DC have a law saying it’s legal for a gay couple to get married? Why is it that California citizens can vote for Prop 8, deciding that it’s illegal for a loving couple to get married?
How can you discriminate against two people who love one another and want to publicly announce that love to their family & friends?
When I talk to others who are against gay marriage, I speak up. They wonder why because I’m a woman happily married to a man. I explain that I would be so angry if someone told ME that I could not marry the person I love. We don’t have the right to tell people who they can and cannot marry.
There WILL be a day when people will be shocked to know that gay people were discriminated against in this way. Many of us can’t believe there were separate water fountains and bathrooms for black and white people to use.
I HAVE A DREAM…that all people can marry
I am the proud step-parent of a 48 year old wonderful man. I married Robert’s father when Robert was 7 years old. I’ve been his proud mother the past 41 years.
We didn’t know too much about gays and lesbians. But, I finally realized that Robert was gay. After taking him to counseling to “fix” him, I started to realize that Robert was born this way and we were the ones that needed fixing. We have embraced Robert with all the love we’ve given our other children.
He, in more ways than I could count, is much better off than the “normal” children we had. Robert is a very successful businessman, with a husband, they’ve been together 28 years and have a son that will be six in July.
I couldn’t be more proud of Robert for the man he has become, the parent and spouse that he is. He and his spouse are hardworking people, who only want to have the same rights that “heteros” have, a recognized union with the benefits that come with it.
They pay taxes, are good citizens, concerned with a number of gay/lesbian and other issues. They are contributing members of society, vote and should have those rights.
Just because they are gay, doesn’t discount their need for a family, children and the stuff that everyone else wants.
Because he is my son, I do Give A Damn.
Today my daughter Colby married her best friend Rachel. I am so proud of them. I love them both for being so in love and happy and in a committed relationship!! And, my brother will be marrying his love in July!!! I totally support both my daughter and my brother!!!
When I was 9 years old, I found out my parents were getting divorced because my father was gay. Of course, I was hurt at first because my family was breaking up. Anyone would feel this way. But, as I have gotten older, I couldn’t be happier about having a unique family situation and what has come along with having it.
The gay community is amazing. I have so many wonderful people that have come into my life since my father came out and been able to live his life out in the open. PRIDE festival is one of my favorite times of year and I have continued to bring more and more friends to it every year (most of them straight) and they have the time of their lives. I refer to PRIDE as one big family reunion
I am surrounded with so many amazing gay and lesbian couples that are friends and neighbors of mine, and it breaks my heart to know that they can’t “officially” get married and commit their love to one another, or that their adopted children have only one of their parents names on their birth certificate and if something happened to them, their other parent isn’t even considered to be a next-of-kin. Everyone deserves the same equal rights, no matter what sexual orientation, race, gender, etc. you are.
I have been defending and supporting the gay community all my life. I do so with pride and passion because not only is my father gay, but so many incredible individuals around me are part of this community. They deserve everything that straight individuals do.
I went to a private and conservative high school where so many people around me were ignorant and judgmental, and it hurt to hear the way they thought of gay people and how misinformed they were. This is an incredibly important issue in my life and I am behind spreading the word of equal rights 100%.
I love my family and I completely support the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
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More than 8 million people in this country are denied the freedom to marry...just because they are gay. Many have been in committed, loving relationships with the same person for 10, 20, even 50 years.