Why do we wait for tragedy to motivate us to address the attitudes, ideology and legislation that are complicit in the demonstration of senseless violence directed toward the LGBT community? Author Andrew Solomon wrote, “While malicious intolerance is so obviously toxic, well intentioned complacency is equally so.” How do we make a difference in the lives of our loved ones? How do we address this complacency?
We come out of our own comfortable closets and we speak out for those who do not enjoy our freedoms, our inalienable rights, and our privileges. We don’t tell LGBT jokes. We don’t perpetuate stereotypes. We speak up when we hear disparaging comments. We contact our congressional representatives to protest against anti-LGBT legislation. We openly let our LGBT loved ones know they are loved just as they are.
We look into organizations that provide resources to help us become better allies. PFLAG National has an excellent program entitled Straight For Equality www.straightforequality.org. created specifically for people who want to stand up for LGBT equality but may not be sure how or even where they fit in. PFLAG Belleville www.pflagbelleville.org will continue to advocate for equality for all persons, educate a misinformed public and support with unwavering determination our LGBT family and friends. We will not hide in shame. We will not remain silent in complacency.
Teresa Schmidt, President PFLAG Belleville