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Cory Doctorow

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

I love a good speech

As I type this, I'm watching C-SPAN's broadcast of the Equality Across America rally at the foot of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. I'm about an hour into the 3 hours being broadcasted live while I watch it off of a DVR. I can pause and reflect on each speech . . literally!

As is often the case with LGBT marches and rallies, there is a rainbow of participants on the stage, 18 years old to AARP eligible, every shade of skin color, all heights and widths and everything else that makes watching one of these events so joyous for me.

Before today's march and rally even began, Representative Frank has already weighed in on what the LGBT community really should be doing instead of marching and rallying and making speeches in D.C: lobby your congressional representatives to get pro-LGBT legislation passed the Congress and signed into law. While today's speakers are happy to use this "wet-blanket" proclamation as a springboard to justify the frustration and vehemence in their tone, when the last of the trash is policed from the Mall and everyone has been bussed and flown home later today, Representative Frank's words will find their place in the hearts and minds of even the most verbose participant.

Now is no time to stop pressuring our Representatives to get pro-LGBT legislation from being passed and signed into law.

While "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the overturning of the "Defense of Marriage Act" and repealing a ban on persons with HIV/AIDS from entering the U.S. are most certainly issues our community can support, we also need to be mindful of pending legislation that also affect us directly but does not name us specifically. Here, I'm referring to the passage of meaningful health care and health insurance reforms and a peaceful end to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

If you're like me, and you're trying to decide which issue you should support with your money (not issues plural -- times are tight for everyone), before trying to take a large enough bite into these nationwide concerns, each of us can lend support in ways besides clicking in a credit card number.

Volunteer a few hours a month to knock on doors in support of a pro-civil rights candidate for a city, state or nationwide elected office.
When you hear a defamatory joke being told, or a person perceived to be gay/lesbian being taunted, teased or picked on, stand right next to them and look the bullies in the eye. No words are necessary -- your presence next to the victim will make a difference. This 18 year-old who took the podium today in D.C testified to this today.
Click on the banner that will stay atop my blog and find out what you may do to help support the Trevor Project. Anyone who is contemplating suicide because they do not believe they can live with pride about who they are must know this group existence. One more person dead because they think they are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and/or transgendered is too horrible a tragedy for me to contemplate.

If none of these opportunities resonates with you, there's a quote you can write down and keep with you as a promise you can make to yourself:

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