Friday, December 30, 2011

Youth Activisim for a Better Tomorrow

via HuffPost Gay Voices, by Warren J. Blumenfeld

It was a brilliantly sunny, though rather cool, mid-June afternoon in Boston. Banners flying, music blasting, people of all walks of life assembled, reuniting, greeting, embracing, kissing, catching up on lives lived in the space between.

The signal was given with a contagious cheer rising from the crowd, and for the next few hours the streets would be theirs:

Dykes on Bikes revving their engines; shirtless muscled young men dancing to a disco beat atop flatbed floats winding their way down the streets; dazzling drag queens in red and gold and silver; the Freedom Trail Marching Band trumpeting the call;

a black-and-white cocker spaniel wearing a sign announcing "DON'T ASSUME I'M STRAIGHT"; lesbian moms and gay dads pushing strollers or walking beside youth of all ages; Gays for Patsy Klein decked out in their finest country duds, two-stepping down the boulevard;

AIDS activists falling to the pavement of those same boulevards in mock death to expose governmental and societal inaction, which is still killing so many; married same-sex couples walking hand in hand;

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG) proclaiming "WE ARE PROUD OF OUR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER SONS AND DAUGHTERS";

alongside political, social, and service organizations, business and religious caucuses of all stripes and denominations, and of course, bystanders watching the procession, holding court from the sidelines.

And in the midst of this merriment and this protest, the humorous posters and angry placards, the enormous rainbow balloon sculptures arching overhead, and the colorful streamers and glistening "fairy dust" wafting down from open windows, amid the shiny black leather and shimmering lamé,

the multicolored T-shirts and the drab business suits, came the youth, their radiant young faces catching the rays of the sun, marching side-by-side, hand-in-hand, their middle school, high school, and college Gay/Straight Alliance banners waving exaltedly in this storm of humanity, announcing their entry, their solidarity, their feisty outrage, and yes, their pride, chanting

"Two, Four, Six, Eight, Queer is Just as Good as Straight, Three, Five, Seven, Nine, LGBTs are Mighty Fine;" then, gaining intensity, singing, "Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Homophobia Has Got to Go," and then, as if hit by an all-consuming revelation, shouting, "We're Here, We're Queer, We're Not Going Back, We're NOT Going Back, WE'RE NOT GOING BACK!"

And indeed, they will not go back into those dank closets of fear and denial that stifles the spirit and ruins so many lives. Oh, they will physically return to their schools and their homes.

They will continue to study and play sports, to watch movies, listen to their iPods, and write about their days on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Some will most likely continue to serve as community organizers, and some will go on to become parents, educators and political leaders once their school days are behind.

The place they will go to, though, is nowhere that can be seen. It is a place of consciousness that teaches those who have entered that everyone is diminished when any one of us is demeaned; that heterosexism, sexism, and bisexual, intersex, and transgender oppression (as well as all the other forms of oppression) have no place in a just society.

From the sidelines of the parade, beginning as a whisper and gaining to a mighty roar of support: "We are so glad you are here," came voices from the crowd.

"We wish we could have done this when we were in grade school and in college," cried others too numerous to count. "Thank you so much for your courage!"

Read the rest

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

select key words

2007 National HIV Prevention Conference 2009 National LGBTI Health Summit 2011 LGBTI Health Summit 2012 Gay Men's Health Summit 2012 International AIDS Conference abstinence only ACT Up activism advocacy Africa african-american aging issues AIDS AIDS Foundation of Chicago anal cancer anal carcinoma anal health anal sex andrew's anus athlete ball scene bareback porn barebacking bathhouses bears big bold and beautiful Bisexual Bisexual Health Summit bisexuality black gay men black msm blood ban blood donor body image bottom Brian Mustanski BUTT Center on Halsted Charles Stephens Chicago Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus Chicago Task Force on LGBT Substance Use and Abuse Chris Bartlett chubby chaser circumcision civil rights civil union Coaching with Jake communication community organizing condoms Congress crystal meth dating dating and mating with alan irgang David Halperin David Munar depression disclosure discrimination domestic violence don't ask don't tell douche downlow Dr. James Holsinger Dr. Jesus Ramirez-Valles Dr. Rafael Diaz Dr. Ron Stall drag queen Ed Negron emotional health ENDA Eric Rofes exercise Feast of Fun Feel the love... female condom fitness Friday is for Faeries FTM gay culture gay identity gay latino gay male sex gay marriage gay men gay men of color gay men's health Gay Men's Health Summit 2010 gay pride gay rights gay rugby gay sex gay youth gender harm reduction hate crime HCV health care health care reform health insurance hepatitis C HIV HIV care HIV drugs HIV negative HIV positive HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV strategic plan HIV testing hiv vaccine HIV/AIDS homophobia homosexuality hottie hotties how are you healthy? Howard Brown Health Center HPV human rights humor hunk Illinois IML immigration International AIDS Conference international mr. leather internet intimacy IRMA Jim Pickett leather community leathersex Leon Liberman LGBT LGBT adoption LGBT culture LGBT health LGBT rights LGBT seniors LGBT youth LGBTI community LGBTI culture LGBTI health LGBTI rights LGBTI spirituality LGV LifeLube LifeLube forum LifeLube poll LifeLube subscription lifelube survey Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano love lube lubricant Lymphogranuloma Venereum masturbation mental health microbicides middle Monday Morning Perk-Up MRSA MSM music National AIDS Strategy National Gay Men's Health Summit negotiated safety nutrition One Fey's Tale oral sex Peter Pointers physical health Pistol Pete pleasure PnP podcast policy politics poppers porn post-exposure prophylaxis PrEP President Barack Obama Presidential Campaign prevention Project CRYSP prostate prostate cancer public health public sex venues queer identity racism Radical Faerie recovery rectal microbicides relationships religion research safe sex semen Senator Barack Obama sero-adaptation sero-sorting seroguessing sex sexual abuse sexual addiction sexual health sexual orientation Sister Glo Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence smoking social marketing spirituality STD stigma stonewall riots substance abuse treatment substance use suicide super-bug superinfection Susan Kingston Swiss declaration syphilis Ted Kerr Test Positive Aware Network testicle self-examination testicular cancer testing The "Work-In" The 2009 Gay Men's Health Agenda Tony Valenzuela top Trans and Intersex Association trans group blog Trans Gynecology Access Program transgender transgender day of remembrance transgendered transmen transphobia transsexual Trevor Hoppe universal health care unsafe sex vaccines video violence viral load Who's That Queer Woof Wednesday writers yoga You Tube youtube