Saturday, September 4, 2010

Changing Attitudes

This was written over several days but I feel it is still important to tell.

There seems to have been a small jump in acceptance for glbt folks around town. Like last week our PFLAG group set up a table during the local University's "Happening" event, where the college students are exposed to local companies and civic groups. We were at our booth for about 4 hours in the afternoon and watched a couple of thousand students walk by. Quite a number actually stopped and asked for information and some just to talk. This is the third year we have participated in this community and University event and every year I hear someone’s heartbreaking story of non acceptance and discrimination.

A young woman stopped at the table and began to talk about her cousin who has just ‘came out’ and members of his church have been harassing him, telling him that he is going to hell and so on, and so on. She was asking for information, any information that she could give her cousin which would show him that being ‘gay’ is not a ticket to hell. That, in fact, she wanted him to know that some churches welcome and seek out members of the gay community. We suggested to her that her cousin might want to find a more accepting church.

Again, one of the Universities Resident Assistants (RA) stopped by the table to get information, seem there is several RA’s who is determined to set up ‘safe’ rooms where glbt people go to be safe, to get more information. I thought it is great for people from university housing to be concerned for the safety of all glbt students. Now if we can only get the university to amend it’s discrimination policy to include sexual and gender identity clauses.

Having heard these particular two stories, it makes the whole day of sitting under a canopy sweating my a** off, worthwhile. Worthwhile to know that we might have helped one or two people fight bigotry and discrimination.


Melissa said...

Sometimes it seems that you have no sooner taken a step forward, when you have to take two steps back. When Virginia elected two right wing Christians to the Governor's and Attorney General's offices last fall, one of the first things our new A/G did, was tell the University of Virginia, that Virginia's anti-discrimination laws do not include protections for gay and transgender people, and therefore UVA should not include them in their anti-discrimination policy. The school took him to court over it, and the judge ruled against him.

There is still an awful lot of hatred, disguised as religious righteousness in this country.

Melissa XX

Caroline said...

bigotry and discrimination is what I got from my university medical facility 40 years ago now they have organised staff to deal with LGBT. how things are changing but how many lives did they ruin to get to this point?

Caroline xxx

Laura Bennett said...

Kudos to you two! We are all called to bloom where we are planted and make a difference to those around us. Keep up the good work I know those you helped today are appreciative and hopefully they too will pay it forward!