I think that in the fight for the lift on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, civilian-America kind of has a creed just like it. I have a friend who upon coming out was startled to discover that nobody had an original thought about him being gay prior to him coming out. They thought he was happy single, or just growing into himself. Anything but giving him the courtesy of assuming he wasn’t interested in women. Because who would want to be gay, right? I shake my head at the thinking but when it comes to the ways of the queers we’d rather not think about it. America would rather it be the last possible option. “I’ll love my friends who are like that but I don’t ever want to hear about their queer business,” seems to be the common thought. So I ask the question, is America’s silence to the LGBT culture an injustice?
Recently I read a blog post that puts int perspective exactly what it is the LGBT world is up against when it comes to being seen as a legitimate and respectable part of American culture. The problem is not that queers are not organized, because they are. It’s not that they can’t find funding because even in this economic climate orgs like HRC are driving the political battle hard. And it’s not that queers aren’t vocal because the evidence of their existence is seen in Hollywood, in the annual Pride week that echoes around the country, and yes, even in LGBT friendly churches and community centers. What they don’t have is the ear of heterosexuals around the country. Quite frankly, as fellow blogger and activist Denice Frohman puts it, “America does not care about gay people.” And it’s true. Unless gayness touches anyone on a personal level, there doesn’t seem to be a need to have an opinion for or against the group. But then again, what are you saying with your silence?
“Some think that because they aren’t physically attacking or harassing gay people that there’s nothing more to do/consider/think about, I disagree. Indifference is destructive in its own right. Not hating gay people, doesn’t mean you’re automatically innocent of ignorance; silence, insensitivity and offensive language are just different shades of it, but visible nonetheless.” -Denice Frohman
To read the rest of this particularly heart felt blog hit up Denice Frohman’s page. Indifference seems to be the Achilles heel of modern day American culture. We all feel the birthing pains of something not so free settling into our country, but will we have the gumption and passion of those heroes who came before us to stand up and fight for what we believe? It’s not hard to get your opinion out there but it all starts with simply having one to offer. Be your own hero and stop the silence.