Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Looking For That Ray Of Hope

I don't want to write a rant for you today. But as I sit to write this, the only thing on my mind is the whole situation with the Tennessee bill against anti-discriminatory laws that was passed by their governor yesterday. Ostensibly the bill is about keeping hiring practices consistent throughout the state and preventing any one local area from having harsher (read: more fair and anti-discriminatory) practices than other parts of this state.

What the bill is really about is squashing a step forward for LGBT rights.

Even though I do not live in Tennessee, the passing of this bill has hit me very hard. It makes me angry and it makes me so very disappointed in humanity. It makes me want to weep. Then it makes me want to build a time machine, pack up my family, and skip the next few damn centuries.

Because this mess we've managed to make of the world? It isn't getting cleaned up any time soon. Events like what happened yesterday in Tennessee only guarantee a longer road towards making things right.

But like I said, I don't want to rant. I really, really don't. So instead I thought I would shine a spotlight on a few of the people who are working to make this world a better place in the here and now, rather than waiting on a mythical future that we may or may not live to see.

First there is the wonderful and amazing It Gets Better Project. This is the pledge they ask us to take:

Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better."
Go to their site. Check out some of their videos. They are completely about giving hope to those who are without. I can't think of a better time for such a project to exist, can you?

Then there's George Takei. He's pretty much just become my personal hero. In response to yet another Tennessee bill directed against gay rights, he has made this wonderful video:

I love that he is using humor to draw attention and support to such a serious cause. Go here to check out the website for this initiative or to donate to the charities Takei is supporting for the cause.

There is also a group on Facebook supporting the "It's Okay To Be Takei" idea and trying to offer a place to go if you want to get involved in supporting gay rights. You can find that here.

Hope is a brilliant thing. A necessary thing. There are those out there willing to give it when the ignorant would take it away.

That, at least, I can be thankful for.

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