Friday
June 9, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 23
 
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No matter where you're partying, marching or celebrating Pride, we need to be unified in our plans for our future
No matter where you're partying, marching or celebrating Pride, we need to be unified in our plans for our future
Commentary by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN Staff Writer

[Editor's Note: This commentary had been written before it was known that Tim Eyman and the backers of Referendum 65 had failed to gather enough signatures to put the referendum on the fall ballot.]

When I saw the soundbite - none of the mainstream news stations are doing either 'real news', or total coverage on real issues anymore - of Tim Eyman (the tax initiative guy, now 'turned to the dark side, and working against the newly passed Gay rights bill) dressed in his 'Darth Vader' outfit, I knew things were getting nuttier. And yes, I agree with friends, as well as both editors of SGN, that the community should start throwing 'Princess Leia' parties as a way of not only raising funds for a counterattack, but also to make Eyman and his newest 'cause', look completely ridiculous. After all, isn't that what Eyman's trying to do to the efforts of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer folks with this camped up idea of dressing as the king of the 'dark side'?

But seriously folks, as Pride approaches, and all of the subsequent bitching and moaning about the fact that the community is split more than ever because of a new group that intends to take Pride downtown, some weighty issues come to mind. Like the issue of having our community having this internal battle even as the right wing tries on all fronts to push us back into our respective closets. Like the fact that while we have scored some major victories in the last year, we still have a long way to go to be able to have the luxury of taking our status as equal citizens under the law for granted. In fact, in my opinion, things have never been more dire, or the stakes higher than they are now for LGBTQ folk.

So, let me offer this. We are family and families sometimes disagree, and sometimes family members need to take journeys away from each other, try new things, walk new paths, in order to grow. And sometimes those first steps toward growth can be messy and crazy-making, but the bottom line is to never forget that the LGBTQ community is still a family. We encompass people who dress differently, love differently, have multiple issues-not the least of which can be identity issues in the larger world. But, I can tell you, from the perspective of having come from a very dysfunctional birth family, and from having done much recovery around those issues, that it is still possible to keep in mind our common goals. In this case, those goals would be that of gaining more ground legally, by putting in place legislation that protects our rights now and in the future. The right to love who we will, without violence, or discrimination and to marry who we will, and have our unions protected under law, both local and national.

Personally, when I heard of the march to happen downtown and the rally to be held at the Seattle Center, my first thoughts were of the encounters I've had - when I've dared to be more visible as a fluidly Bisexual person and a political Dyke. Labels are for cans and boxes in my opinion and one of the things I believe we are trying to do in our community is free ourselves from labels; most of which have been negative. Then, as June rolled around and the buzz started on the Hill, I softened my position a bit and started to imagine that both marches could be a good thing. Mostly, I want us to be able to move beyond the squabbles over our celebration, and celebrate our beautiful selves, wherever we are. Then, I want us all to join together, hunker down and get ready to battle our common enemy. The right wing. So, march were you will, but do keep in mind what we're marching for, whether it happens downtown or on The Hill.

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