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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 11 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 28
LETTERS
Arts & Entertainment
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LETTERS

The Coming Pushback

Editor:

The movie line 'writers write' from Throw Momma from the Train (Danny DeVito, Billy Crystal, 1987) has always cracked me up. The bare truth in two words.

Listen up queers, bigots hate.

Yes, Ed Murray was elected mayor of Seattle. Yes, Obama pens federal rules that include LGBT people in healthcare, immigration and more. Yes, corporations advertise for civil equality and recruit liberal customers with messages of diversity and inclusion. Yes, pride celebrations across Washington state and the nation rocked our June with significant, anniversary pride events. Yes, equal marriage laws are on a huge national and international roll.

Yet bigots hate. Not all of the death-to-homosexual whackos with government authority are in Uganda and Russia. Your future civic peace is not assured. Your kid's future and the future of all LGBT youngins to come are not guaranteed to be rosy.

Despite living during an era of warm fuzzies for the majority of LGBT folks, bigotry is not vanquished from our nation, nor from your own neighborhood. It simmers.

You've perhaps heard of the analogy of politics as a swinging pendulum, alternating from side to side, right-wing to left-wing to right-wing again, with a goodly amount of time somewhere in the middle; America's comfort zone.

The losers amidst today's liberal pendulum swing are angry, my friends. Some of the oldest enemies of queer rights and legal justice are fading or gone; oftentimes literally dead. But angry people not yet formally associated with each other are feeling kicked in the stomach, as if their country has been hijacked by liberals (again), who they thought they had slain when the Democratic Party became centrist and business-focused.

U.S. politics all of a sudden doesn't look like a rightist fantasyland, and enemies of civil equality will find each other for comfort and strength. You'll see them appear in local elections for school boards or community councils; then for legislatures. They'll ramp up legal challenges to promote a governing philosophy through the courts that conservative officeholders can affirm through legislation. They'll coalesce into a voting block bigger than their current angst and apathy. They'll be meaner and more effective than their current train wreck of a national party.

For some of us battle-hardened veterans of GLBT activism, I say go ahead and rest, if it's your time. You've earned it. Life is not about a never-ending struggle at the expense of your own happiness. The pendulum of U.S. politics is on your side. Enjoy it. And vote.

For perhaps the majority of younger folks, get off your butts now. You may not personally know the people who are angry at you for being you, and who are frantic that you are currently winning most legal, civic and mega-business battles, but after they've worked for a decade to push the pendulum to the right, you'll see them in new organizations, a new social movement, a new political party, and on your election ballots.

What will you have done during that same decade?

(Care to disagree? I'm all ears.)

Curt Pavola

Curt Pavola is a former city councilmember for the City of Olympia, WA, (...where democracy is a way of life...) and a long-time advocate for positive social change, equal justice under the law and forging fulfilling lives for queer folk like him.

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Seattle Gay and Lesbian Book Club is discussing Young Torless this month with movie excerpt accompaniments; community members are invited to attend this and/or future discussions
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