Grow a pair or three
September 13, 2012 | 12:00 am
(Updated: February 25, 2013 | 1:20 pm)
If you think we have it tough here in Colorado when it comes to LGBT rights, consider poor Michigan. Like us, Michigan has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. But Michigan has no statewide protections for LGBT citizens in the areas of employment or housing. There are no protections against violence and same-sex couples are banned from adopting children.
Here in Colorado we have the “Rights 5,” five state laws that offer us protection in the areas of employment nondiscrimination, housing and public accommodation, hate crimes, second-parent adoption and designated beneficiaries. Thank the goddess and the tireless efforts of organizations like One Colorado and The GLBT Community Center for that.
Back in Michigan, the head of Detroit’s GLBT Center, David Garcia, is beginning a 100-day hunger strike to call attention to Michigan’s lack of civil rights. Sounds shocking, except he is only going without food for 24 hours. Then for the next 99 days, other leaders and politicians will go on their own one-day hunger strike.
Yawn. That’s NOT a hunger strike. That’s just a diet, a fast, a cleanse. It’s what most 20-somethings and drag queens do before going out on Saturday night. Come on now, Michigan. Rosa Parks did not refuse to give up her seat on the bus for a few minutes and then let someone else take her spot. She sat on the front of the bus until she was arrested. Marion Wallace Dunlop, imprisoned in 1909 while fighting for a women’s right to vote, went without food and water for four days. In 1943, one of Gandhi’s many hunger strikes lasted 21 days.
Now that’s a proper hunger strike you can sink your teeth into. Or not, if you are doing it right. It’s not some 24-hour fast. I want to see someone skinny and faint enough to squeeze into a size two Mondo original.
If you really want civil rights, you have to be willing to fight for them and starve for them. During the police raid on the Stonewall Inn in 1969, drag queens refused to be thrown into paddy wagons so were beaten with billy clubs.
Where has our ability to fight and take a stand gone? We have become a nation of watchers, not doers. It’s easy to click someone’s Facebook posting in support of gay marriage, but why are we not marching down the street and into the offices of our legislatures demanding gay marriage equality now?
Granted we are a happy people. That’s why were called gay. Violence and blood is just too hard to find the right accessories for, but there are times when we just need to grow a pair or three. Put down the smartphone and pick up a protest sign.
It may not be as satisfying as taking torches and pitchforks to the state capital building, but you can do a food-related protest by declaring a permanent hunger strike against Chick-fil-A. “Hate chicken” is what the mayor of Washington D.C. tweeted about the company and its anti-gay stance, confirmed by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy.
In 2009 alone, the company donated more than two million dollars to anti-gay groups, including our state’s Focus On The Family. Even Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog are boycotting by severing all marketing tie-ins through Jim Henson Productions. I can already see the Muppets in front of Chick-fil-A stores with signs saying “Eat more pork” and “Frog legs DO taste like chicken.” Never piss off a puppet. ]