Tag Archives: The LGBTQ movement

Thoughts On the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

Major change for good comes when we stand up against hatred and prejudice.

This weekend, we remember the Stonewall riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City and celebrate the remarkable achievements and opportunities that the LGBTQ community has had since then.

Coming out of the closet is often a painful years long process of learning to love yourself and finding the courage to tell the ones you love who you truly are. If you are lucky, your relationship with your loved ones will not change. But not everyone is so lucky.

This week, The Brian Lehrer Show discussed various aspects of the modern LGBTQ movement and how it was created by the Stonewall riots. Yesterday, one of the callers was a woman named Lisa. Lisa called in to tell the story of her son’s coming out and the reaction to the revelation of who he revealed himself to be. The call starts at 21:02.

I would hope that when one comes out, they are seen by their loved ones and their community as no different than before coming out. But the reality is that many members of the LGBTQ community are often ostracized and forced out of their families and communities because they do not fit into the traditional hetero-normative/binary labels.

Change, especially on the cultural and legislative levels, does not not happen in an instant. It takes years of work, fighting for acceptance and facing the demons of the past. But it does happen if you believe and continue to push for it. The members of the LGBTQ community have proved that and will continue to use that model to inspire all of us to push for a just and equal society.

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Thoughts On Andrew Cuomo’s “America Was Never That Great” Comment

America was created based on the ideal that every citizen is equal and is entitled the same rights. While the ideal is wonderful, the reality is that we live in a country that is more complicated.

Yesterday, at a bill signing, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that America was never that great. Naturally, his comment drew ire from you know who and some members of the Republican Party.

I agree and disagree with his statement. I agree because America has a long way to to go before all citizens are completely enfranchised. Women, citizens of color and other minorities are still routinely discriminated against. There are some people in this country who would like nothing more than anyone who is not Caucasian, Christian, heterosexual (and male by extension) to become second class citizens.

I disagree with him because America is a great country. A century ago, members of my family emigrated from Eastern Europe. This country not only welcomed them with open arms, but supported them so they could give future generations a better life than the life they had in the old country. If America’s borders had not been open, they would have likely died in the gas chambers and the concentration camps. Future generation of my family (myself included) would have never been born or given the opportunity to live and thrive. While we have not completely corrected the mistakes of our collective American past, we have come far in starting to correct them. The Civil Rights Movement, The Feminist Movement and the LGBTQ Movement have opened many of our eyes about the disenfranchisement of our fellow citizens.

The issue with the comment is not just the context, but the timing. Mr. Cuomo is running for re-election for Governor. His statement gives those who want to replace him as Governor another reason to prove why they are better suited for the position.

Only time will tell if this comment is just a momentary blip or if it is the reason why he loses the Governor’s race. Either way, it shows how complicated it is to be an American in 2018.

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