Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day Without A Gay

Today has been declared Day Without A Gay in protest of California's Proposition 8, and various other discriminatory legislation across the country. Because our workplace is so supportive of people, regardless of their sexual orientation (or race, religion, or other compartmentalizer), most anti-8 supporters here are volunteering before or after work, and/or are helping to spread the word through e-mails, blogs, and so on.

If you're not gay, imagine yourself in their position, being unable to live the same kind of lives as all your friends and neighbors because of discrimination. "The other," when observed, turns out to be much more like you than they are different. As Graham Greene says in The Power and The Glory: “When you visualized a man or woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity — that was a quality God’s image carried with it. When you saw the lines at the corners of the eyes, the shape of the mouth, how the hair grew, it was impossible to hate. Hate was just a failure of imagination.”

Supporting gay rights is indirect support of your own rights, because the same kinds of unimaginative people who oppose gay rights would be just as keen to oppose your rights should doing so increase their own power and prestige in some way. I know they'd oppose mine, because very similar arguments were made from very similar pulpits about miscegenation not too long ago. In those times, Anu and I could not have married. Perhaps only a fringe consciously want to return to those times, but the parallels are obvious to me.

So this is my missive encouraging people to get out there and support gay rights in some way. If you can't take a day off work, or want to show support for a supportive workplace by not taking the day off, find some way -- volunteering, donations, propagandizing -- to help people secure rights you may very well take for granted, even if only because by doing so you help increase the value and security of your own rights.

No comments: