Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The importance of being an ally

OK - this is a cooking blog, but when I did my redesign a year or so ago (good Lord, when did I redesign this??), I did reserve a label for anything that crept outside the cooking realm - like my love for Diana Gabaladon, Gordon Lightfoot, Here Come the Mummies, etc.  Anyway - that's the "Commentary" label.  So here!  Here's some commentary!

I read an article a little while back in Rolling Stone that talked about the a rash of teen suicides in Anoka-Hennepin school district.  The majority of the nine students who killed themselves were bullied for being gay or for the perception that they were gay.

I think I emailed some pretty strong and profane reactions to the article to my husband and then I emailed my dear friend Paul to see what I could do about this.  Basically, my email was that I feel like it is no longer enough to be an ally to the gay rights cause.  Should I volunteer for the local GLBT youth organization in Rochester?  I don't really have time, but I do not want to see this hatred in my community!  Especially since I'm spawning a member of said community in mah belly.  (Oh - sorry blog readers who aren't related to me or are not on Facebook ... Baby Mahannah is due in August.)

Here's part of Paul's reply:

"Honestly, I want to give you the same advice you gave me at one point (which I have replayed over and over and over when I get frustrated or down about being active in this issue) - you, as the person you are, and the position you are in, have incredible power to make a difference, and be an 'ambassador' (your word!) for change," Paul wrote. (FYI - I am rather impressed that I came up with the phrase "ambassador of change."  How ... wordy ... of me.)

A couple weeks later, he sent me this article from the Huffington Post, which talks about the importance and the charge that straight allies have in our support of the gay rights movement.

This was one of my favorite lines from this piece:  "As straight Americans we have two choices: we can choose to sit back and enjoy our rights as we have them, or we can realize that it is actually not freedom at all when our friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues do not share these basic rights."

I have no really eloquent way of closing this blog post.  Those who know me well, understand that this is an issue that has really shaped me over the past few years - it shapes the way that I treat my faith, it shapes my political activism, and it will shape the way that I raise my kid.  I am proud to be married to an ally and I'm blessed to have friends who share the same beliefs that I do.

However, all of these actions mean nothing if our country and our nation continue to deny the rights of all of its citizens.  But it's a cause that I will champion until this is just another page in history.  I hope that many of you will join me.


Angry Asian said...

i loved this post. i agree with you. it's great that i can enjoy my freedom but it would be even greater if EVERYONE, regardless of who they love, what they believe etc, can enjoy the same said freedom.

SKM said...

Thank you. :)