Thursday, June 27, 2013

44 Years From Stonewall

A  L  O  H  A !

Back in the day,
 there was no rainbow flag,
 no signs, no hoopla. 

Gay bars were hidden away from view,
dingy dives (often) operated by criminals
 and regularly raided by the vice squad.
Patrons were arrested, roughed up,
 had their names and sometimes faces,
 published in the local papers.
Then they lost their jobs,
 family support, apartments.

The only place the GLBT people could gather 
and be themselves
 in lives that consisted of prudent hiding
of  the most fundamental personal things,
was the bar.

Being gay was a crime,
 a sin, a moral weakness.

44 years ago this month
 the Stonewall Inn,
a gay bar in New York City 
was raided around 3am.

This time, the patrons had enough! 
Office workers,
shopkeepers, and drag queens
 in full regalia 
battled the cops
for several days.

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court 
declared that
if you are a gay couple, 
legally married by the laws
of the US State you live in,
then the federal government
discriminate against you.

Social Security benefits, survivorship,
 federal taxes,
military benefits,
all will acknowledge
 same sex couples
along with opposite sex couples.

I was 16, and 90 miles away
 when Stonewall happened.
I marched in the first
Gay Liberation March
in Philadelphia
in the early 70's.

Today, I rallied 
with about a 1000 Hawaii friends
at the state capitol,
to celebrate this day. 

The fight for marriage equality
 is not over
in Hawaii, 
or perhaps your state or province.

But determined people,
despised, powerless, abused,
discriminated against,
summarily fired,
beaten and killed,
called mentally ill,
can change all that.

I played a part,

I've seen it happen.

So speak up for what you believe.

I helped to change the world,
You do too, every day.
Make it count!

YOU can read more about 
Stonewall  HERE
 > < } } (°>

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