On May 17, like one global heart, the LGBT people of Earth will unite for their own survival and liberation on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), with nations and activists marking the occasion on all seven continents. And to mark IDAHOT in the United States, the Pledge for Full LGBT Equality is mobilizing a "Day of Organizing" to activate the over 240 groups and 600 activists in 44 states who support the pledge to build a nationwide campaign for full federal equality for LGBT persons.
Fortunately, in the 21st century, the cause of LGBT justice is part of the zeitgeist, but mountains still remain ahead. At long last, our omnipresent community and the human-rights world are awakening to our entitlement to equal and full protection from discrimination under international law, propelled by the United Nations' exciting new Free & Equal campaign. Yet, as we all know, here in New York City, as in the halls of power in Moscow and Washington, D.C., and around the globe, we LGBT human beings still endure unspeakable pain and suffering, rejection, abuse, oppression, and denial of the basic human right to be safe and secure to simply exist.
It is time to band together and rise up to protect our children from this societal abuse, and to save humanity from the ills of divisiveness.
The fact remains that we live as unwelcome souls in every nation, as 2,000 years of religious and political judgment and persecution continue virtually unfettered, cruelly depriving some 10 percent of humanity safe passage on this planet. And as a result, here we are, the LGBT warriors for justice, demanding respect and dignity as a truth of principle grounded in all social compacts and every prophet's teaching.
Indeed, by all written accounts, all human beings are created equal. And in faith, all souls are equal.
In recent times, the worldwide LGBT community has increasingly rejected inhuman abuse, blossoming in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. Yet horrifically still, in Uganda, Nigeria, Mississippi, Texas, Russia, and Iraq, figures such as Vladimir Putin, Ted Cruz, Yoweri Museveni, John Boehner, and Timothy Dolan maniacally refuse to recognize the human rights of LGBT human beings. Who are these people, and what do they represent? Sadly, they reflect the darkest elements of human nature: judgment, anger, and a lack of compassion. But for these misguided men and all others sharing their view, the conundrum we present is inescapable.
LGBT people, by our very existence, are raising a profound question. We represent the essence of the dilemma of whether to love or to judge. Our plight ignites instinctual compassion. Our abuse challenges our humanity. And through our quest, each lost soul, trapped in hatred, that learns to love us as equals takes a journey. Each anti-gay mind that finds its way to compassion has a liberating epiphany. And with that, they come closer to a oneness of spirit with the divine, with Mother Earth, and with one another. They set themselves free.
So now, today, with the LGBT cause erupting everywhere, in every culture, in every religion, in every nation, the people of Earth must decide whether to respect LGBT human beings as equals or remain in the man-bound purgatory of judgment. It is a heavy cross to bear for our people, but it's a miraculous purpose as well, as we the LGBT people of Earth help to unite us all in loving-kindness, in a world of brotherly and sisterly love, as foretold. And to accelerate our collective liberation, we must demand our full equality everywhere.
Toward this mighty goal, in the United States on May 17, highly motivated Equality Pledge groups and grassroots activists are organizing locally to form state teams for the Equality Pledge Network, an action campaign that will launch officially on July 2, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Fifty years we've waited, but our time has come, and our people are ready.
With the wind in our sails, veterans like Matt Forman (former Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force), Michelangelo Signorile (HuffPost Gay Voices editor at large), Geoff Kors (formerly of Equality California), and Ann Northrop (of Gay U.S.A.) have each joined the call for full civil rights, many opposing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as unequal and unacceptable. Celebrity activists are also leading the call, like Leslie Jordan of Will & Grace fame, and Del Shores of Sordid Lives and Queer as Folk.
As a blessed bonus in this quest, I personally have figured out how to search for my authentic self, the sweet kid who just wanted to be loved, the person I am under the oppression. And I'm pleased to say that I have found him. I found the little boy's anger and fear lurking within, buried under years of torment and telling myself to "butch up," a vast shadow that I could finally acknowledge, soothe, and heal. I also sought "harmony with the oppression," now fully revealed and understood, so I could work within it, inured to its abuse. And I fought my way free from judging our oppressors. Free at last, free at last! We are all on this journey together.
For all of humanity, the LGBT people of Earth, sprinkled like glitter in the sand, are bearing an incredible cross for the most noble of causes. We pose an ethical dilemma through which each person evolves to our spiritual oneness. We are a bridge between the masculine and feminine energies, personifying the peaceful coexistence of the yin and the yang. We are the revelation that all souls are equal. And like all liberation movements, but uniquely because we are the children of all families, we are the next great path to freedom of consciousness, a beacon guiding humanity toward love, a state long prophesied yet far from realized.
So rise up. Rise up, activists. Rise up in your home, office and church. Rise up to serve this great purpose, and be the force of evolution that we are destined to serve. Every gay soul is a liberator. Every trans being is a healer. And together, united around the globe, on each May 17 from now until we are all free, we must collectively rise up to help save ourselves and our communities. And through the suffering we must each hold fast and remember that you, we, indeed all LGBT beings, are the manifestation of the spirit of love in action for our universal well-being.
LGBT equality now! Human dignity for everyone, everywhere, now (if not sooner)!
Take the Pledge for Full LGBT Equality here, or email [email protected] to join the campaign.