Wednesday, July 6, 2011

OPINION: Are We Turning into What We Fought

By Jeff Willoughby

I remember a time when gays weren't as elitist as the people who once discriminated against us. I guess we are now truly equal.

We have become just as hateful as the people we claim hate us. Many of us have reached the point where we can have great jobs and live great lives but it wasn't always that way. I remember when you could rent an apartment if the landlord thought you were gay let alone go into a club or restaurant holding hands. I remember when people had to carry their leather into the bar and dress inside for fear of being attacked in the streets. It just seems that in our quest to be accepted we have lost the abilty to accept others.

Instead of creating a dialog around the fact that many of our young gay people are being thown into the streets without any one to turn to and when they turn to the very people who are supposed to help them we put up facebook pages and spew hatred from the safety of our computers. We should all ask ourselves what happened to us? We set up centers and raise money for any number of causes but we do nothing about the thousands of gay people who live on the streets. We spend hundreds of dollars cocktailing in bar after bar yet many of us give nothing back to a community that is given us so much.

What happened to activism that helps and heals? What happened to an involved community? One that cares about ALL instead of those who can afford the privilege of being cared about? I was around when AIDS hit this community and the togetherness that came from that one event. Homelessness and hunger, anger and fear are no different a disease and it is just as dangerous. It is killing our future. Yes folks these young "gangs" are our future. Remember ACT UP? That was a fierce gang to everyone who did not understand what the danger was then. I think it is time for this community to take stock and ask what happened to our humanity our anger and our fear? We are directing it at the ourselves instead of the very institutions that should be and are equipped to help.

This piece was originally posted on Facebook. It has been reprinted with permission.

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