Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-11-14
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS Our lives do depend on it
by Mark Zubro
2018-08-01

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


I've heard whispers of hopelessness, rising in some quarters to a clamor of despair.

Despair? Not an option. I certainly sympathize, but I definitely disagree with those who see despair as our only option in light of their fears about what the orange monster and his willing minions have done and could still do to us and our country.

No question these are frightening times, but that does not mean we have to live in fear.

My perspective is twofold: historical and personal.

I remember sitting in our living room those horrible days in November 1963. My mother in tears on the couch as we watched his funeral. I remember looking out the windows of our dorm in St. Louis after Martin Luther King was murdered. We wondered if St. Louis would burn as so many cities were in flames that night. I remember turning off the television after Bobby gave his victory speech in June of that year. Then waking up in our apartment the next morning with the neighbor's television blaring with the horrible news of his death. I remember waking up on that day in November 1968 and realizing Nixon would be our president.

I remember being a frightened gay teenager in the 1960s, and a closeted gay teacher in the 1970s. In the 1980s working for LGBTQ rights, and then becoming president of the teachers' union in my school district for the last twenty years that I taught, and for the last twenty-nine years publishing very political novels and short stories.

I know, we all know, the horrors our community has been through for millennia. The 1950s when few of us dared use our real names if we were organizing or speaking out. People lost their jobs then and still could now in many jurisdictions in this country. We all know how in the 1980s the administration laughed at us and let us die.

Did that stop us from fighting? No.

The African-American community? Remember, from Dred Scott in the 1850s to Brown vs. Board of Education in the 1950s, they lost most if not all of their court fights; including the infamous Plessy vs. Ferguson that declared separate was equal.

A century or more of Jim Crow, did those years of horror stop the African-American community? No.

The horrors of a Holocaust are imprinted, or should be imprinted, on all of our memories. Should those memories stop us now or galvanize us? I chose galvanize.

Did any of us expect the current horror of taking children away from parents and putting them in camps? Maybe not in the specific, but are these people capable of such horrors and far worse? Of course.

Are things awful? Yes. Could they get worse? Yes.

So, do we sit and wallow in despair or do we fight?

In the book The Fellowship of the Ring this bit of dialogue takes place as Frodo faces the horror of what is happening and what is to come.

"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.

"So do I," said Gandalf. "And so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

I agree with this.

In my life I've been fighting since I was a teenager. I marched in the 1960s for Civil Rights and against the War. I worked on political campaigns. Then kept working for all these decades: LGBTQ groups, unions, writers' organizations, on and on.

Did we lose a lot? Yes. Did we win a bunch? Yes. Was it perfect? No. That didn't mean we stopped fighting.

And it's the same with the political situation now. I'm talking about the fight and never giving up.

Did we win some big ones? Sure. Nixon left in the middle of Watergate. Mandela went on to become President of South Africa. The Berlin wall fell peacefully. We won in court on marriage equality. Who among us could have predicted those would happen?

Crying, "It's too late, it's hopeless, all we have left is despair," strikes me as pointless. Despair strikes me as a luxury. Giving up and what? Crawling into a hole while the world collapses around us? That's not my style.

So as always, it's back to the fight. It has always been thus. I suspect long after I'm gone, it will continue to be so. Because we/I have not triumphed in vast glory with our side in wild cheering enthusiasm at final victories, I'm going to surrender now? No.

I'm here to suggest that the real triumphs lie in knowing we are doing the right thing, the very best we can. That we are trying to make the world a better place for others and ourselves.

I call it militant kindness. And we've got to be far better organized than they are.

Yes, they're going to continue to throw nonsense at us. They always do. And they will lie and continue to do so. That will not stop me.

And they'll tell us to be civil as they perpetrate atrocities. That will not stop me.

What do we do? We get up and fight again the next day. We can. We must. To be true to ourselves and to make the world a better place, do we really have a choice?

I don't.

Sometimes it is as simple and as powerful as voting.

So, yes, we continue to march, and fight, and confront them peacefully at restaurants and every chance we get, and vote in November.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL Going to the doctor 2018-11-14 - "Visiting the doctor doesn't have to be all gloom and doom," said my sweetheart. "We can make it fun." Remember the all-powerful, usually ...


Gay News

My boss fired me from my funeral-home job for being transgender 2018-11-07 - I was in funeral services for nearly three decades before I was fired in 2013 for being transgender. In March, a federal appeals ...


Gay News

LETTER Illinois Holocaust Museum on power of words 2018-11-07 - Dear community members, We are saddened by the senseless terrorist attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. It feels ...


Gay News

Housing denied,'Biblical marriage,'fair housing and LGBT equality 2018-11-07 - Mary Walsh and Beverly Nance have been together for 40 years and have lived in St. Louis all their lives. They became familiar ...


Gay News

God's trans-affirming vote on Question 3 2018-11-05 - Trump's administration is trying to define transgender Americans out of existence. Trump wants his administration to remove the word "gender" from UN human ...


Gay News

Working for a world where all can live 2018-10-24 - The following was presented as the keynote for State Treasurer Frerichs LGBTQ History Month Program Thank you Treasurer Frerichs for inviting ...


Gay News

LETTER Immigrants attacked 2018-10-17 - Dear Windy City Times: The Trump administration has proposed changes to our immigration system, this time going after low-income immigrants. This new ...


Gay News

Matthew Shepard's murder revisited 2018-10-17 - With October being LGBTQ History Month it allows the LGBTQ community to look back at historical events. And Matthew Shepard's murder is one ...


Gay News

LETTER Response to Kavanaugh 2018-10-10 - Dear Windy City Times: The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the U.S. ...


Gay News

Archbishop's comment explains why Church is in so much trouble 2018-10-10 - MOUNT RAINIER, Maryland—Archbishop Charles Chaput's statement about LGBT Catholics at the synod on youth yesterday is a perfect example of how some church ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.