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 2018-09-19
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



VIEWS Our lives do depend on it
by Mark Zubro

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.


Gay News

Reeling 2018 reviews 2018-09-19 - For complete festival information including locations, and to buy tickets, visit . Canary ( HHH ) ( Sept. 21, 7 p.m. ) ...

Gay News

Challenges face the creators of Tootsie 2.0 2018-09-05 - In the 1982 hit movie Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey, an out-of-work actor who, in a fit of desperation, decides to audition ...

Gay News

MOMBIAN What's possible in LGBT-inclusive classrooms 2018-08-29 - As the hot days of August try to tempt us into laziness, another influence pulls at many of us parents—the increasingly loud voice ...

Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Religious Exemption Laws Put LGBT Elders at Risk 2018-08-29 - At a time when LGBT older adults are at their most vulnerable and in need, religious exemption laws threaten to jeopardize their security ...

Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR As you are 2018-08-22 - Dear Editor, The Biden Foundation has launched "As You Are," a family and community acceptance campaign to raise awareness of the importance ...

Gay News

VIEWS Cardinal Cupich on sexual abuse: Clerical culture, not gay priests, at fault 2018-08-15 - A top U.S. cardinal has expressed strong skepticism that gay priests are the cause of clerical sexual abuse, saying instead the problem stems ...

Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Calling for change 2018-08-15 - Dear Editor: Recently, Pope Francis changed the catechism of the Catholic Church to make the death penalty entirely unacceptable, saying it is ...

Gay News

Youth activist Mack Guthrie talks 'My Body, My Story' campaign 2018-08-08 - In the months after the November 2016 election, Mack Guthrie decided he had to get involved with issues he was passionate about. That ...

Gay News

MOMBIAN Creator of study on LGBTQ familes talks about new findings 2018-08-08 - Thirty-two years ago, Nanette Gartrell, M.D., launched a project to follow the first wave of lesbian families created through donor insemination. Now, her ...

Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Mishea' Davinae's Chronicles 2018-08-01 - Someone kidnapped me, took me from my home planet and placed me on earth. At 10 years of age, I was learning ...


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.








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.