Hey guys. I had the pleasure of attending the Dorothy Awards again this year. It was my third year attending; this year was a lot more crowded than last year, and I had a great time. Among the awardees was Michael Morand, the state’s first openly gay elected official, who pointed out in his speech after receiving the award that there’s still a lot to be done.
At first glance, it’s easy to forget that, because there’s so many positive examples of steps being taken for our community. Just looking over what we have in this magazine, it seems like we’re gaining momentum. Richard Blumenthal and Nancy Wyman paid a visit to the Dorothy Awards, recognizing the achievements of the honorees and standing proudly with us and our community.
Look how many legislators have co-sponsored the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the Senate. Richard Blumenthal took a brave step in announcing his intent to get the ball rolling, and we have a number of other legislators by his side, including Mark Udall, Roland Burris, Barbara Boxer, Patrick Leahy, Arlen Specter, Dianne Feinstein, and Al Franken.
Look at what a group did in Richmond, Va., to counter the hate-filled speech that the Westboro Baptist Church spreads by cleverly raising funds based on the length of time Westboro planned to protest in Richmond. They turned a negative visit into a positive outcome, collecting money for the very organizations that the church was protesting. Remember, the Westboro Baptist Church is the same group that regularly pronounces “God Hates Fags.”
But in case we need a reminder that there’s work to be done, our cover story, “FAGGOT,” highlights a very serious area that needs attention, something that thankfully groups like GLSEN (Dorothy Awards honoree Leif Mitchell among them) work diligently to improve. This is our youth, whether rooting out prejudice at a young age, or teaching acceptance and inclusiveness. Correspondent Molly Wheaton looked into the situation in London while there, and there’s plenty of examples of it happening here in the U.S. as well. The article raises some points that need attention, both in the UK and here.
We may have marriage in Connecticut, but not everyone does, and the battle, such as with Prop 8, is still quite intense. We may have equality in some ways, but there’s others that still require focus (“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” being but one immediate example. We may have come a long way, but we certainly have to do more.
I’m ready. Are you? I hope so, and when you are, I’ll see you on the front lines with me, Out & About.