Sunday, November 13, 2005

Birthday Reflections from a Tired Equal Rights Activist

November 12th was my birthday. I am 47 years OLD and feel every damn year, month, day, hour, minute and second of it. I have been working in Politics and Equal Rights since I was 8 years old and sometimes I just want to turn it over to others and forget it. I was really feeling hopeless after the crushing defeat earlier this week in Texas.

Well, I have had my mini-breakdown and am back. Still not really happy, but I will be damned if I am giving up. I think back on how many things have changed in 39 years and I am so thankful. In my own small ways, I have helped change laws and attitudes. There are anti- discrimination clauses at many companies where I have worked, many have offered extended dependents benefits packages, and I am now working to get gender identity added to the non-discrimination clause where I currently work. I have helped elect many wonderful candidates who have stood firm in their beliefs of Equal Rights for all. I change people’s opinion about issues one at a time as I speak out. Bigotry is something that will never disappear completely but it can be narrowed down to the extreme bigots who will never accept anyone different. I can dream of perfection. I can ask for it, but in my heart I know the battle will always be there in one form or another.

This battle has been one I have fought for the majority of my life. I am not willing to walk away. I live in a metropolitan area where I am accepted and life is easier than for those in smaller communities. I can not move to BFE, Texas to make a point, but I can keep working to organize, educate, and elect good candidates to help those who can not be as vocal as I am. I can also nurture and guide in my own way the young activists who are appearing at each event. Just sharing the history of the struggle with the younger generation from a personal perspective, helps more than I think any book they will ever read. I also suggest books about the struggle, which give other views and fabulous stories from the great names through the years.

Yes, I am OLD, tired, and even disheartened but I am far from done. In this last campaign in Texas I have met some extraordinary people who have a passion in their hearts and souls which help keep the fire of freedom burning in mine. I look forward to continuing the struggle and working with my new allies for a long time.


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