The Third Year—A Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Chrysalis

Lyndon Johnson signing Civil Rights Act July 2 1964Here we are folks, entering our third year and this might be the most exciting time in the history of the LGBT movement!

We’ve got a lame-duck President who has little to lose and I think he has to have a touch of that same sentiment that caused Lyndon Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964. In Johnson’s televised speech to the nation that evening, he said, “This Civil Rights Act is a challenge to all of us to go to work in our communities and our States, in our homes and in our hearts, to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in our beloved country.”

I began writing this last night and when I woke up this morning with my special house guest, Dr. James T. Sears, who brought me the most wonderful early Christmas presents I could have ever have asked for; 10 boxes of original copies of ONE, the Mattachine Review, The Ladder (from the Daughters of Bilitis) and the original pictures in their same frames of Lige Clarke that sat on Jack Nichols desk and the picture of Logan Carter in a white tuxedo that hung on the wall next to his bed, I found another editorial from the gay pioneer, Mark Segal, that said beyond all doubt that Mark just doesn’t get it!

Mark is once again making sure that we know what a big-shot he is. I posted Randy Wicker’s fine coverage of the ground-breaking of Mark Segal’s brainstorm plan for 86 units of an LGBT senior citizen homeMark Segal Wants You! (To believe he actually can tell you what to do!) in Philadelphia. I couldn’t help but notice that everyone in each of those videos was saying the same thing: Whoa, Mark! What an ego! We have to mention your name in almost every sentence and tell the people what a marvelous person you are to build 86 units!

Now what are you going to do about the other tens of thousands of senior citizen LGBT people in Philly? My, my! Can you say, “Token effort?” I knew you could.

So as I peel my eyelids open this morning, low and behold, Mark is asking for the passage of ENDA again!

Great plan, Mark! Now what do we do about the thousands of LGBT people in the red states who walk out of their jobs (assuming ENDA got passed, which it won’t in Boehner’s Congress) and get their brains bashed in by the local police because they aren’t protected outside the job?

Yes, I’ve found my purpose in life, folks! It’s exposing the sell-outs who think they’re activists! Just because you flip a bird at the painting of Ronald Reagan that hangs in the White House does not make you an activist, Mark. Now had you gone to the Reagan White House while he was alive and flipped him off then I would be impressed but still; that’s yesterday. What are you doing for us today?

Mark might not be steering us away from the iceberg but along with the best writers in America, LGBT-Today is certainly going to give it our best try!

Kathy CollinsThanks to the love of my life, Kathy Collins, we have a name for our plan. It’s called T.E.N. (Total Equality Now!) and over this next year you will see it unfold.

We aren’t going to ask for your money (refreshing isn’t it?) and we aren’t going to have you sign useless internet petitions (which no one reads seriously by the way).

What we are going to ask you for is hard work. Oh-oh! That’s the one thing that most people seem the most unwilling to give these days but I’m asking for it anyway.

We’re going to make T.E.N. work the old fashioned way by grass-roots protesting that begins in your communities with marches on your local village, town and city halls, your county supervisors, State Capitols and legislators and Governors, the State Supreme Courts, local churches that are anti-gay, and finally culminating with all of us coming together on July 2, 2014 around the mirror pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial for the 50th anniversary of President Johnson signing into law the Civil Rights ActTotal Equality Now! of 1964.

We aren’t going to be there to congratulate the African-American community! We will be doing this to demand our full and total equality under federal law!

I have listened for many years to the frustration of thousands of LGBT people asking why it’s taking so long for us to achieve total equality and for many others I’ve heard them argue, “It’s too soon!”

I remain aghast at the thought that anyone could think that any human being isn’t already equal to another and the first and only thing that comes to mind when I hear people say this or something similar to this is, “I feel so sorry that these people, after all these years, still suffer from such deep-rooted inner-homophobia!” I also thank my friend, Dr. George Weinberg, for defining what homophobia is for all of us. I just wish he could come up with a quick cure for it as easily as he defined it so many decades ago.

If you try to tell someone like this who says “Too soon” that they suffer from inner-homophobia they will get madder than if you whacked a hornet’s nest with a stick, but they never give you a really good reason why the logic of full equality won’t work beyond the fact that all homophobes in this nation will never let it pass.

I hate to tell you folks but that’s the pure definition of “inner-homophobia”! If you think the homophobes are going to stop you then you have a self-defeating attitude that amounts to inner-homophobia.

Tombstone Road (Movie set from Schindler's List)T.E.N. works on the premise that marriage equality automatically comes with a full equality package. So does ENDA. We have no need to “piecemeal” these concepts together in some roadway that some defeatist conceived to keep those donations coming in to drag things out into a multi-generational pursuit. When I have the mental picture of this ill-conceived, piecemeal roadway to equality, I see a mental picture of the Nazi roadway built at the Plaszow concentration camp, pictured in the film, “Schindler’s List”. The major difference is that it’s our own leadership groups, such as the Human Rights Campaign, that’s laying these tombstones down, generation by generation, so they can continue to bilk all of us for untold amounts of money in donations through the years.

The thought of this is totally inconceivable to me. That we would actually be following this pied piper off a cliff astounds me beyond belief but that people like Mark Segal would be cheering that piper on leaves me aghast.

We will see total equality by the end of 2014 and then T.E.N. will not fade away into the history books. Oh no, my friends. We have a lot more work to do!

Over the past 4 months, the readership of LGBT-Today has grown and in places I had hoped it would but didn’t expect this soon.

We have loyal readers in places like India where their blossoming LGBT movement is roughly equivalent to where the United States’ was in the early to mid-1970s.

We will see T.E.N. teach these people how to make full equality a reality there.

I’ve recently had contact with Peter Tatchell and his foundation in Britain. They’re further down the line towards equality than we are so perhaps they’ll beat us there but if not, T.E.N. will join forces with his and Britain will see full equality.

Uganda is now threatening to pass the “Kill the Gays” bill. We cannot and will not let this stand. T.E.N. and the full resources of LGBT-Today will focus their efforts on David Katobringing equality and peace to Uganda where LGBT activists like David Kato suddenly die or disappear. This will not be allowed to stand.

We now have many readers in the People’s Republic of China. I was astounded to discover this fact since the government erected a supposed foolproof firewall that was supposed to block all access to LGBT sites. The Chinese people found a way around it! I won’t say how and spoil the method. That’s our little secret, isn’t it? Anyway, we have almost 20,000 readers there. Of course I can’t boast of a million readers anywhere…yet! Rest assured that despite your government’s hardline approach to the subject of sexuality and gender expression, T.E.N. will find a way to help!

The same goes true for Russia and the Ukraine where we also have significant readers! They also have to negotiate a government firewall. Well done, people! T.E.N. Free Pussy Riotwill help you push back and if you’re reading this, please have someone there who is willing to write for me send me an email especially if you can cover the Pussy Riot appeals? We want to help and we want to give Russia an LGBT voice!

How does LGBT-Today fit into this T.E.N. concept? I know you’re wondering and it’s simple really.

During this next year we’re going to be changing our format so that it makes it easier to find things and places articles into easy access tabs with more flash previews, more videos and definitely more real-time news, which has been something we’ve been sorely missing.

When I first started this magazine I swore I would do several things and I’ve stuck to these principles. First; we only publish original articles and editorials. I will not use what’s known in the vernacular as “stringer” news, which is news taken from Associated Press or Reuters. For one thing, the amount of coverage of the LGBT community by these two press associations is pitiful and makes it completely impractical and financially a bad decision. The second is that I wanted to cover not just the United States but the entire world. After all, when you enter the prefix into your browser, “www” is stands for “Worldwide Web”. Let LGBT-Today be just that: The magazine the world reads to get their news and views!

During this next year I want more coverage from nations around the world and as long as the subject is appropriate to the LGBT community, any writers who read this who wish to contribute, from Minsk to Perth, Beijing to Brussels, Kampala to Amsterdam—we want your news, your editorials and your videos and pictures! Send them to us and if there is any way we can use them then we will, I promise! We want to keep our fingers on the pulse of our planet!Stephanie Donald-Editor/Publisher/CEO LGBT-Today

On this occasion of entering our third year, this is where things are really going to get interesting! Stick around because everything is going to get bigger, brighter and move at a much quicker pace so try to keep up!

You’re involved in this now!

By Stephanie Donald

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