I was interviewed in an article for Newsweek a couple of years back and made the statement, ” I can take someone calling me a homo, what I can’t take is being told that I am no one”.
While attending a GLAAD media training in NYC, my sentence was highlighted as a teachable moment to the class. We were asked what might be wrong with the sentence and I, of course, felt it was being told I was no one. (Buzzer sound)! Wrong, it was the use of the word homo. It’s how I felt at that moment, you could have punched me in the gut, but hearing I was no one the night my wife died, that I was being looked upon as a mere stranger, hurt more than any word I could have been called.
I have thought of that moment and it makes me mindful of the labels of our community LGBTQIA. I find they mean very little to me, in fact they kind of bother me… Why? I believe they can hurt us.
June is Pride month, a month that should be about awareness, and coming together as a community. It’s about the history of our struggle and how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. It is about acceptance too.
Discrimination is still very prevalent in this country and it is all of our concerns, not just the letter you/we identify with. Much work is still needed, and for this pride I present a challenge. Find a moment to reach out, volunteer your time to our community, and have pride be a moment to remember why we celebrate our beautiful amazing lives.
About CharleneCharlene Strong is an advocate for social justice and marriage equality, she is the subject of the award-winning documentary for my wife… She lives in Seattle, Washington.