Thursday, May 10, 2012

Times they Are Changing—

When the President of the United States says that he personally believes that gay and lesbian individuals should be able to marry it's a newsworthy statement. It's a civil right.

Maybe there will be a time that the Supreme Court agrees and civil rights are expanded for everyone. Then those states with constitutional bans will find themselves adjusting to a different paradigm.

I recall when lesbian poets wrote impassioned poetry that rarely saw publication outside of lesbian journals. Some of it was good and a lot was weak, but all the poems spoke to all the women who yearned to read about themselves. There was a Women's bookstore in Cambridge where you could roam the aisles looking for a book, pick up a newspaper and scan the headlines, check out journals, buy a car sticker or pin or a poster.

Once or twice a week programs featured writers. Women gathered to listen, to be with other women, to feel that acceptance they might not feel elsewhere—not to hide. No one imagined that in their lifetime marriage as a possibility and a reality in a handful of states.

Some of the women who arrived in Cambridge couldn't go home because they were no longer accepted as part of the family. That still happens today. We still see kids tormented by their peers. We still read of too many suicides. Times they are changing—but not for everyone or everywhere.


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