Last week, Memphis city councilwoman Janis Fullilove, at the request of the Tennessee Equality Project, pulled an inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance from consideration, because it was not getting a fair hearing. There is always push and pull between the ideals we fight for and the sometimes uncomfortable process of getting the right laws passed, but both are necessary, and sometimes events like last week’s can ignite a spark among people, motivating them to step up and do something about it. Michael Hildebrand, who stayed at that City Council meeting until the bitter end to deliver a memorable speech pleading with the Council to act in a way which would keep people like us from giving up on the city, has decided to take that spark and do something with it. A gay rights march has been planned for October 11, where gay, straight, bisexual, lesbian and transgender people of all races and creeds will speak up for the equal rights of all citizens of the city of Memphis. From the event’s Facebook page:
We are all so different in the gay community. It’s certainly hard as hell to round us all up under one idea or voice. Even though all our voices are different this is the time to speak. Speak loud and proud of your love and your life. We cannot wait anymore for politics to catch up to the way we are already living our lives. It is time to act. Please catch my fever and pass YOUR story on to other friends and family members.
I can only speak for myself, but I will no longer fight quietly, waiting longer and longer for tolerance to arrive in my city. I demand acceptance from the government. I demand my rights as a hard working, tax paying citizen of Memphis. I am Memphis. WE are Memphis.
Sometimes half the battle is getting people involved, and giving them easy ways to take a stand. If you’re frustrated with The Way Things Are in your city, get creative and do something.
Also, Facebook is your friend for things like this. It’s not always pure evil.