International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, a day created in 2004 to bring awareness to the issue that more needs to be done to stop discrimination based on a person's gender identity and sexual preference. Even as Minnesota celebrates becoming the 12th state in the US to allow same-sex marriage, more needs to be done on a larger scale and IDAHO works to achieve that.
From May 17-27, I'll be participating in the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia to help do my part in spreading the word. Different parts of the US have different ideologies about GLBT people, and I remember one time shortly after I'd moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I felt more comfortable about being open and who I am there than I did back home in South Bend, Indiana, and had bought a t-shirt that declares NOBODY KNOWS I'M GAY (I think I still might even have that shirt around somewhere, even though it fit about 30 years and 50 pounds ago). I went back to South Bend to visit friends and family there, and wore the shirt on my arrival. When my best friend and I got to one of our favorite places for coffee, I'd taken off my jacket and immediately remembered where I was and what I was wearing.
Then I quickly crossed my arms across my chest to hide the message and deflect attention, and sat down.
It took me a long time before I was comfortable telling people I'm gay without apologizing for upsetting or offending them. During my time being out (I first came out to myself in June, 1981), I've been quite lucky I haven't experienced the outright discrimination and violence many people have elsewhere, but attitudes are changing. Of course, it's still possible to be fired in many states in the United States for being gay or transgender, but we're slowly turning the corner on that. Hard to believe this happens in a country where many basic freedoms are supposedly guaranteed in a document that contains the phrase "...all men are created equal".
As part of the hop, I'll be giving away a copy of my e-book Kitchen Witch. It's my latest gay romance, and all you need to do to enter is leave your name and email address in a comment on this post. That's all. Pretty easy, yes? Meanwhile, I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the hop's participants, and thanks for stopping by!
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