Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Teachable HoMoments

I have happy tears from this gem at A Practical Wedding about the power we all have to teach young people about equality.

Unfortunately, four-year-olds are not the only folks who could use some education about these issues. We all have opportunities to educate: family-to-family, friend-to-friend, colleague-to-colleague. In social work and public health, we talk a lot about Action Steps. These are specific efforts identified to help reach a goal, and they help us move forward without getting overwhelmed by the big picture.

I'd like to invite you all to challenge yourself to think of a few ways you can have an impact on someone's perspective. Maybe it's forwarding an article to an ambivalent relative, donating to PFLAG, reaching out to legislators to encourage them to support equality, canvassing for the 2012 election (dear god, please do that). Consider using the word "partner" to refer to your significant other. Try calling out the douche behind you in line who calls his friend "gay". (I've found that "I'm gay and I find that extremely offensive" is quite effective for making them shake in their docksides. By the way, if you're uncomfortable calling yourself gay, ask yourself why.)

LGBTQ folks have been yelling about these things for years. We've gotten a lot done, but we can only get so far on our own. Please consider pushing through the awkward and doing something small. Those moments make a difference.

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