Kumbaya songs from the camp fire, and from GLSEN and PFLAG have made no difference - the word still means today what it did in 1980.
i was born in 1953, and i have lived the evolution of the GLBTQ struggle so i disagree that the efforts of these organizations have made no difference. i agree that the word has not changed its meaning, but i don't believe that it has the same power except in the mind of certain conglomerates of ignorant people [smaller percentage now in 2009 than in 1980]
PFLAG is directly responsible for raising awareness about violence against GLBTQ people, and creating legisation that protect our rights. jeanne manford, the mother of PFLAG and judy shephard the mother of matthew shephard have done much to advance protections of the rights of gay 'children'. their grassroots efforts have resulted in the passage of legislations which provide foundations for recourse in situations where people are met with discriminatory violence.
from the PFLAG website:
The passage of the hate crimes bill came on the heels of several other key gains this week [October 23, 2009]:
* A Family Victory!On Thursday, October 15, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 3827, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which would restrict federal funds for states that discriminate in adoption or foster programs on the basis of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Currently, at least five states specifically prohibit LGBT people from adopting children. The passage of this law would help our LGBT friends open up their homes to children who desperately need families to call their own.
The latest available research shows more than 500,000 children are currently part of the foster care system, with only 3 percent placed in pre-adoptive homes. The bill introduced by Stark is intended to eliminate barriers to adoption, as studies indicate that foster children are more likely to commit crimes, more likely to experience homelessness and less likely to be able to hold jobs as young adults. The bill will help strengthen families and create a more opportunities for young people to grow into happy and productive adults.
* A Health Victory! On Wednesday, October 21, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced plans to create the first national resource center for LGBT senior citizens (over age 60), a group estimated as high as 4 million. The LGBT Resource Center will not only help existing agencies build competency and cultural sensitivity in serving this growing community, but also will expand awareness among LGBT individuals about the need to plan for later life and long-term care. The Administration on Aging plans to award a grant of $250,000 each year to eligible entities, which include public-private nonprofit organizations with experience working on LGBT issues on a national level.
* A Housing Victory! On the same day as HHS’s announcement, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan discussed the housing agency’s series of proposals to ensure that its core housing programs are open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Discrimination on these bases is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act, but HUD acknowledged that the Act doesn’t specifically cite its protection of LGBT people.
Although there is no existing data on such discrimination, Secretary Donovan said that it undoubtedly exists. To build the evidence of such barriers, HUD is commissioning the first-ever nationwide study into the occurrences and effects of discriminatory housing sales and rental programs. The plan includes clarifying that the term “family” includes LGBT individuals and couples; instituting requirements for grant recipients to comply with local and state non-discrimination laws that cover sexual orientation or gender identity; and stipulating that mortgage loans insured through the Federal Housing Administration consider only credit-worthiness when determining loan approvals, regardless of unrelated factors such as sexual orientation or gender identity.
we ARE making progress and it won't be long before we will never hear that word uttered publicly, and those who do so will become the stigmatized ones. hate will not prevail. just as the 'n' word has lost its salience except in certain circles, such will be the demise of the 'fag' word in generations to come. much to the chagrin of certain elements of our culture, we will no longer be forced to cower in the shadows just because someone snarls at us from some imagined position of superiority, moral or otherwise.
oh happy day!