Note: This is the unedited version of my guest blog on the Dallas Morning News LGBTQ blog. I find this version less concise but more poetic.
Back in the early years of the modern gay rights movement–visible almost exclusively on the west and east coasts–people marched and rallied and raised hell. They were marching–or to borrow a verse from a prominent gay rights song of the times, singing–for their lives.
And for ours.
And look at us! Would those early marchers have ever dreamed we would be so close to nationwide marriage equality?!
But full equality for everyone under the LGBTQ rainbow? We’re not there yet. And for that reason, we still need to rally. We still need to march.
We need to rally right here in the “third coast” to ensure our voices are blended in raucous solidarity for the right of every American to be treated equally, marry the person they love, and be protected in their jobs—to name a few reasons.
We must gather so that Texas and the world can see our faces–faces of people in love, faces of different races, different gender expressions, different orientations all united by a belief that all of us are created equal, deserving of dignity and respect.
We need to wave flags and hold signs and sing and chant with such fervor that that the transgender, lesbian, and gay teenagers living Alvarado, Escobares, Tolar, and towns across Texas will inevitably hear us and be filled with courage and hope.
We need to stand together: lesbian and transgender and straight and gay, arm-in-arm, fervently proclaiming this is our country, too.
“Look at us,” we will cry! “We fall in love and have dreams just like everyone else. We have families and children we love. We deserve the same protection for our selves, our relationships, and our families as every other Texan. No more will we be complacent. No more will we look only to the interests of ourselves but to the interests of everyone—transgender, immigrant, HIV positive, racially profiled—in every community. And know this: we are never, ever going away.”
So, on Friday, after a hearing at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to determine whether all Texans should have the freedom to marry, we have a chance to rally together in Dallas. It will be cold, yes. But, like the mood of the country, the frigid Texas winter is going to thaw. And our rallying cries this January will bear witness to a truth that cannot be denied: winter–no matter how harsh and unkind–always gives way to spring. For in springtime, we will rally again—arm-in-arm, kissing the lips of a lover, a partner, a friend, a legal spouse—celebrating victories and rallying on the next noble cause.
Singing for our lives.