For thirty-seven years, I have been organizing in the LGBT community in our epic struggle for freedom and full equality. Those years have seen Anita Bryant, HIV/AIDS, brutal hate crimes, burned out homes and churches, forced lobotomies, arrests, destroyed careers and people driven to suicide. Those years also has told an amazing story about our journey of courage, vision and determination. Even in times when on a daily basis we were burying our dead we did not falter.
No matter if we were at our lowest or basking in great victories our drive to reach full equality has never wane and our struggle was never hateful and we gave new meaning to the word - dignity.
This week without question is one of the most historic weeks in the history of our struggle for full equality.
The United States Supreme Court will hear two cases - DOMA and the Proposition 8 case. The final decisions from the Court (which will be handed down in June) will have historical implications for LGBT Americans - one way or another.
Both cases have now earned a place in the history books along sign decisions like Brown v. Topeka Board of Education or Roe v. Wade. Our lives will be impacted forever by just nine people passing judgement on the Constitution that will determine our future journey. In reality, no matter what the final decisions, we will continue to battle until young LGBT Americans never again has to feel the pangs of discrimination.
The decisions won't mean our job is done. The impact will be how fast we move forward and how easy the journey will be for us all.
All over the country, Americans are gathering in the next two days to give 'witness' to this historic moment. We will be gathering in villages, town squares and campuses in all fifty states. Check the Light the Way site for the event in your cities.
After all these years of struggle for us not to acknowledge this moment in some form would be close to criminal. This is our moment. We honor our dead and those pioneers before us by turning out to some event over the next two days.
For those in New York, a group of us will be giving 'witness' in Times Square - the Crossroads of the World. For one hour at 7PM on Sunday (March 24) we will stand in silence with candles, signs, lighted cell phones and flashlights to let the world know about this moment and of our struggle.
If you are in New York City, come join us tonight. Give one hour of your day to be part of this great week.
Sending all of my sisters and brothers great love and a big ole bear hug at this special time.