A new kind of marriage protest
We need to have a massive protest — citywide, statewide, nationwide — a protest that isn’t an in-your-face protest, but a reminder of a right that isn’t ours. We could stand out in the streets yelling; we could pass out pamphlets; we could have a sit-in at some government office.
But I think it is time for a new idea, and changing of the tables. We need to take the bar crawl and make it a protest. We’ll do “The Gay Bachelorette Party-Bar-Crawl for Gay Marriage Protest.” And we will do it in straight bars around the country. Here is the plan:
Get a group of seven to 10 people of the same sex together and have a bachelorette party. Choose a “bride-to-not-be” whose wedding we can’t celebrate because we can’t get married.
Then go out bar hopping, just like bachelorettes do. But instead of going to a gay bar, or a drag show, go to only straight bars.
Play the same silly games they play. Scream as loud as they do. Dress in stupid ways like they do. If you want to wear a dress, please do. But try not to make it a drag outfit. (Unless you are getting together drag queens in your group and all of you are in total drag.) Have signs or shirts that proclaim “Free Gay Marriage.” You can think of other slogans as appropriate for your area. Keep it fun — and pleasant.
You don’t have to talk to anyone or debate anyone. Just show up, have fun, let people see you and move on. If the bride wants to cry because he/she can’t get married, that can be fun, too.
Keep this protest light, fun and easy on the heteros. We want to remind them that gay marriage should be allowed, and that we want to celebrate our love, too.
The date for this will be: Oct. 23. E-mail this to all your friends and let’s get this protest going. Sign up for the event on Facebook under “The Gay Bachelorette Party-Bar-Crawl for Gay Marriage Protest.”
Marshall Wayne Lee
Finding an accepting place to heal
Statistics show that approximately 30 percent of homosexual men and women in the United States are addicted to drugs or alcohol (Keogh 2009).
This can be linked back to the tremendous stigmas LGBTQ people face in our society; often the LGBTQ community will turn to alcohol, drugs, sex or other compulsive behaviors in order to cope with the shame they feel as a result of this stigmatization.
Members of the LGBT community already face a number of challenges in their daily lives. When addiction becomes a part of that, life can become that much more complicated.
Treatment facilities, such as Santé Center for Healing, which work with the LGBTQ community, are important because they provide a safe place to heal where gender and sexual identity are not an issue and the individual can focus more of their time on the recovery from their addiction.
In cases where there is a lack of understanding in the family, many are left on their own to deal with their confusion about their sexuality. The programs at Santé can help them come to terms with their sexual identity as well as heal from their addiction. The owner of Santé and several of its staff members are gay, which gives them a greater understanding of what this community faces daily.
September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. This month is special because it reiterates one of the fundamental philosophies of Santé — that treatment works and that recovery is within reach for everyone. It is not always easy or fun, but it is guaranteed to lead to a better quality of life, not just for the individual involved, but for everyone who they love and who love them.
If you or someone you know is struggling we encourage you to call our intake department at 800-258-4250 and ask for help.
George Straw, owner
Santé Center for Healing
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 17, 2010.