The Oscar-winning 1976 movie “Network” may best be remembered now for the scene in which deranged ex-news anchor Howard Beale â€” played by Peter Finch â€” lets everyone know how he feels, and encourages them to do the same: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore.”
I thought of that line last night as I watched live video footage of the gays and lesbians, about 3,000 of them according to some reports, pouring into the streets in Los Angeles to continue their protest against the passage of the anti-gay-marriage amendment, Proposition 8.
I thought of it again, later in the evening, when the Dallas Voice news department started getting e-mails from gays and lesbians here in Big D who are outraged over the announced topic for the Rev. Robert Jeffress’ sermon Sunday morning at First Baptist Church of Dallas: “Why Gay is Not Okay.”
The folks we are hearing from are mad as hell about it, and they aren’t gonna take it anymore. They are planning a protest outside the church on Sunday.
I understand how they feel. I’m mad too. And I say it’s way past time that we stopped taking it anymore.
There’s another “line” that came to mind as I watched that video footage and read those e-mails. It was the text from buttons and posters that started appearing in New York after the Stonewall Riots. They read: “You think the queers are revolting? Well, you’re right!” The fledgling gay activist movement was putting the world on notice: The revolution is on.
I say the time has come again to revolt. I am sick to death of watching self-righteous bigots subject my rights to a vote by a prejudiced majority. I am fed up to here with some church â€” any church â€” thinking it has the right to force its religious tenets on me by enacting them as laws. I am beyond tired of being told I am “not okay.”
I am mad as hell. I think it is past time we all got mad as hell. And we shouldn’t take it any more. We have a new administration getting ready to take over in Washington, an administration that promised to include us, support us. Let’s hold them to it. Look up the list of candidates in your city, your county and your state that asked for support from our community in this election, and who promised to support us in turn. Find out who they are, and hold them to their promises.
Be informed. Use that information. If you have the chance to take the streets in protest, then do so. And protest in those little, subtle ways, too, like putting your partner’s photo on your desk at work, or wearing that wedding band that symbolizes your relationship. Do what you can when you can.
If you don’t â€” if we all don’t â€” things will never change.
So get mad. Stand up. Speak out. Fight back.
The revolution is on.
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