Elections this November could be the most important in our lives as Texans. Will LGBT Texans claim their power and vote?
Tell me, Texas lesbians and gays, when, exactly, are we going to embrace our power? Yes, we already have, in many ways. We have ascended to positions of influence across professions and in elected office. We have conquered the frontiers of design, décor and the arts. We can even marry the person we love — well, at least in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
Yes, we are winning some battles.
But when are we going to step up and do what it needs to be done to win the war?
In less than two months, Texas will elect a new governor and lieutenant governor. And we stand at a crossroads, with vastly different choices and two disparate futures.
One road, a narrow and treacherous path, will take us further toward the same, repressive future. It is a road where its marshal seeks to limit the rights of anyone who passes down it, particularly women, gays, lesbians and Latinos.
In fact, this road will become even more hazardous, for the man who wants to control the path, a lawyer, is dead-set on continuing to deny equality to its gay and lesbian travellers and restrict the rights of women — our sisters, mothers and friends — who share the road.
The other road, broad and intended for all Texans, has largely been blocked off since it was looked after by a Texas woman decades ago. This road offers equal footing to each and every Texan, and it could be restored by another
Texas woman who would usher in a new era where all are welcome to travel, regardless of their gender, ethnicity or whom they love.
At the risk of hyperbole, this could well be the most important election of our lives here in the state of Texas.
So when are we going to stand up for ourselves and say, once and for all, “Attorney General Greg Abbott, we are mad as hell that you’ve used our tax dollars to marginalize and discriminate against us, and we no longer require your service to our state. And Sen. Dan Patrick, we don’t really want you in the Legislature and we sure don’t want you controlling it.”
When, fellow Texans, will we demand that the tax dollars we have paid to the federal government be re-routed back to Texas and put to the work for Texans who need healthcare, specifically at-risk men with HIV/AIDS, women and children whom our current governor is hell-bent on denying access to?
And that we’re sick and tired of their attempts to gerrymander and suppress the votes of Texans, particularly our African-American and Hispanic sisters and brothers?
Oh, Texas gays and lesbians — when?!
When are we going to realize our power? When are we going to rise up with our votes and our Gucci wallets and rid the Texas republic of bigots who would sign an amicus that equates our same-gender-loving marriages to incest and pedophilia?
I have said it before and I will say it again, every day until the November 4 election:
If every Latino …
If every “liberal” …
If every woman who believes men and government shouldn’t be controlling their bodies …
If every African-American whose vote helped elevate the first biracial American into the White house …
If every homosexual and transgender person who’s tired of politicians bullying us and denying us equity …
If every one of us showed up at the polls Nov. 4, the road toward equity for all Texans would be re-opened and a new era could begin.
Will you stand up? Will you bring others with you?
Or will you yield, again, to the bullies in power? Or will you get distracted? (Oh, look: a hot guy in sexy underwear on the next page.)
The choice at the crossroads is theirs. And it is ours.
And by the way: you have 10 days left to register to vote.
What are you going to do?
Todd Whitley is a local activist who can usually be found tweeting (@toddwhitley), holding a picket sign, thrift store shopping, or eating Tex-Mex. Read his blog at tdub68.wordpress.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 26, 2014.