Saturday, October 18, 2014

A perspective from the Front Lines

My friend Janelle Wintersteen, whom I've known longer than any other person on the face of this earth, has this to say about the lifting of the Gay Marriage Ban in Idaho, and the role played by the local Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship:

" I watched the couples with marriage licenses come out of the courthouse and what struck and humbled me was how far the general community has come from the implicit and public demand when I first came out, for secrecy. For most people, LGBT and not, the first condition of gay life was secrecy. This was a demand that came both form the "straight' side and from the LGTB side. Older Lesbian women whom I met could be made physically ill at the thought of coming out. The hidden Lesbian life that I encountered was ridden with alcohol, characterised by" serial monogomy" and organized into all sorts of groups who were suspecious of other groups. The secrecy and repression had motivated this. I could come out at BUUF (the Boise Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship) and I was coming out at work, but it was several years after I began coming out before I met Lesbians who were feminists and unafraid, cheerful and encouraging. Wednesay, October 15, what I teared up over was not the marriages but the fact it was done , joyously, in front of Boise, the entire population of Idaho, and beyond. That is the change I rejoice in and I do not take it for granted.

   Wednesday what humbled me was the amount of Unitarian-Universalist's on the courthouse plaza. I chose the right group, one of the most wise decisions I ever made in my life. Because you are not so personally involved with LGTB life, it is sometimes easier for you to push new freedoms forward when I have a "yeah, that's the way it has always been" attitude. I am not naturally a leader who can bring people together and I deeply appreciate those with more leadership than I have stepped forward time after time, especially now in the planning for the "At Last party." I am delighted by Micheal Casias and Sara Olsen's leadership of the Rainbow Connection. They are fresh and original and hard working-they would ben any situation and I am thankful that it is ROC benefiting from their talents.

    The morning that brought  LGTB marriage to Idaho was one of the many times that I felt very glad that I have seem such changes in my adult life time among and within the members of the LGTB cummunity. I am very thankful for the moves and shovers among LGTB and I know that people in this congregation have helped empower those leaders and added their many talents and good energy to the effort. There is still more work to be done, but I am taking the time to pause and tell you all how much I thank you all at this Boise Unitarian Universalist church and how much I appreciate you."

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