Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sex on the Margins - The More Things Change...

We recently had the pleasure of hosting writer/sex educator Susie Bright, writer/cultural critic Michael Bronski, and GLAD founder Attorney John Ward at Boston's Old South Meeting House. The event, Sex on the Margins: The More Things Change..., was meant to foster a provocative discussion about the past, present, and future of the LGBT rights movement.

And it did.

Our panelists did not disappoint, posing questions about whether the gay community in the U.S. has become too assimilationist for its own good while reminding us that almost everywhere in the world you are still at risk - physically, legally, politically - if you are not heterosexual; suggesting that we have practically settled the question of marriage equality and now need to come up with the next big thing (an "exit strategy" as Susie Bright put it); and taking the gay community to task for not coming to the defense of Senator Larry Craig when he became the victim of a bathroom police sting - just like the 103 men whose arrests at the Boston Public Library prompted the founding of GLAD in 1978.

The audience, too, raised important issues - reminding us that many in our community don't have the luxury of pondering assimilation as they continue to struggle for things like jobs, health care, and basic safety; that marriage equality is still a distant goal in many parts of this country; and that, while their concerns and strategies may differ from those of their predecessors, there is a vibrant, active, and engaged young LGBT community out there pushing the movement forward.

Were you at this event? Join the conversation - where are we and where should we be heading?