Have you ever noticed an aversion to people who speak out about any one thing for a long time? The aversion to Feminism, for example, or the vitriol toward LGBTQ+ advocates and activists and our so-called “Gay Agenda.” Some people get so upset when they are confronted with the same issues again and again, and a lot of us see this and say “yeah, maybe I’ll back off a bit. It’s not really my place to preach at them anyway.” I’m here to tell you to step back up.
Advocacy is all about being outspoken. As advocates, we want to see change, and that doesn’t happen by staying silent. The people who are sick of hearing it are generally tired of having their bigoted views challenged. This is their problem, and it means our efforts are working – those who complain are at least thinking about it, right? Don’t back down because you don’t want to offend. We are, after all, fighting against offensive things. We are fighting against ideas that oppress, ideas that stifle, ideas that kill. We have to voice our opposition to this. We have to be outspoken.
The first Outspoken Ally poster was posted to Facebook just a few days ago (see the ‘New To Outspoken Ally’ page for the link). The single message, in red, on the simple poster is “Be Outspoken.” My hope is that people share it, maybe even print it, and proudly display it on their Facebook walls. “Be Outspoken” encourages advocates to have a voice, but it also shows closeted and frightened LGBTQ+ people that they are not alone. There are people who will fight for them, and those people are rallying to “Be Outspoken.” We need not worry about those who are tired of hearing about this. Our concern should be with those who are at-risk of suicide, bullying, and murder.
Did you now that since January 1, 2015, a trans woman has been killed every 29 hours? Did you know that there are thousands of LGBTQ+ teens sitting in church on Sunday morning terrified, because they know they are surrounded by a family of people who would disown them if they knew the truth? Did you know that as violent crime drops in North America, violent attacks against the LGBTQ+ community are becoming more extreme? Did you know that those news stories you hear, about politicians trying to pass anti-gay laws and promoting conversion therapy, are not only disheartening, but extremely oppressive to those they affect? If the only thing holding you back from being outspoken is that you don’t want to draw the ire of these people, I say forget about them and go for it. They may get upset, but they are on the losing side of history. You can’t go wrong fighting for humanity, fighting for what’s right. Be Outspoken.