I have received a few e-mails asking why the necessity for a site geared toward equality within the GLBT community. "Is there something I am missing?" or "What do you mean?" Are the frequent questions. I will try and clarify.
Have you ever gone to a GLBT community establishment that did not allow a specific member of the GLBT community entrance?
Well, they do exist. I am not referring to establishments geared toward a particular group. I am referring to establishments that refuse access to certain members of the GLBT community based on race, gender, gender identification, dress, age, or for any other reason.
GLBT business owners who practice discrimination.
Many times I have been in GLBT establishments where all were supposedly welcome, however the owner or management made it public knowledge that they really did not want particular segments of the community present.
GLBT community member discrimination.
Just last year at a large Pride celebration I constantly heard references stating there were either too many women or too many men present. Usually not said as politely. Or that the event was run by; men, women, drag queens, etc. If you don't like who is running an event, then get involved! Same is held true at bars, stores, parties, pick a place, it goes on.
"I don't like......." Feel free to insert any segment of our community here. This one is really abused. Possibly the most ignorant. How can you dismiss a whole group without knowing the members. Isn't that what we come up against daily?
"I want someone who is straight acting." Exactly what is straight acting? So then it is bad to "act" Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered? If your preference is someone who is naturally masculine or feminine that's fine. However, "straight acting" suggests the same type of stereotyping that we try to eradicate. Just as there are masculine and feminine GLBT persons, there are masculine and feminine straight persons.
"Why is that person in the wheelchair in here? I don't have room to dance." "Are you deaf or something?" The problems here are obvious, and most of would like to believe it doesn't happen in our community, but it does!
"Aren't they a little old to be here?" We are one of a very small few communities which have no respect for our mature members. You should remember we would not have any of the freedoms today had it not been for our mature members. Think about the history of our community which you are missing.
Hopefully, by now you are getting the message. If I were to list all the areas in which we practice the same narrow minded lack of acceptance which we all despise this page would never end.
These behaviors are very obvious to the world around us. If we do not accept and respect each other and our differences, why should we expect anyone to accept and respect us individually or as a community? Acceptance and respect has to begin from within, otherwise we are just hypocrites with a banner.
The goal of the StoneWall Society is to end this intra-community prejudice, discrimination, and separatism. Sure we all have our preferences, however we should all be able to work together, and allow others in our community who are different from ourselves the right to express themselves without ridicule. After all, isn't that what we all want for ourselves?