by Dan Savage
on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 2:33 PM
Straight Stranger staffers phone banking for the Approve R-74 campaign.
Before I say anything else—before I say what I dragged myself out of bed to say—let me say this: we did this. LGBT people came out, fought back, and changed the world. There's a fuck of a lot left to do—repealing DOMA, passing ENDA, completing the repeal of DADT (trans people are still barred from serving in the military), fighting for the rights of queers around the world—but LGBT people have come so far since Stonewall due to our own efforts and sacrifice. It has gotten better for us because we fought to make it better. We demanded better.
Now here's what I want to say: I know so many straight people in Seattle who worked unbelievably hard to approve R-74. They gave money, they volunteered their time, they reached out to friends and relatives and coworkers, all in an effort to make it possible for same-sex couples to marry. Gays and lesbians are a tiny percentage of the population. We couldn't do this on our own. A majority of the legislators who voted for same-sex marriage? Straight. The governor who signed the law making same-sex marriage legal in Washington state? Straight. The majority of the folks manning the phone banks for R-74? Straight. The overwhelming majority of people who voted to approve R-74? Straight. The president who took a huge political risk and came out for marriage equality before his reelection campaign? Straight. It has gotten better for us—better, not perfect—but it hasn't gotten better for us in a vacuum. It's gotten better for us because straight people have gotten better about us.
Whenever you feel politically depressed, remember how fast & comprehensively the straight majority responded to arguments against homophobia — Johann Hari (@johannhari101) November 7, 2012
The LGBT community in Seattle should do a little something to thank all the righteous, awesome, beautiful straight people who worked so hard—all the straight people who fought so hard, phone banked so hard, donated so hard—to help us win the right to marry in Washington state. All the straight people who worked so hard to make our relationships and our families more secure.
Straight guy, bankin'.
I don't know what exactly I'm proposing here. I'm operating on three hours sleep and I'm pumped full of painkillers. But, hey, how about a big straight-allies-appreciation party? We love parties. We're good at parties. Why don't we throw them a party? A big party to say, you know, thanks. Not, "Oh, gee, straight people, thank you so much for the civil rights." Rights are rights. We shouldn't have to beg for them. We shouldn't have to say "thank you" when they're recognized. We shouldn't even have to ask for them. But the sad fact is that we have had to fight for our rights. And the happy fact? We didn't have to fight this one alone. We had help. Thousands of straight people stood with us and fought for us. That's what we should thank the straight people for. Not for the rights—rights are rights are rights—but the way they joined our fight.
So, yeah, I just wanted to get that off my chest. I've been weepy since I sat down with D.J. this morning and, over pancakes, answered his questions about what R-74's approval meant for him and his family. I sat down to write a "thank you" post after D.J. left for school but it seemed insufficient. For what our straight allies did for us yesterday, for what they did for our kids, I think some sort of big organized event is called for—a party, a bash, a celebration. I think we should thank all the straight people who came through for us in a big, public way. If a party is too impractical, well, then who about some sort of officially declared straight-allies-appreciation day? Something.