Monday, December 28, 2009

2010: Odyssey Two

To borrow a name from the late Arthur Clarke, 2010 is indeed a new odyssey for the GLBT community — not just in Atlanta, but across the southeastern United States. For the first time since the days of the 2000 March on Washington, we have a chance to push towards equal rights. The ill-fated years under GWB dealt great damage to our then-positive, organized, and determined efforts to promote equality. Now, more than ever, we must stand up in a unified voice and demand our civil rights.

We start the year with an Atlanta city government freshly awoken to the needs of the GLBT community, yet without our long-loved Voice to document the possible dawning of a new understanding in the public eye. We await the outcome of a civil case supported by Lambda Legal Defense Fund to bring justice to those abused by police at Atlanta Eagle, asserting rights guaranteed by Georgia and Federal law, as well as the United States Constitution. (Note: GLBTATL has converted Lambda Legal's case complaint to plaintext via OCR; see it here.)

As for GLBTATL? We started 2009 with four full-time members and as many as ten part-time enthusiastic supporters. Through the year, we lost some of our most promising support, and now are only two people. That probably means that we are going into hibernation until our resources are needed once again. We don't have any current plans for political activity, but to be clear, this does not mean that we are disappearing completely.

"GLBTATL" was always meant to be a name under which Atlanta's gay community could come together, to show that we had a focus, a drive towards common goals. The two of us who still identify as part of it have never sought personal media recognition, because gathering under a banner of common causes, rather than name-dropping individuals, has always been the point of GLBTATL.*

(* Compare that attitude to one who created a self-promotional "fan page", after defacing the greatly successful group effort that brought hundreds together in a common cause, and accusing me personally of "boosting ego". That last claim is strange, to be sure; I don't have a self-created fan page, nor any notable mentions in media. My partner has only one mention from nine years ago, in the AP article about the 2000 March linked at top.)

We still have great hope for Atlanta's GLBT community, however disorganized it may be as the new year dawns. As a group name, GLBTATL continues to exist, even if we're just waiting in the wings. Our new year's resolution is to remember the gay redefinition of the word family: you are all our family, and family members help each other. Our contact information still works, and we are available if you need us. Thank you all for your support, and call on us anytime if we can return the favor.

Have a safe New Year's Eve, and may the odyssey of 2010 prove to reignite the spirit of togetherness and equality.

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

— Oscar Wilde