In this holiday season, I want to share some thanks about our world.
In particular, I want to say how good it is that our community, and country, and culture have moved so far to recognize the rights and inherent dignity of the LGBTQ+ community. I know there is much work yet to be done everywhere – and we’re in Indiana for RFRA’s sake – but as the wise old leader said to Martin Luther King, Jr. when asked about civil rights progress: “Well, we’re not where we want to be. And we’re not where we ought to be. But we’re sure not where we used to be.”
We enjoy marriages, including in Dawn’s and my extended family, that a few years ago were outlawed. Last week I enjoyed an hour on BloomingOUT, the terrific radio show on our local gem, WFHB, that focuses on issues of concern to the LGBTQ+ community. And as Rachael, Kim and Alex, the oh-so-smooth co-hosts, and I talked about challenges and opportunities, I was reminded that not so long ago such a radio show would have been underground or more likely unheard in America. It’s still unheard in too many.
Last month hundreds of Bloomingtonians celebrated as the Quarryland Chorus performed at the Buskirk, including the piece Tyler’s Suite, that was commissioned to commemorate the tragic suicide of young Tyler Clementi, bullied and hazed as a college freshman. (I was so pleased to get to sing a number with the chorus.) It was a reminder of the pain and damage still too present in our world. But as his mother Jane, who attended in person, demonstrated, so many people are dedicated to changing that fact, and simply demanding a better world for all of us.
I’m thankful not because problems have been fully solved or prejudices completely erased. I’m thankful for being reminded that things change, for the better, and they change because people of good will and determination make it so.
So be thankful, and be kind, and be determined to keep that change coming.
Ps: Please note four upcoming events, some fundraisers to help our campaign be strong as we support local progressive groups through the Democracy Lab and continue our leadership of city government for more affordable housing, better jobs, environmental progress and more. Consider joining Dawn and me at one or more of the following gatherings:
Griffin Realty, Thursday Dec. 7th, 735 S. College, from 5 to 7pm (a fundraiser) co-hosted by Don Griffin, Fred Schultz, Melanie Walker, Jim Blickensdorf, and David and Martha Moore
The Johnsen/Hamilton home, Friday Dec 8th, 635 S. Woodlawn Ave, from 530 to 730pm (a fundraiser)
New Year’s Eve, and Bicentennial Kick-Off, Sunday Dec 31st at City Hall, late afternoon into early evening (NOT a fundraiser, just FUN!)
The Rickert home, Wednesday, Jan. 17th, 2018, 532 S. Ballantine, from 5 to 7pm (a fundraiser) co-hosted by the Sandweiss’s and the Audretsch’s