Sunday, December 19, 2004

"Openly in-your-face homosexuals" struggle in Oklahoma

Sometimes I get depressed watching this country move headlong to the right, while the anti-gay equality groups rub their hands in glee. But then I have to remind myself that I am lucky enough to live in San Francisco. When things start getting too bad, all I have to do is jump on my trusty motorcycle and head a few blocks away to the heart of the Castro District. Just being there surrounded by my people is enough to give me a bit of instant renewal. I can sit and watch the crowds of Queer people of every stripe and hue saunter by and know that I am not alone.

As this AP article points out, not everyone is so lucky.

Okla. gays struggle to remain optimistic


TULSA, Okla. -- Far from the coastal strongholds of the same-sex marriage movement, gays in the red states of the Bible Belt are struggling to maintain confidence and optimism in the aftermath of an election that many viewed as a stinging personal rebuff.

In Oklahoma, the 76 percent support for a constitutional ban on gay marriage has prompted some gays to leave the state or consider leaving. The staff of Tulsa's community center for gays and lesbians say calls to the center's help line, some of them suicidal, have tripled since the election.

In many cases, however, the dismay is accompanied by renewed determination.

"Some people talk about leaving, but there's a larger group more invested in fighting than they were before," said Mark Bonney, a gay activist who heads Tulsa Oklahomans for Human Rights. "They're saying it's time to come out to their families, to draw a line in the sand."

Read the rest of the article in the Seattle P.I.


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