New Year, renewed commitment
by Troy Stevenson
We ushered in 2015 on the wake of wedding bells, excitement, and the single biggest victory in Oklahoma’s LGBTQ history. Yet we knew there was a backlash to come. Rather than sitting back and basking in the glow of victory, we began working overtime to merge two organizations, and make ourselves ready for the onslaught of the upcoming legislative session.
Those efforts proved successful, and not only did we defeat everything that was thrown at us, we went on to have success in public education and with national litigation greater than we could have ever anticipated.
Yet here we are again. The aura of victory shines strong on our community and our opposition is stinging from repeated defeats. Yet as we saw in Houston this past month, we are far from invincible, and we once again must prepare for an avalanche of vitriolic and hate filled legislation.
This time we will not be underestimated, and those that would see fit to dial back our right to equality and equity will be better prepared. This time they will be organized, they will be less transparent with their agenda of hate, and we must be ready.
In 2015, we came into the session as an unknown and unpredictable force, and we overwhelmed our opponents with strategy, ingenuity, and more than a little bit of luck. In 2016, they will be prepared. We must double our efforts, triple our numbers, and stand in solidarity against overwhelming odds. To be successful in the coming legislative session we need you.
Never again can we pretend that we cannot win, but we must also understand that to do so requires work, resources, and the determination to stand in solidarity regardless of the odds. We must refuse to fall in the traps or believe the lies that aim to divide. We must show an unprecedented solidarity; because only as a unified community can we ever dream of being successful.
Make no mistake, there will be attempts to pit us against one another, and we cannot falter. There will be those that think they have all the rights they need, and see no reason to fight any further. This is what the other side is counting on. We must be better than that. We must remember that the goal was never marriage, it was and is full and lived equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, as well as all of our allies who are denied dignity every day.
To this end, I would ask everyone reading this to make a New Year’s resolution. I would ask that you resolve to make your commitment to our movement stronger than ever before. Get involved - volunteer, donate, lobby – do whatever is within your means and ability, and then do a little bit more. If we collectively commit to creating a stronger and more unified advocacy community, I promise you we will be victorious for another year, because Together, we will win.
The Gayly - 12/17/2015 @ 1:22 p.m. CST