Wednesday, April 29, 2009
WAS IT REALLY SO BAD FOR ME TO TRY AND DO THE RIGHT THING OR SO SORRY I STEPPED ON YOUR GLORY!
EQUALITY DAYS: ARE WE NOT ALL PART OF "OUR COMMUNITY"?
Recently a historical event happened IN THE LV and the state of Nevada. The very first Equality Days happened in our capitol of Carson City.
A great group of politically and socially active folks from here IN THE LV went up to Carson City to support our own State Senator David Parks in his efforts to get our equal rights written into out very own state constitution.
I could not attend.
I'll tell you why.
One of the bitches about our current healthcare system in this country is that there just plain and simply isn't anything approaching affordable medical coverage. That is bad enough when you're healthy, but, when you have HIV it's not only bad, it keeps you locked in a socioeconomic hell whether you are healthy enough to work or not. Well, I live on $856 per month. I would love to put my skills to work at something, hell, anything. However, because a single bottle of ATRIPLA which from what I understand keeps me alive, costs pretty much my entire monthly income, I can't work until I find someplace that's willing to pay for my healthcare.
I'm not looking for sympathy, I'm stating facts.
As badly as I wanted to go to experience a bit of Nevada LGBT history I just couldn't afford it. I applied for a scholarship to go, however, I felt that there had to be someone else who wanted to go even more than I ,so, I removed myself from consideration.
Many of you don't know that I am known in the non LGBT world as a writer. I write columns monthly for I LOVE LAS VEGAS MAGAZINE where I am the Night Life Editor and the defacto Travel Editor.
I also write proposals for my friends businesses that can't afford them. In addition I write my own blog that has chronicled my adventures since becoming a delegate for Hillary Clinton way back when. I am extremely proud of my blog, DEREKS BIG FAT DEMOCRATIC ADVENTURE. My blog is my platform to inform the world about what's going on in my life and the LGBT world around me.
I am proud of it and had hoped to use my blog to tell the stories of the great group of people who made the journey to Carson City to represent the LGBT community of Nevada.
A community that I thought I was a part of.
I was told by my dad (who died recently) that if a person was upset enough with you to demand an apology, you must offer a sincere one and try to not repeat whatever the behavior was that caused the other person to be upset.
Cut flash forward.
I sent a rather congratulatory email out to as many members of "OUR" community as I could think of that had made the trip to Carson City asking if they would be so kind as to send me there recollections and pictures from the trip.
You would have thought it was me and not a Dingo that ate the baby for the reaction I got.
I was informed by a leader of our community that I had overstepped my place and gone ROGUE by not asking first of the powers that be before I had the temerity to push send.
I was told that I had no right to ask these questions as I had not served on the Equality Days Planning committee nor had I attended AND FURTHERMORE, HOW DARE I USE THE WORDS "OUR COMMUNITY"?!? Even worse I had asked about "OUR EQUALITY DAYS". It seems since I wasn't a part of Equality Days, I had no right to think of myself as being part of the community.
I offered an explanation and a very sincere apology to "Our Dear Leader" and immediately sent out an email letting people know that they could (please!) disregard my email and that an email would come from the members of the planning committee forthwith.
I thought that was the end of it.
An email then went out along with nasty text messages that called me out by name with the following:
And I'm too much of a gentleman to call the person who sent these things out by name.
Too bad she isn't.
A gentleman, that is.
THIS IS THE EMAIL WITHOUT THE OFFENDING (SIVE?) PERSONS NAME ATTACHED:
To the Equality Days participants,
Please disregard the email survey sent out by Derek Washington. He is not involved with the planning or in any way a participant in Equality Days.
We will be sending out an official Equality Days survey to you from www.surveymonkey.com Our survey is to collect your ideas, suggestions and comments in order to improve the event for the future.
I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion. It is Stand OUT For Equality’s desire to connect to our participants in an honest and open fashion for the benefit of the LGBT statewide community. Our desire is to improve this event and to prepare for the continued quest for equality.
Was it really important to call me out by name and imply that I was doing something dishonest? Btw, the parts that mentioned me were "bold" and underlined as if to insure that no one would gather I was anything less than a monster and dishonest to boot.
Listen and listen good.
I spent two years begging GOD to kill me because I couldn't take another day of being so weak that I had to sleep on my moms couch because I was too weak to climb the stairs to my room.
Or being in Hospitals where the high point of my day was waiting for the Jello to arrive at 3pm.
Or how about when I would wake up and my mom would be sleeping next to me with tears running down her eyes? Tears she only cried when she thought I was asleep because she didn't want me to know how bad my having HIV was affecting her.
Listen, when I got well enough the first thing I did was march myself off to Reno for the Democratic convention where I told everyone who and what I was and I GOT ELECTED as a delegate to go to Denver to represent this state. AS A MAN. AS A BLACK MAN. AS A GAY MAN. AS AN AMERICAN MAN. AS A GAY BLACK AMERICAN MAN.
As a member of this community.
Since I returned from Denver, my entire life has been to serve this community.
I have held clothing drives where I went downtown and by myself handed out donated clothes and food.
I took pictures and live blogged from our Equal Rights Rally THAT I HELPED PLAN. When Wanda Sykes came out at our little rally, my laptop was up and running and sending out the news AS IT HAPPENED. "OUR" rally made the news that night. All over the world.
I have worked tirelessly for Democratic candidates to ensure that "OUR" community had representatives who would fight for "OUR" rights.
Just two weeks ago I helped host Congresswoman Dina Titus in my role as the LGBT OUTREACH DIRECTOR of the DEMOCRATIC BLACK CAUCUS.
I'm not listing what I've done for glory. I have NEVER asked for any sort of recognition.
I don't need it.
So, now I'm being shunned and serving some sort of exile and am the butt of nasty jokes and innuendo.
Because someone felt their personal fiefdom was threatened.
I know why I help "OUR" community. I help because at my lowest, GOD didn't kill me and a whole lot of people helped and gave me and my mom love and support.
I am trying to get the Nevada Care Program refunded because I never want an innocent kid to beg GOD to kill them or for their mom to fall asleep crying.
I have to ask these self appointed guardians of "OUR" community why do they help?
Is it because of the glory that they hope to receive for what to be works that should be done from the heart?
I know without a doubt that my exile will only get worse after this is read.
I don't care.
I will not allow anyone to question my motives or integrity without answering them.
My mom said that she didn't want me to do that.
I will suffer through whatever you have. Even if you won't sit next to me at recess.
Do you really think you can do anything to me that's worse than seeing my mom cry?