The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

Reuniting our Movement with the 1963 Civil Rights Act.

 by Dean Andersen

Guest Blogger, reporting at Creating Change, Minneapolis 2011

Our movement has always been a civil rights movement, from the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis in the 1950’s to the Stonewall Riots of “69”, and the historic marches on Washington, all we have ever wanted was EQUAL CIVL RIGHTS!  Civil Rights are Human Rights and according to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948, “Human Rights are supreme and universal”  they are the Inalienable realm of personal dignity.  It is the duty of government to REPSECT and PROTECT it’s citizens and the Human Rights they are born with.  Yet in all fifty of our United States there are elected officials that show hostility to LGBT folks!

The 1964 Human Rights Act guarantees Equal citizenship based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, Language minority, and Marital status.  It does NOT include sexual orientation, expression, or identity.

Our movement has been splintered from the unifying call for “Equal Civil Rights” to working on various partial, piece-meal rights, marriage rights, domestic partnerships, the right to serve in the military, freedom from discrimination, housing rights, etc. etc.  Working on so many fronts leaves us less unified and less committed.  It may be time to re-evaluate just what it is we want, and how we are going to get it.  What if we simply ask to get sexual and gender minorities included in the 1964 Human Rights Act which would protect LGBT folks under all federal legislation in housing, employment, legal system, public access, etc. etc.

EQUAL CIVIL RIGHTS is simple clear, and unifying.  We want the same rights afforded every other citizen in this country! No more, no less!  The freedom to be who we are is an inalienable right. We suffer harm when we are denied this most basic of rights. It’s time for our community to come back together under that banner of equal civil rights as the package, the deal, the bill that needs to be introduced guaranteeing the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace not just within our movement but for all members of our nation.

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February 5, 2011 Posted by | Creating Change, Creating Change 2011, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Validation:

by Dean Andersen

Guest Blogger, reporting from Creating Change, Minneapolis 2011

In the last session I attended we discussed obstacles and opportunities when promoting healthier LGBT communities.  We had an interesting discussion about folks who are raised being told they are worth something, verse folks being raised raised being told they are worthless!  Research shows that folks who are raised being told they are worthless have a much higher tendency to make bad choices!  Humm.. go figure!  So maybe an important part of promoting health is promoting positive self-esteem.    Developing a positive self-esteem is not particularly easy if you come from a home where your sense of self-worth has been under attack for the majority of your life.   How can our community help validate folks struggling to overcome the negative effects of persecution at the hands of their own family, church, schools, etc.? 

I’m interested in learning what campaigns others have done to validate LGBT youth.  Especially if these campaigns have been orchestrated across the community, and challenged existing status quo.   If you have information about such campaigns, please post a comment and include information where I and others can learn more about the campaign.   Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you.

February 5, 2011 Posted by | Creating Change, Creating Change 2011, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Community

What an amazing community we have and Creating Change reminds us of just how amazing we are over and over again.

Can I share a short story…  Early this evening I accidentally left my cell phone at the cyber cafe!  AAAAAH!!!  You may be familiar with the gut wrenching feeling you get when you think your tether to the world is suddenly missing with all your crazy information onboard.  Well, that was the feeling I was having.

But someone from our community turned it in!!  It was gone for only 30 minutes!  How validating to know that folks you have never even met are willing to step up and get your back! To whomever returned my phone, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  I am more proud than ever to belong to this diverse, creative, talented, hardworking, socially-conscious, honest and caring community!

February 4, 2011 Posted by | Creating Change, Creating Change 2011, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WE HAVE A RIGHT TO BE HEALTHY!

by Dean Anderson

Guest Blogger, Reporting from Creating Change

It is time for LGBT folks everywhere to realize:

We have a right to good health and good health care…   health care that is culturally competent, and wants to make you healthy.

-What we do to support health, makes our lives better for EVERYONE!
-Improving our quality of life is good for everyone!
– Healthy LGBT Folks are Happy LGBT Folks!
-We deserve just as many resources directed to promote health in our community as is directed to promote health in mainstream communities!

Each of us has a duty to our community to promote healthy decision-making and break the cycles that legitimize addiction.  We all can be a voice positive change.

February 4, 2011 Posted by | Creating Change, Creating Change 2011, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Advocacy for LGBT Health

Dean Andersen

Guest Blogger

Finally we’re here!  Record snowfall and closed interstates couldn’t keep us away!  We finally arrived at the CREATING CHANGE Conference in Minneapolis!  How great to see so many like minded folks working to create positive change in their communities across the nation. Our first  session was a Health  Institute were we  learned about Advocating for Health.

We learned the importance of exercising your voice! Change only happens when folks advocate for the change they desire to see.  It’s important to understand that your voice is powerful, and only by exercising your voice, can change occur.  We explored the power of organizing others who share your opinion.   To create the change we you want to see; identify the problem, and your desired solution.  Then brainstorm to identify allies who feel the same way and build a coalition.  Strategize with your stakeholders on how to accomplish your desired solution.  Then utilized tactics to accomplish your desired solution.

IT’S IMPORTANT TO NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR VOICE!

Creating Change promises to be a positive reminder of the importance of staying involved, and working to create the change you want to see!  I fee lucky to be here with all these leaders from around the Nation, and look forward to making new friends, establishing new connections, and exploring new ways of initiating change.

February 3, 2011 Posted by | Creating Change, Creating Change 2011, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

   

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