Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We Are But Pawns

   Today I feel like a pawn in a masters chess tournament. The game has been going on for a very long time. The players are ruthless. With no thought for the pieces, only the outcome of the game, the slings and arrows fly inflecting damage where ever and whenever they can.

We, the LGBT population ( I use the term population because we are not a small community) are the last pawn on the board. The game is tied and a lot is riding on who wins.

At first, we were left alone, unused and unwanted. After being pushed out of the way (wrongful raids, outlawed, criminalized, institutionalized, and beaten to death) we finally spoke up about being part of the game. There was a great deal of debate as to if we were even a pawn and if so why should we get to play like the rest. We sat and waited while a lot of bad things were said and done. (Anita Bryant, Harvey Milk)

We started getting louder about playing so we got pushed around now and then. We were grateful for the chance to play but we were new at the game and some opportunities were missed as well as withheld.  The game was heating up when we took a big hit. (HIV/AIDS) We had to prove we could take the damage and teach both players to pay better attention. The damage was painful (Ryan White) but we did prove it was not self inflected.

Advances came in spurts. Around every four moves we would advance but often to help others maneuver around and we were grateful for the bone. Now and then a spectator would offer an encouraging word in the defence of the debate as to whether we were a real pawn or not. (Removed from the list of mental illnesses)

The game continued on. The more damage we took the louder we spoke up. (Mathew Shepard) More spectators joined on both sides of the table. With each advance, we grew stronger and louder for our chance to play like the rest. The crumbs were a compromise. (Don't Ask Don't Tell) but were crumbs none the less.

All the other pawns are gone now. They are all played out and are home healing. Their damage was intense as well. Both players are using us and the air is thick with sex, lies, and videotapes. There was a break in the field that gave us an advantage ( Sodomy Laws Repealed) but the battle rages on.

Player 1 gives us a crumb but Player 2 takes it back. Not once but twice and they are going for a third time to see if the move will work. (The Yo Yo of gay marriage in California).
The debate and spectator involvement is getting intense and......Wait!......Player 2 was caught
fabricating information. Player1 and spectators are sorting out the info to see what is going on and calling them on the lies! (Southern Poverty Law Center's Hate List for 2010 comes out) We get to move forward and the crumb is good sized (DADT Repeal) The hunger to play and finish is strong. 

The Players are  moving faster and we are getting tossed around by both sides. Player 1 uses us to get what they want even if we don't (Del. Jill Carter and Del. Tiffany T. Alston of Maryland).  Player 2 seems to know they are losing which is making them fight harder and keep repeating their fabrications (Like if they say them often enough they will be true?)

We are quickly getting to the other side of the board and our eye is on the prize but we are getting tired.
Tired of not being seen as a real pawn.
Tired of being used to advance Player 1 for crumbs.
Tired of Player 2 and their angry gibberish.
Tired of watching our youngest spectators being bullied to the point of suicide.
Tired of watching the older ones lose a loved one and then everything else to an indifferent government and greedy relatives.

We are ready for the game to be over. We will win but at a high cost.

I am ready to join the others at home to start healing.

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