Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In My Own Words: Today (Martin Luther King Jr. and Gay Rights)

"In my own words..." is a platform for our community members to share essays, poetry, art, reviews, commentary, etc. If you would like to submit something, please email Kaylia at Kaylia@gaycentralvalley.org


In My Own Words: Today
Sheldon Helms

Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago today, at an event organized by AN OPENLY GAY MAN named Bayard Rustin.
BayardRustinAug1963-LibraryOfCongress crop.jpg


If it weren't for Rustin, King's legacy would shine much less brightly...and there's a good chance you wouldn't even know who he was. 

Yet for all his work, for all their closeness, and despite Rustin's repeated efforts, the LGBT struggle continues. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. adamantly refused to include LGBT rights in the Civil Rights Movement. Many gay and lesbian people marched, fought, and stood beside their Black brothers and sisters, and some even got arrested or killed, yet they benefited nothing. 

If MLK were alive today, he'd have been federally protected since 1964 in housing, employment, inheritance, and hundreds of other areas of everyday life. 

If his friend Bayard Rustin were alive, he STILL wouldn't have those protections. 

Today. 

In 2013.

***

The following is a 4 minute video that sheds some light, raises some questions, and features some haunting historical footage that is well worth a watch. 

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