Thursday, June 5, 2014

Maybe It Truly Does Get Better?

Long Beach is the seventh most populous city in California. It's a city that's near & dear to us because it's adjacent to our original homeland "Behind the Orange Curtain". And pretty soon, Long Beach will have a new Mayor.

His name is Robert Garcia. He came to America with his parents from Peru when he was five. He's an adjunct professor at USC, and he's already been serving as Vice Mayor on the Long Beach City Council.

Robert Garcia will be Long Beach's youngest Mayor. He will be Long Beach's first Latin@ Mayor. Oh, and he will also be Long Beach's first openly gay Mayor.

Once upon a time, prominent and proud LGBTQ elected leaders were unimaginable. Now, they're all across the nation. And yes, that even includes Nevada. Assembly Member Andrew Martin (D-Enterprise) is running for Nevada State Controller. Assembly Member James Healey (D-Enterprise) is running for reelection. And State Senators David Parks (D-Paradise), Pat Spearman (D-North Las Vegas), and Kelvin Atkinson (D-North Las Vegas) will be returning to the Nevada Legislature (as they were all elected in 2012).

Once upon a time, the closet was the only acceptable place for LGBTQ Americans. Marriage equality was "radical". "The Gay Plague" was "just punishment". And pride parades were revolutionary acts.

Oh, how times have changed. Now, high school principals come out to their students. Out soccer, football, and basketball players are welcomed into the league. And Time Magazine is beginning to show our entire community the respect we deserve.

And of course, Long Beach will soon have an out Mayor. And Nevada will likely have several out legislators in Carson City next year. Maybe we'll even soon have our first out statewide elected official?

As we documented earlier this week, there are still more challenges ahead of us. We don't yet have full equality. We still have further to go.

But at least now, we're on our way. At least now, we know that it truly does get better. And that's something we can all celebrate with pride this month.

1 comment:

  1. Then you have my own New York City, in which an out lesbian -- but one too close to the 'Establishment'-- was defeated by a Progressive straight male -- whose wife describes her own sexuality as 'fluid.' And come to think of it, I can't think of many out politicians who have been defeated for that reason this century -- and almost no Democrats.

    I think the idea that gayness, or supporting LGBTQ issues is no longer a 'death sentence' and that we can actually GAIN votes by taking openly progressive positions is finally getting through to some very reluctant leaders. (I'd argue that support of marijuana legalization -- without getting stuck in an attack on 'the War on Drugs' and opening up many more tricky questions -- would be a major winner and would shake off a large number of 'low-hsnging fruit' from the Republican tree.

    But for too many years it seemed like the DCCC and similar were the only people who still believed in the Agnew-Safire-Buchanan "Silent Majority." We acted, for far too long as if there would be a pitchfork-wielding crowd after any Democrat who did not hide their support for Progressive Social Causes behind half-measures and weasel-phrases.