Friday, April 6, 2012

What Straight People Can Do Now

     This might be a somewhat uncomfortable subject for some straight people because they do not know where to begin or if they are wanted.  However LGBT organizations do acknowledge the phrase "preaching to the choir".   

     There are LGBT organizations who DO want us included in the discussions like
Straight For Equality - created by PFLAG National

The folowing is a partial reprint from their FAQ page.

Why should straight people be interested in issues facing Gay, Lesbian, Bi, and Transgender people?  

Many people have a gay friend and want to make things better for them. Others have realized that discrimination against any group is wrong and needs to be stopped. Some believe that, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Still others want the opportunity to change history. To achieve equality, gay people need the help of straight allies. When we work together, we can affect great change. Besides, if you were being discriminated against, wouldn’t you want others to stand up for you? Here’s your chance.       

What are the issues gay people face anyway?  

There are a number of challenges that gay people face in their personal and private lives as a result of discrimination and bias. On a personal level, many are concerned about being rejected by their families and friends, worried about their safety, and are afraid of being rejected from their places of worship. On a more public level, gay people can still legally be denied employment, housing, and other rights straight people have simply because of who they are. To learn more about these challenges, visit the PFLAG National website.  

If I get involved in Straight for Equality, will people think I’m gay?

The assumption that someone would only care enough to raise the issue of equality for gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender people if they themselves are gay still happens, and, for some people, this can be an uncomfortable reality at first.
Simply being aware of this possibility gives you power to handle it on your own terms. You can clarify that you are straight, or leave the question unanswered.  If you choose not to answer, it will often lead to a more detailed discussion about orientation and give you and the people you’re speaking with an opportunity to talk about the issue. This experience can offer a valuable perspective into the lives and challenges gay people deal with all the time.
Working through any anxiety you may have for being mistaken for being gay – and being able to have a good laugh about it – will give you the confidence and the tools to have a deeper discussion with others about the issue. 

For the complete FAQ page from Straight For Equality please click on the link

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