Welcome to my world
Hak-Shing William “Bill” Tam, one of the proponents of Proposition 8, filed a request last week to be removed as a defendant from the federal trial over the measure’s constitutionality. He cites instances of attempted yard-sign theft, some automobile vandalism, threats and name calling as his reasons for wanting to back out of his support for a law that banned marriage equality.
Hey, Bill Tam, welcome to my world.
I came out at age 18, in 1978. Less than a year later, I began working for equality on behalf of gays and lesbians. In the intervening 31 years, I have been threatened with assault, rape and murder more times than I can count (especially rape—for some reason, men seem to think that raping me would make me straight). I’ve been spit on, hit, had my car vandalized (that’s why I don’t put bumper stickers on it anymore, for any reason) and my house broken into, and endured threatening phone calls at 3 a.m. for two weeks (that’s when I went and got a really big dog). Since I started writing for SN&R on GLBTQ issues, I’ve had an average of two e-mails and one phone call threatening me with physical harm every week.
If Bill Tam wants to speak out publicly on any controversial issue, there are consequences. Free speech really isn’t free; one of the consequences is that it attracts the attention of all kinds of people—including the ones with anger-management and impulse-control issues.
If the principle is important, though, it’s worth it. I believe in the equality of all people to the depth of my being, and in our right to live freely and equally under the law. He gets called a “Chink,” which is a despicable, racist slur.
I get called some of the following: dyke, lesbo, pervert, deviant, sodomite, feminazi, fascist (?!?), commie, socialist (that one’s kinda true), bitch, whore and cunt. Oh, and I’ve also been called the “N” word by a number of people who think that if you fight racism, you must be black. I wear that one like a badge of pride.
So, hey, Bill, I’m sorry you’re scared. I get scared, too. Stop by sometime and I’ll buy you a cuppa coffee. We can commiserate about what it takes to stand up for what you believe in.Compiled from Kel’s Hot Flash.