It has been a tumultuous week here at Lesbian Central. Backstage drama, frontpage drama, workplace drama and I think I burned the back of my throat swallowing thai tea to be polite while waiting for my takeout.
The ordinance is losing steam, my friends. We lost another co-sponsor, Bob Macy from my hometown area of West Mifflin. No word on why he withdrew his sponsorship, but this is really personal now. I could actually show Councilman Macy the dents in the lockers at West Mifflin High School where the gay kids were shoved on a regular basis. I can take him on a walk through the Waterfront and recreate the night we were harassed by a group of young men. I could take him to my parent's living room (a house financed by the credit union where he works) and have a man with 40 years in the mills, many Republican votes and a regular attendence at Mass explain why his daughter's partner is part of the family. I could do all of this.
What can you do?
Well, I hope you are still planning to come out on Saturday for the Big Queer Rally. Emcee Gab Bonesso is working on some great stuff for you. Speakers and guests now include State Representative Chelsa Wagner, City Council President Doug Shields, City Councilmen Bruce Kraus and Bill Peduto, City Controller Michael Lamb, and the sponsor of the County ordiance, Councilwoman Amanda Green. Unconfirmed possibilities include US Congressman Mike Doyle and State Representative Dan Frankel.
Even more cool than our awesome elected allies. Reverend Janet Edwards. You may have read a thing about her on this blog. Political pundit John McIntire. He likes gay people. Reverend Deryck Tines. Had an exhibit about drag queens. Sandra Telep. Did you know the AFL-CIO has a whole gay thing going on? And a few words from leaders of local groups that you need to know about, including Steel City Stonewall Democrats.
We might have some entertainment from the Renaissance City Choir and/or a local singersongwriter. There is a strong possibility of FREE coffee donated by Starbucks. Plus, we've got a contingent of every day folks who volunteered their entire Saturday afternoon to make this event a big advocacy success.
What we need is you. Join this impact so we can get mobilized to tackle the damn ordinance. I know it is probably going to be cold. So its Pittsburgh. Wear layers. We aren't on the river. We are surrounded by tall buildings. And there will be a tent with a heater if your toes get too cold. Diane Gramley will be sitting at home, sending telepathic messages to her minions to pick up the phone on Monday and chip away at this ordinance.
We don't have that luxury. On top of everything else, Ms. Gramley gets to wave a frontpage Post-Gazette story involving sex, drugs, death and allegations of “pay for play” as proof positive that we are the hedonistic, sex fiends she so often describes in her diatribes. Great. It doesn't even matter to her if it is true. She is gonna use it to her advantage.
So, we need you to show up on Saturday. It is really important that you come in from the suburbs, find a place to park in Oakland and bring your family to this event so we have ample evidence that Gramley is wrong about our community. We need to generate the kind of media interest that lands us on the front page in Sunday's Post-Gazette in a positive story. A photo of hundreds of gay families and individuals braving a cold winter's day because they — YOU — believe that we deserve equality. We need people to come home from church and make the connection between what they profess to believe and our lives when they read a quote from Reverend Edwards. We need the labor movement to recognize that yeah, it is worth a phone call to a former steelworker (Councilman Macy) to remind him that a fair workplace is good for the economy.
The thing is … what can I say to convince you to come out?
How about this. Today, my blog generated more visits than ever. Today, I counted more than 30 comments posted on various threads which is pretty big for me. A lot of those were voyeurs, sure, but a lot were new to this blog and they poked around more than a usual visitor. They looked at photos and read old stories and it really became about more than the “big scandal' that drew them here. It was kind of like they were getting to know our community through this one small prism.
So, you have an opportunity to help them get better acquainted with our community. There will be laughter and solemn moments. There might be a soap box. We might recruit some people.
In the end, there will be you. Please. Join the impact.
See you Saturday.