We must be our own fierce advocate, because to everyone else, we are just props

Remember during the 2008 election, when Senator Barack Obama said that he would be a “fierce advocate” for the GLBT community?  Fast forward a few months, when President Obama’s administration defended DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, and equated gay marriage to pedophilia and incest.

Remember the 1992 election, when Governor Clinton became one of the first national leaders to champion gay rights?  And then remember the following years when DOMA and DADT came about?  Senator Clinton caught hell for that in 2008, when rocker Melissa Etheridge said that Clinton’s husband threw the gay community “under the bus” given the first chance.

Flash forward to today in Washington, DC.  There was a big buildup to a massive protest, headlined by “gay advocate” comedian Kathy Griffin.  She was headlining at an HRC gala a few nights ago, and was to be part of a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal affair with the HRC (Human Rights Campaign). Griffin made it to lobby the Senate.  Then she indeed headline at a rally today, along with HRC’s leader Joe Solmonese and Lt. Dan Choi.  When Lt. Choi got up to speak, he apparently offered an act of civil disobedience.  He asked Griffin and Solomnese if they would go to the White House with him and Captain Jim Pietrangelo in support, which apparently they said they would.

Well that was it for Griffin and Solomnese.  A photo-op is all they wanted.  They didn’t dare step anywhere near Choi or Pietrangelo, especially when Choi and Pietrangelo handcuffed themselves to the White House fence.  Griffin and Solomnese were nowhere to be seen.

Griffin did tweet after the rally.  This is what she (@kathygriffin) wrote:

It was my honor 2 share th podium w Lt Dan Choi today. I understand he’s been arrested in front of the White House. I dig that dude! Balls!

Yes, he does.  We, as a community – a community of gays, lesbians, democrats, liberals, and progressives – WE need to have balls like Lt. Choi and Captain Pietrangelo.  Why?  Because our “fierce advocates”, from President Obama, to Kathy Griffin, to HRC President Joe Solomnese aren’t.  They proved today that they could care less about what is right, and only about what is doing what is convenient for them.

What if Rosa Parks decided, “Well, I don’t want to rock the boat. I’ll move to the back of the bus”?

What if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I have hopes for my children, but I’m not willing to make waves over it.”?

What if Susan B. Anthony decided, “Yes, women should be equal to men, but I shouldn’t speak up.”

These people were different.  They were the leaders that we need today.  We don’t need people like Griffin or Solomnese, who are using the GLBT community as props.  Props for ratings.  Props for fame.  Props for money.  Props for donations.  We need people who stand up and do the right thing, like Lt. Dan Choi and Captain Jim Pietrangelo.  They know what needs to be done, what we need to do to get the progressive movement MOVING!

I previously took the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Give” pledge because Democrats decided to stop moving forward on GLBT issues, and when the Obama White House decided to defend DOMA.  Now, the HRC has shown that it wants to do what’s convenient, not what’s right, and abandoning GLBT soldiers, so that organization can go and rot, too.  But you and me.  We are the ones that can use Choi, and Parks, and Anthony, and King as our guides, and do what is right – not what’s convenient.  We are nobody’s props.  We are humans, and we all deserve civil rights.