Letter of the week: We all belong to the ‘human family'

Published: Monday, January 5, 2009 at 9:44 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 5, 2009 at 9:44 a.m.

I am compelled to write to after viewing the newly released film: "Milk," which is now playing locally.

As we approach the upcoming March 2009 City of Gainesville election that will impact the lives of part of our human family in terms of discrimination, it seems so poignant that this movie is present in our community now.

Those of us in our fifties who are gay Americans remember the struggle for human rights in those turbulent times in the 1970's, both in Florida and in California. We were aware of San Francisco's elected city official Harvey Milk and his tireless advocation for gay and lesbian human rights. Harvey Milk and Mayor Muscone were both murdered while in office.

Additionally, the AIDS epidemic erupted and devastated our community, and many people were convinced it was God's vengeance for gay peoples' life-styles.

During that time, we as a gay community cared for each other as the public at large were fearful of us, "our disease," and death. Subsequently, our fight for human rights slowly extinguished, just like the lives of many in our dying community.

But years later "we" still exist, and are living and still striving for equality in our lives and wanting to have the opportunity to be part of "one human family."

If we could as a community support the GLBTQ (gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered-questioning) diversity that exists here, as we have done in the past, Gainesville could remain the city of equality and freedom it once had been.

While in Key West at Thanksgiving last month with my spouse, (we were married in Canada in 2005) I encountered a bumper sticker there. It stated that all people are created equal and are members of "one human family." Then-mayor of Key West, Jimmy Weekly, made that proclamation official on October 17, 2000, and it remains in effect today.

I challenge our community to do the same, and urge all my fellow GLBTQ individuals to "come out" (as I have) to family, friends, neighbors, their church, and to their fellow workers so that our community at large can "see" and know who we are, rather than judging us on whom we love. Such action would dispel the myths and fears that currently exist regarding gender orientation.

We are your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, mothers, fathers, your teachers, policeman, fire-fighters, nurses, doctors, and preachers. We ask only to have the same basic rights that are automatic to those being born heterosexual. With the affirmation of one human family. we may all proudly contribute to each other, our community, this city, this state, this nation, and to this whole world.

Jeff Dunn,


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