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Letter: Gay community should raise its voice louder

Gay community should raise its voice louder

As much as the lesbian gay bisexual transgender questioning community has reason to celebrate, it seems this year’s Pride Festival failed to live up to its theme: Fearless.

The fearless voice of protest, of demanding equality and civil rights, was a whisper. I wore my bra on the outside of a men’s black undershirt for the Dyke March and the parade to draw attention to the constraints of antiquated gender roles. I was surprised some didn’t seem to think we need a radical voice for women’s rights, much less LGBTQ rights.

One said, “Well, maybe if there was a big reason for it.” Really? We have several big reasons to justify raising our radical feminist voices: servicewomen defend our nation and are raped, politicians blame us for being raped, some want to take away our rights to end unwanted pregnancies even if resulting from rape, male lovers kill us at alarming rates, and, oh yeah, we still earn less than men working under that glass ceiling.

I haven’t even started on gay marriage and parenting, the murder of transgender people, lesbian health disparities or workplace discrimination. What more need happen? We need a radical voice for our sisters, mothers, daughters, aunts, grandmothers and especially ourselves.

But we also need a radical feminist voice for our brothers, fathers, sons, uncles and grandfathers.

For me a radical voice is not about being angry, its about being opinionated, passionate and assertive – attributes that not only should be as nurtured in women as in men, but are the foundation of our nation, universal suffrage and gay and lesbian marriage rights.

I hope we can build some momentum in our community over the next year to raise our voices to a good loud yell. If not, or if so, I just might go topless next year in protest.

Grace Friel