A jour­ney to equal­ity, the sta­tus quo not an op­tion

Sackville Tribune - - COMMENTARY - Ger­ard Veld­hoven Ger­ard Veld­hoven is a former area res­i­dent and long­time ac­tivist for the les­bian, gay, bisexual and trans­gen­der com­mu­nity. Com­ments and in­for­ma­tion: lgbt­con­nec- tion­sgv@gmail.com .

The jour­ney through life is filled with mem­o­ries – those we cel­e­brate, and those we rather push aside into the back­ground.

We make choices on the way that do not al­ways suit us, but at the time seemed the right de­ci­sions, and so we pro­ceed to go on our way, pre­par­ing for the fu­ture. That fu­ture, even with what we de­ter­mined as per­haps the mid­dle road, the sta­tus quo, was not a guar­an­tee to a sat­is­fy­ing ex­is­tence. At the time it seemed cor­rect and we made de­ci­sions that would suit our fam­i­lies, friends, teach­ers and oth­ers who we deemed as great in­flu­ences on our fu­ture. Per­haps so, but then we dis­cov­ered that our prin­ci­ples may have dif­fered from what his­tor­i­cally worked for our fel­low cit­i­zens.

Through the years, many have at­tempted not to live by the sta­tus quo, just give up and face what­ever de­ci­sions are made for us. Hu­mans, as other liv­ing crea­tures, tend to be fol­low­ers, ad­just­ing to what­ever fate lies ahead. This is the eas­i­est and some say, the most peace­ful ex­is­tence. But wait, what about the mil­lions of us who, look­ing into the fu­ture, sud­denly dis­cover that changes must come for­ward to ac­com­mo­date those who do not fit the so- called ‘ norm’. His­tor­i­cally re­jected, those who were not part of the Cau­casian race, those viewed as sin­ners by most re­li­gious fac­tions for sim­ply be­ing who they are, such as mem­bers of the LGBTQ+ com­mu­nity and the countless folks who may not pos­sess the same in­tel­li­gence due to cir­cum­stances beyond their con­trol. We think of countless oth­ers who were, and are deemed not equals and are lost along the way.

In re­cent years peo­ple started to be heard and de­manded to be treated equal to all oth­ers, those who spoke of them­selves to be per­fect ex­am­ples of how one should be­have, and had bet­ter con­form to what they con­sid­ered as proper. Re­li­gious in­flu­ences have dic­tated for years how we must live our lives. Many within our so­ci­ety have learned to stand firm and be counted.

My columns deal mainly with the LGBTQ+ cit­i­zens of this world, but I also in­clude all those who have felt the stings of dis­crim­i­na­tion. Many ideas we bring forth are not in agree- ment with the pop­u­la­tion at large, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult, if not im­pos­si­ble, to take pos­i­tive ac­tion. In or­der to make change, we can­not pos­si­bly take the mid­dle road and truly be­lieve that even­tu­ally, “I may be equal to all oth­ers around the globe.”

We stand up, de­ter­mined to live our lives as they are meant to be lived, that we are in­deed equal, and we fight for equal rights and we shall suc­ceed. This is the pos­i­tive at­ti­tude that will take us on the road to re­cov­ery and the jour­ney to end dis­crim­i­na­tion. The mid­dle road, the be­lief in the sta­tus quo, no longer has value in this cen­tury, and in­deed should never have been part of our so­ci­ety. We tend to lie back and be sat­is­fied that all will be well with­out too much fuss. This, my dear read­ers, will not change the world, but will in­deed make our ex­is­tence more in­tol­er­a­ble.

Many are des­per­ately afraid to make waves in fear of re­tal­i­a­tion. The ma­jor­ity how­ever, are feel­ing the need to be a com­plete part of so­ci­ety, and not be counted as a mi­nor­ity, be­cause that in it­self in­di­cates dis­crim­i­na­tion. Choices are dif­fi­cult to make and that is com­pletely un­der­stand­able, but if we are to suc­ceed we must not give in, but ini­ti­ate ac­tion to make pos­i­tive change. Many ob­sta­cles are in our way, mak­ing it seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble to forge ahead. No other op­tion exists and the LGBTQ+ cit­i­zens, as many oth­ers in our so­ci­ety, must act. The sta­tus quo is not an op­tion, as equal­ity is for all.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.