Wednesday, November 26, 2008


an impossibly lovely rainbow photographed by a friend in the netherlands

i thought the rainbow was an appropriate beginning for this post, as there is so much renewed hope in my life right now, and because the rainbow speaks in so many ways to the quest for equal status for glbt folks here in the USA, and everywhere. H/T... CONNY

while the 2008 presidential election brought us the good news of the end to the power of an ever increasingly hostile political environment, and the hope of good and fair governance, desperately needed at this time, it brought one of the most sweeping defeats in decades. four referendum driven constitutional amendments viciously punitive to both gays and children. those rights guaranteed by the constitutions, both state and federal were disregarded with gleeful abandon. after the initial shock and disappointment, the calumny of the passing of prop 8 in california, redacting the state constitution to create a lesser class of people not worthy of the same rights as the rest of californians, people, both gay and straight, began to react... and to protest. at the end of a week of daily demonstrations, a national day of protest was hastily organized, and word spread via the internet. the challenge was more than met. perhaps a million citizens hit the streets, from coast to coast, and even beyond to other nations, demonstrating in solidarity.

it is at this point that life got really interesting.

not one to remain silent when my friends around the country were having their say, i decided to carry the protest to the place that i live, ft myers, florida. since i saw no signs of any activity in the area, i just made me a sign and went to city hall. i stayed for 2 hours and then went home. while i was there, the one other person interested and aware enough to see if anything was happening used my phone to snap a picture of me with my sign, to post for my friends to see that i was with them in spirit. this is that photo.

i also sent that photo to be included in andy towles' vast gallery of demonstration photos. apparently he was so moved by my demonstration of one, he made a featured mention of it, and the rest is history.
i received, both at my online community, and at the towleroad site, a great deal of positive feedback (blush). i thought nothing of the act, myself, but others felt differently.
frustrated at the lack of any gay community voice in this area, i decided to see if any of those who were also angry wanted to do something about it. as it turned out, 5 local guys were willing to take time out of their day to come and discuss the idea. the article and the response to it captured the imagination of the editor of the SOUTH FLORIDA BLADE, dan renzi, and he drove all the way over from miami to offer support and counsel.
we met at a local coffee house, which we later found out was very gay friendly, and had the best meeting most of us had ever had. what came of that meeting was the commitment to start a blog, an on line local voice speaking to gay issues large and small. that blog, GAY FORT MYERS, is now in existence, albeit in its infancy.
had this happened just weeks before, i would have still been buried in the mess i outlined before, not demonstrated, and none of us would know each other, and none of this would be happening.
sometimes serendipity looks a lot like a greater power.


At Thursday, November 27, 2008, Blogger Doug said...

The universe has our backs. It may be in its infancy now, and it may grow slowly, but grow it will. Thanks for getting this all started.

At Friday, November 28, 2008, Blogger Bandana Jack said...

risking a laughable mutual admiration society, it hardly matters if someone reaches out... if no one takes his hand.


At Saturday, November 29, 2008, Blogger Birdie said...

Greater power, indeed. I marvel at the circumstances which brought us together, Jack, and I am eager to see where it leads. Exciting times!


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