Waiting on the World to Change - Lauren Arico

Topics: Homosexuality, Activism, Same-sex marriage Pages: 5 (1790 words) Published: August 5, 2013
Lauren Arico
Honors English 3
May 17th, 2013

Waiting on the World to Change
While currently "trending" in today's society, the issue of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) rights is a rising issue, and in some cases a debate over civil rights and liberties. For years, decades, perhaps even centuries, there has been an ongoing debate over the rights of the LGBT community. In recent months, more attention than ever has been brought to the unconstitutional bias the government thrusts upon them due to an increase in popularity on sites such as Tumblr, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etcetera. Society is overall becoming more aware of this, however who is to thank for the knowledge?

Activists from all over the globe have been "supporting the cause," as many say, by speaking their mind on the world wide web. An activist by definition is "an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause, especially a political cause." Activism is surely not a new thing either. In fact, its been around since the beginning of mankind. Standing by one's cause is a way of being an activist. Miraculous examples of activism from history include, but are by no means limited to: street marches, strikes, sit-ins, boycotts, hunger strikes, and rallies. According to Neil Spencer of Visual News, "7 in 10 young adults have become social activists" due to media (Spencer). This is much greater compared to Diversity Digest's survey of fifty percent of young adults being activists in 1966 (Alvarado). At this rate, it isn't long before even more of the world's youth yearn for a change in the world; a promising fact for this planet.

Unfortunately in the past activists were not as noticed; especially in the World War II era. Yes, there were still those who were anti-war. However this did not seem to have any impact on what had been going on in the terrible places known as concentration camps. During the 1940s, it was illegal to be homosexual in Germany (US Holocaust Museum). Those who were suspected of being homosexual were placed into concentration camps along with many others, and were given pink triangles to wear, much like that of how Jewish people had to wear the Star of David. After the war was over, all were set free from the concentration camps. That is, all except for those convicted of being homosexual. This is because of the fact that they broke the law at the time for being who they were, and had to serve out their sentence. Sadly, not many people knew of this horrible occurrence, and practically went unnoticed. Those who were aware however, never forgot, and spread the word, striking the match to the Gay Civil Rights Movement.

Now having a newly paved road to travel down, sick and tired of discrimination, Harvey Bernard Milk comes into play in the late 1960s. Milk was angry about the way San Francisco was seemingly controlled by real estate moguls and huge corporations, and ran for supervisor for the first time. Unfortunately, he was not backed by most of the gay political clubs and organizations, being they thought Harvey wanted too much, too soon. Therefore, he unfortunately lost (Beck). Harvey, one of the first visible out gay activists, did not give up there. He continued to fight for change, and after his fifth go at running for supervisor, he was successful. In office, he gave many hope with his shortly lived success. Milk passed a Gay Civil Rights bill, which prevented harassment based on sexual orientation. Unfortunately, Milk, along with the Mayor of San Francisco were murdered November 27th, 1978 by Dan White. Harvey Milk's brave, activist attitude helped to further pave the road for future activists.

Shortly after Harvey Milk's passing, came the very famous HIV/AIDS scare. HIV and AIDS are deadly diseases spread by taking in someone else's bodily fluids including blood, and other things. "HIV infection is a condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The condition gradually destroys the immune...

Cited: Beck, Lauren. "Dear Harvey." : Harvey Milk: A Timeline. San Diego State University of Theatre, 8 Sept. 2009. Web. 17 May 2013. <http://dearharveysdsu.blogspot.com/2009/09/harvey-milk-timeline.html>.
Clementi. "The Tyler Clementi Foundation." The Tyler Clementi Foundation. Tyler Clementi Foundation, 2012. Web. 17 May 2013.
Dictionary. "activist." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 16 May. 2013. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/activist>.
Dolan, Maura. "Prop. 8 Hearing Is Milestone." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2013. Web. 17 May 2013. <http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/27/local/la-me-prop-8-california-20130327>.
Lawson, Richard. "What Comes After Gay Marriage?" The Atlantic Wire. The Atlantic Wire, 25 Mar. 2013. Web. 17 May 2013. <http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/03/what-comes-after-gay-marriage/63507/>.
Pozner, Jennifer L. "Ellen DeGeneres Decries Murder of Gay 15-year-old (But Why Is That "Not Political"?)." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 01 Mar. 2008. Web. 17 May 2013.
Spencer, Neil. "Young Adults: The Future of Social Activism." Visual News. Visual News, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 17 May 2013. <http://www.visualnews.com/2012/03/26/young-adults-the-future-of-social-activism/>.
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