I have been trying to understand and deal with what is obvious—a generic issue—that young people don’t know the history of our nation or the movement go gain civil rights for homosexual (now GLBT) Americans. I think that I don’t care for giving credit, but think that if they don’t know how much work had to be done then they might not know that they now have to do some more work, not just to keep what we have given them, but to keep it from being reversed.
Much time in ONE’s offices was spent, obviously, on practical things: putting together the next issue of the magazine, having committee meetings, doing the monthly lectures, preparing for the yearly business meeting, doing the banking, answering letters, etc. BUT while we were doing these tasks, we also could talk and discuss things. I don’t remember covering this issue, but it seems to me it will help us philosophically and emotionally to understand that, even though young people will not know or care what we have done, what the founders of the nation and this movement have done each succeeding generation, they have a right to enjoy the results. They can use the phone without knowing who injented it or how.
But there seems to me to be a valid reason for preserving the history of the nation and the movement. It is good to not worry about having the right to freedom of speech, press, etc. But if young people assume the rights came about with no work, and will always be there, they are mistaken. That is why education is necessary. I see TIME magazine is advertising you can get copies of the covers of their magazines, starting with the very first issue. I’m not sure the covers of ONE magazine will tell people much—we didn’t have pictures of the current celebrities or events. But a glance at the index, starting with the very first issue, will tell historians that we covered every issue of homosexuality that is being discussed today. Since Lawrence vs. Texas, and the ending of DADT, perhaps some think we have nothing more to worry about. But a glance at the local newspapers, while they still exist, will show that there are constant attacks on the same issues—some Republicans want to return DADT, and many law enforcement agents still try to arrest people for sex.
As Obama has said, and the Republicans have distorted, we are where we are because previous generations built roads, fought and died in wars, and gave us the Internet. As we enjoy the TV tonight, we are foolish if we don’t appreciate how good things are and want to work to keep them that way and make them even better for the next generations.