Thursday, December 28, 2006

The New York Times takes a look at lesbian & gay Kansas

By Diane Silver

New York Times reporter Ginia Bellafante does a good job in Thursday's paper of profiling the state's suddenly visible lesbian and gay population.

The 2005 anti-marriage amendment and the ongoing campaigns to paint GLBT citizens as evil sinners have backfired, the story notes. The conservative attacks have lead an increasing number of lesbian, gay and transgendered Kansans to not only come out, but to become politically active.

I met Ginia when she visited our state recently. From what I can tell, she did a good job of fairly portraying the people she met. She even uncovered a few stories I hadn't heard before like this one about a political colleague.
(Cyd) Slayton found that the more she opened herself up, the more she found solace. The day after the marriage amendment passed, her handyman, a Rush Limbaugh fan who came to install her air conditioner, expressed his sympathies. “He came upstairs and said ‘I’m just so sorry, Cyd, I know how hard you worked on this,’ ” she said. “He put his arm around me and it was just about as touching a thing that happened around this whole issue.”
Stories such as Cyd's show the true depth of the quiet revolution in Kansas. Such events won't win elections today, and probably not tomorrow, but the change is coming. Lies and stereotypes can only win for so long.


Mosquito said...

Very Nice. Thank you for posting this.

I'm here in Virginia and our amendment passed too. "What you describe happening in Kansas, I see happening in VA. More and more LGBT folks are coming out and they are getting support from family and/or friends.


Diane Silver said...

Hey there, mosquito!

Fascinaating name you've taken.

Despite the momentary setbacks of the amendment campaigns, I do believe that LBGT citizens are making progress. I suspect that 20 years from now historians will declare that the religious right's continual attack on marriage equality was the tipping point for gay rights in this country.

Instead of stopping us, those attacks have made people realize that they can't stay on the sidelines anymore.