Letter to the Editor: Support from straight allies aids gay cause

Samantha Montano Psychology senior

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Dear editor,

I should start by saying that I am straight, and this is just my opinion. I know you can find another straight person who disagrees with me; just as I know I can find a few gays who disagree with what Joey Macasieb wrote in “Straights can’t relate to gays.”

First of all, the gay community has stepped up on this issue. Gay celebrities, athletes, politicians and your average 16 year old have all made videos. Needn’t you forget where the It Gets Better movement started -— Joel Burns, the gay city councilman who told his coming out story publicly.

Life does get better. There is no reason that older members of the gay community can’t send that message in partnership with members of the straight community.

Heterosexuals announcing publicly their encouragement for gay rights is not “meddling”; it’s offering their support. None of these straight celebrities that Macasieb denounces are saying that they know what gays go through. They are saying that they know what it is like to feel unaccepted because of “immutable differences.”

The gay rights movement will never be successful if it consists only of gays. At some point, you’re going to need the other 90 percent of the population to be on board. Great strides have been made in the past 50 years, but acceptance doesn’t happen over night. It takes time, effort and a group of people to stand up and demand tolerance. Some of the most well-known and effective current gay rights activists are straight — Kathy Griffin was a major public face during the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, while Cindy Lauper operates True Colors, her foundation for homeless gay youth.

It is columns like Macasieb’s that create even wider gaps between the gay and straight communities. You want equality and understanding? Don’t alienate the people who already understand. Don’t alienate the people who stand beside you during pride parades, hold up signs with you at Anti-Westboro Baptist Church protests and help run the campaigns to get you the rights you deserve.

This isn’t a war of gays versus straights. We are all together fighting a battle for education. Embrace your allies and take the support; there is strength in numbers. And in dealing with those who are uneducated, use your time and your power you possess to educate those people. You will only find acceptance in solidarity.

Gay suicide does not just affect the gay community; it affects the straight community too. As your brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends and neighbors, we feel that pain. I, for one, will not stay silent on the issue; shame on you for even asking us to.


Samantha Montano

Psychology senior


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