They are losing control, they are in tremendous fear of not being able to get the hoards to conform; in other words, their power is slipping and they are scared shitless. Who are they? The conservative establishment that’s who.
Living in Utah, it feels like we are under constant attack; no sooner had the Restore Our Humanity team landed in Denver, that Utah’s punitive Attorney General volleyed another bombshell regarding adoptions of same-sex parents. Can you just imagine how exhausting all of this must be to constantly sit and strategize, with their myopic brains, how to demonstrate and show they are in charge, they are the power structure, they are not slipping? Fact is, the harder they attempt to prove that fact, the faster the universe is bombarding them with messages, missives and media to move the fuck over—other opinions and other’s rights are changing, and there is very little you can do about it!
It’s not just Herbert and Reyes and the deluded Utah legislature, it’s the Boy Scouts of America, business leaders, the veiled Christian Right, the theocratic, political, legislative, institutional and even judicial bullies that see they are losing control. Daily we see them fight dirtier, lob their hate, racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, bigotry in the attempt to reverse the inevitable.
I recently spoke at a rally, and I went to my local ACE Hardware and purchased a brand new broom, hot-glued a rainbow ribbon around it, and used it as my metaphor for the speech—BE THE BROOM! Why the hell a Broom? Because, it’s a complete tool, tightly bound together, each bristle working in harmony to improve and change a place. A place like Utah. A broom sweeps out and sweeps away by tossing out, cleaning out difficult corners; in general, working for a changed culture. I chose a new broom for a reason. I had many battle-fatigued brooms, worn around the edges, embattled bristles scarred through time and use. But a new broom represented a re-enlistment, a new commitment, a dedication to the long, step-by-step equality battle wherein we queer people are constantly engaged. It will take all of us, and thousands more who don’t yet realize they’ll be warriors. We have to all re-invest our collective heads, hearts and guts to create the complete and celebratory change we all desire so badly.
The broom also had a second symbolism. It’s not enough to expect great change to simply and idly happen, we must all be the brooms that actively make room for the huge changes that have recently occurred and will continue to occur. We must be brooms that confront, educate, listen and question, share, show willing vulnerability, as well as solid fortitude in sweeping away fear, shame, guilt, judgement and ignorance. The five weapons used by those currently losing the power in an attempt to make us feel and think we are second class, second rate, not full, not worthy.
Sweep away fear—because it promotes anger and animosity, it fosters egotistical and holier-than-thou attitudes, it feeds a duplicitous culture of pretense, when in fact the actions and apathy of that predominant culture truly demonstrate hate, discrimination, contempt,and a loathing of differences.
Sweep away guilt and shame, whether we are feeling those feelings ourselves or they are being poured and projected upon us by others. Sweep out that shame and/or guilt that our comprehensive love, our commitment to another human being in a loving relationship—is the very same and our inclusive right. We need to confront and remove shame and guilt from our homes, so that precious lives are not lost or diminished. Remove shame and guilt from our work places, our social gathering places—any and all shame that diminishes the human spirit to be equal and rise to great achievements, regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender or socio-economic situation.
Sweep away judgment. We queer people must be the pillars of example of forgiveness in word and action. By living lives of conscious self-acceptance and by learning to forgive ourselves we become more able to forgive others. This loosens the debilitating constraints of anger, resentment, bitterness, cynicism and despair, and frees our hearts and hands to do the hard work of creating change and celebrating who we are at our unified finest.
Sweep ignorance out, for it more than anything promotes misunderstanding and people not caring about or sharing a different opinion. We must stand up and be fully accountable for learning new ways, new models, new methods of being a better society. We must all accept the tremendous responsibility of educating others in our state that may not see things the same way we do. It is our task, our job and our duty to help them sweep out the dark corners of narrow-mindedness.
Power is shifting, so pay attention all you change-agents, game-changers, difference-makers. You rule-breakers, you rebel-rousers, troublemakers—it most surely is the time to unite. No longer can we be divisive, protective, uncollaborative, uncooperative, territorial, residing in elitist separate social stratums, and consumed with in-fighting. If we don’t become forefront and united in our collective efforts, then how are we to gain our equal rights, dignity and place in a transforming society? We have strengths dangerous to the establishment, and it wants them quieted, silenced, even eliminated.
Our power lies within our self-worth and strength, our beauty, impulsiveness, authenticity and unique way of perceiving.
There are huge changes that are on the horizon. Keenly watch the power shifting. Be the broom!