Everyone makes jokes about Thanksgiving dinner and the family feuds that erupt over a meal meant to be thankful and grateful I once read openly gay comedian Bob Smith’s book, Openly Bob, and loved how he said he’d come out to his family, over Thanksgiving dinner by quietly asking if, “Someone would please pass the mash potatoes to the homosexual.”
My family never had those uncomfortable holiday dinners; I don’t think we ever fought once, or argued, or disagreed, we were just happy to be together sharing a meal. But this isn’t about me or my family on Thanksgiving; it’s about a woman, a straight woman who is an LGBT ally and the request she received before ever leaving home to travel to her parent’s house for Thanksgiving.
See, her father texted her and asked, well, he actually kind of demanded, that she could either remove the bumpersticker from her car before arriving at their house, or maybe she could find some alternative transportation so the offending sticker wouldn’t be on view.
The sticker? The Human Rights Campaign [HRC] equality sticker.
But before making any decision, the woman, identified only as “Rachel” decided to share her story on the pro-Clinton Facebook group Pantsuit Nation, where it went viral and finally reached the HRC blog where they reported that Rachel had thought about covering the equal sign with an index card to avoid a confrontation:
“Ultimately, Rachel realized that removing the sticker was allowing discrimination to win, and she refused to back down from something she so strongly believed in. Unwilling to compromise her convictions, Rachel decided to leave the sticker on her car.”
Rachel saw her story on HRC and replied:
“Thank you for the outpouring of support and suggestions through comments and private messages. I truly did not anticipate this response. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in this battle. Many of your comments have brought me to the realization that covering the sticker would be equivalent to removing it.
I am an ally at all times, not just when it is convenient or easy. My father would win by forcing me to back down from something that I believe in, and it would validate his belief that he still has control over me and can bully me into submission. So there will be no compromise, as I am not willing to compromise my convictions anymore than he is willing to compromise his.
I have decided that I will be parking elsewhere and walking to their house, even though that will be a good little hike since they live down a country road in the middle of nowhere. I feel that this will send a far stronger message than if I were to refuse to remove the sticker and just cover it instead.”
Equality. Her father was offended by equality, but, in the Age of _____, such liberal ideals will face scrutiny; people will still stand up for those who can’t stand for themselves but it might get harder. That’s why we have to stand, strong and steadfast, to let those who would seek to deny equality ... equality for god's sake ... to anyone will not win.
For me, I would have parked the car in Dad’s driveway, with the bumpersticker facing the street; hell, I might have painted the car to look like the HRC emblem.
Whatever we do, we keep doing it.