As it turns out, I misunderstood a comment one of my “cellmates” made while I was under arrest for civil disobedience on Tuesday. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, the acoustics in the holding cells were awful, making conversation challenging. I came away with the impression that Caleb, one of the young men I was in there with, was gay. He is not.
I believe Caleb shares my belief that there is no shame in being gay, but we both also believe in accuracy in reporting whenever possible. I’ve corrected the previous posts.
My mistake does help spotlight one of the major issues the Add The Words campaign is trying to correct. In Idaho, it is dangerous to be gay or transgender.
Those of us who support human rights and chose to stand with, well, our fellow humans, may be mistakenly assumed to be gay or transgender. There is a risk to that. It is a less dangerous version of the risk our gay and transgender friends face every day of their lives. Their ability to work is often at risk if they let people know who they really are. Their family might abandon them. They may be able to live where they would like. They may be bullied, refused service or assaulted.
Would adding the four words to the Idaho Human Rights Act correct those problems? No, not in itself. It is a step toward the normalization of the lives of gay and transgender people. We have many steps to take, and we must begin.