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A Storm’s In The Wind

October 13, 2010

…What will you do?

As I wrote earlier, this past week I was in Chicago for my college’s fall break. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot as well. One of the things I got to do while I was in Chicago was see a show my good friend who goes to the Theatre School at DePaul assistant costume designed as well as worked as an assistant in the make-up/hair department. The show happened to be Cabaret.

Now let me just tell you that the Sally Bowles I saw couldn’t even form the thought of holding a candle to Liza. Hell, who could? But the individual performances (which on the whole were very good) is not what I’m here to write about.

Cabaret deals with a lot of issues, focusing on a time in Germany where change was happening very quickly and which frightened some. They say history repeats itself. Now I, in my right mind, am not going to ramble and rant about how I feel that the extremist-right wing of America is starting to mirror the Nazi movement in Weimar Germany. People would call me a crazy left-wing communist. Well now that you say it…..

*Joking, guys…sarcasm…this’ll bite me in the ass…*

One song (which was cut from the movie, so if all you have seen is the movie, try to look it up on Youtube) in particular caught my attention, or at least the lyrics. Near the beginning of the second act, Sally and Cliff’s landlord Fraulein Schneider announces she has broken off her engagement with Herr Schultz, a Jewish man, due to outside pressures. The lyrics that intrigue me most are as follows:

With a storm in the wind
What would you do?
Suppose you’re one frightened voice
Being told what the choice must be…

Speaking broadly on the topic of persecution in general, we still see a lot of it today. Though our society has moved beyond (as a whole being, maybe not every individual) much racial prejudice (excluding Central Americans and Middle Easterns, you’re still fighting the good fight. Keep the hope!) and religious prejudice (thinking that the WBC is crazy isn’t prejudice, it’s common sense), many groups are feeling repressed and subjugated by the stereotypical idea of a Christian-heterosexual-white-middle class-omnivore poster family. We saw this with the Islamic community center debacle, in which hundreds of people in Florida were to burn the Qur’an out of protest. We have seen this with the recent outbreak of reported LGBTQ youth suicides stemming from anti-gay bullying. This hits home for me, because being gay isn’t a cake walk and it seems that as I grow older, the more hostility I see. Hostility blanketed under claimed maintenance of ‘American Values’.

To whom that codified these values, could I please be forwarded a copy? I don’t follow your logic. The more articles I read and the more things I hear politicians saying, I become increasingly astounded that these insensitive, unintelligent remarks are permissible. To which, I ask: how do I make sure that these offensive remarks are a thing of the past?

The Storm is no longer in the wind. It is here.

I am that one frightened voice.

What will I do?

For a start, I’m going to revert back to aligning my text to the left as normal people do in writing. The second thing, as I encourage everyone to do, is to go someplace and open up dialogue about the issues. My way of doing this is going to PRIDE meetings on Monday nights. Yours could be something really different. Why I think this is important though is because so often I feel people are hearing what you say or vice versa, but the points aren’t coming across because no one is really listening. Maybe I’m crazy, but the way I make sure I’m listening and processing everything is to repeat verbatim what is being said to me in my mind. Ok, yeah, that’s really weird. But the point is if no one voices their opinions or listens to those of others for fear of becoming targeted, nothing will change under the perception that everything is fine. Things are NOT fine. So from me, a self-identified gay 18 year old college student in Indiana, I’m going to do my best to take an active role in what happens. That is the best part about representative government! They have white hair and big paychecks to represent YOU! If you have an issue with their voting record (be sure to look into that too), tell them about it! Call them! Email them! And be sure to vote! That is a biggie. Voting is our only power we have to change.

For those of you who are in the minority of your state/community’s voting trends, vote anyways. In the dark, one frightened voice may find another equally as frightened. All he has to do is call out. Though you might lose the one election by a vast margin, the percentage you helped create could embolden another to vote the next year. Who knows, maybe your area is dominated by a silent majority! We’ll never know until you vote and are heard.

I am certain that in fifty years’ time (I neglected to say ‘when I’m fifty’ because I do not age), the children of John McCain, Glenn Beck, Maggie Gallagher, and countless others vocally opposed to equal rights will laugh that this was even an issue. I have to be confident in that, or all that I have to hope for is running away, like Cliff in Cabaret.  I think the future is more hopeful than that.

~T

[picture courtesy of Dave Erickson Photography]

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Josh G. permalink
    October 13, 2010 11:06 pm

    Really inspirational. I think it’s time I raised my own frightened voice and started to change the world.

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