Saturday, February 25, 2006

50 Ways to Support Lesbian & Gay Equality, edited by Meredith Maran with Angela Watrous

(pb; 2005: non-fiction)

From the back cover:

“Homosexuality has been politicized, but all the controversy fades in the face of a real, live person who deserves basic human rights and freedoms. A timely and crucial guide for action, 50 Ways to Support Lesbian & Gay Equality offers informative and poignant essays that will deepen understanding while suggesting simple things you can do to achieve equality.”

Among the authors:

“Candace on coming out every day; Rev. Troy Perry on taking a leap of faith; Rebecca Walker on liberating ourselves from our labels; Kate Kendall on protecting gay families; Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, on stopping hate before it kills; Margaret Cho on grabbing the brass ring of equality; plus, Amnesty International, ACLU, HRC, PFLAG, GLAAD, COLAGE, GLSEN, and more.”


Straight-forward, brief essays make up this lean non-fiction read. Bullet-listed suggestions, under the heading “Steps For Equality,” follow each essay, often showing websites and contact information for contacting certain LGBT-friendly organizations. (“LGBT” is an acronym for “Lesbian, Gay Bi-Sexual Transgender,” by the way.) The subjects range from family matters / gay adoption, to different legal matters, to gay marriage (of course), “don’t-ask-don’t-tell,” and to other less-addressed issues, such as the truths about intersex children (kids born with a mix of male-female genitals).

I didn’t get a new perspective on LGBT matters (I'm already friendly towards their cause), but there were many websites and organizations I was made aware of, and there were everyday nuances I found out about (e.g., the specificity of transgender related phrases, like “drag king,” a woman who dresses up like a man, etc.).

Subtitled “the complete guide to supporting family, friends and neighbors – or yourself,” this was a handy research resource (for me), as well as a thought-provoking read, on occasion. Worth reading, though many of the essays offered the same suggestions on how to become more active in the gay-societal struggle.

All to the better, I say. It simply drives home some basic points about how we all can improve – if we do it right – our interactions, perhaps in a larger sense.

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