Note: This is a special guest post from nationally-prominent, Houston-based trans rights activist and historian Cristan Williams.
If you voted against HERO or couldn’t be bothered to vote, you won’t like what I have to say:
If you think of yourself as an LGBT ally and you didn’t vote or voted against LGBT equality, I don’t consider you to be an ally. When we needed you the most, you either couldn’t be bothered or you chose to stand with the people who hate us. Either way, your actions made it possible for hate win the day. People who support that type of hate on that level are not, in any sense of the word, an LGBT ally.
More specifically, you chose to turn you back on women, the differently abled, racial/ethic minorities, vets and more.
The game the anti-HERO folks played was first used in Houston by the Klan who marched around saying LGBT equality = child endangerment back in the 80s. For the past year+ they used the Klan’s strategy against equality and Klan values won.
That’s not hyperbole. Here’s a picture of the Klan from the 80s, marching against Houston LGBT equality carrying signs that read, “Save Our Children Vote No”.
The anti-HERO campaign used the Klan’s playbook and it worked. Not voting or voting against prop 1 was to support the Klan’s Houston and if that’s what you did, you are no ally. Allies don’t behave like that. I encourage you to – at a minimum – learn the difference between the politics of the Klan and a 21st century Houston.
I am, of a fundamental level, disappointed in you. This is a wrong that can’t be easily righted. The wound you helped inflict on the hearts of the people you claim to care about can’t be healed. It will always remain and we will carry it all of our lives; it will never stop hurting.
Yes, I believe that at some point in the future, maybe many decades from now, we will pass a HERO. Just know that when it happens, for people like me, it will be bitter-sweet. It won’t change the reality that so many of you chose in 2015 to allow those who hate people like me the most to perpetrate such a public violation.