Three cheers for protest

Dec 11 2008 by Derek Torres Print This Article

Those who know me know how much I enjoy a good social protest (for justifiable reasons, of course) every now and then. I firmly believe that they only way to advance social progress is to hit offenders where it hurts – the bottom line. Otherwise, you'll never get their attention.

You may disagree, but I think the Day Without a Gay event recently held in the US is a fine example of social protest.

To show the impact that gay men and women have on society at large (and particularly in the workplace), what better way is there than to drop out and spend the day performing community service. Many people likely do not realize how many gay men and women they encounter in their everyday lives – people who are no different than any other group of folks, some good, some bad, all of whom just wanting the same things every other human being wants.

What's unique about this campaign is that people are urged to call in to work, not ill, but gay. In some areas of the US, this is actually a potential reason for termination. Despite that, I support this approach because it forces people to confront their prejudices or worries and reflect on the subject.

Regardless of any of the factors that influence your opinions on the topic, keep in mind that gay men and women are human beings with the same needs as everyone else. If this sounds patronizing, then this post isn't necessarily directed at you – but the message isn't as clear to everyone.