This coming Wednesday, February 6, is the 2nd annual GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) Day in the United States. For those of you, who like me until recently, don’t know what GSA Day is, let me share with you from their website.
GSA Day is a time to strengthen the bond between LGBT people and straight allies and in particular recognize and honor student organizations called Gay-Straight Alliances (also known as a GSA). These student led groups work to educate their peers to stop homophobia, transphobia and violence in schools and colleges throughout the country.
This national event serves as a “day of action” for these student groups who employ creative ways to: Be visible; Honor those who have shown dedication in ensuring all students feel safe and supported; and, Prepare for the future. Ultimately, National GSA Day lets lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight allied (LGBTA) students know that they aren’t alone and that their work in creating safe learning environments is important to our schools, our communities and our country.
So Why am I blogging about this today? Because I think that wherever you stand on the issue of homosexuality, and I understand that many people have different views, teenagers should not be subjected to hate, bullying, violence or abuse of any kind. As a theatre person, I was often accused of being a “f****t” or a “homo” or “gay” or many other insults, even though I was none of these things. A person’s sexuality, just like their race, should NEVER be used as an excuse to bully someone or to be used as an insult.
I recently attended McPherson College‘s production of Rent. Rent is an amazing piece of theatre that presents a social message while at the same time, lightly poking fun of “social activism theater” that is all about the message and not about society. Rent works because we connect with the characters. It’s one of the reasons I wrote my two person 10-Minute play The Reunion. I felt it important to have a connection with the characters before we start “preaching.” Based on Thomas Hardy’s A Ruined Maid, The Reunion is the story of two high school friends who meet years later. One of the ladies is uncomfortable with her friend’s sexuality and the fall out that came when she came out of the closet. It’s not about “promoting a homosexual agenda”, but about learning to accept people for who they are and loving them and being friends with them regardless of their sexuality.
It is my opinion that the only way to make a change is by communication. Until I met LGBT people, I would have and did react as many do, with fear and hatred. Once I met people like Travis and Brent, my attitudes changed. My goal wasn’t to pull back from these people or boo them or shift my weight uncomfortably, but to befriend them and get to know them and share coffee and a part of my life with them and a part of their life with me.
This has been a long blog post, longer then I intended, but this is an important issue and so for that reason, all week I’m offering The Reunion for free. Go to Smashwords and enter in this coupon code at check out <SJ46K>. And then enjoy. And if you enjoyed The Reunion please let me know. Write a review on Facebook, share with me on my Facebook page, contact me via Twitter or Tumblr, send me an email. And if you wish to perform it, also please let me know. Take pictures, film it, do an audio recording, and then share the love.
For more information on GSA Day, go to their website at http://gsaday.org/