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About my HRC sticker …

06/28/2010

I’m not a big one for automotive socio-political statement-making. Read: I don’t generally approve of bumper stickers. Maybe it’s the way I was raised. Speak softly – whether you are carrying a big stick, a small stick or no stick at all.

So, it still sometimes surprises me – usually when I’m approaching my car in a parking lot while distracted by some other thought – that there’s a Human Rights Campaign sticker on my bumper. It’s not exactly front and center. But it’s there. Discretely off to the left side, right beside my (slightly crooked) Christ Church sticker that gets me a parking spot on high holy days.

I’d seen them on bumpers, the 3” blue square with the bright yellow = sign, but I didn’t know what they were until several years ago, when my ex-wife and I were invited by friends to join their table at the annual HRC fund-raising dinner. After that, I always sent the HRC a check – small, but regular – and in return each year, I’d get a bumper sticker that I never put on my car.

Until last summer. After giving it some thought one afternoon, I got up from the sofa, found the sticker in my desk drawer, went outside and stuck it on the bumper.

Though not necessarily the case, the sticker always signaled to me that the driver was gay. And that felt like a pretty brash statement for me to make on the bumper of my car. Especially considering my general resistance to bumper stickers.

And yet, my good friend and realtor, Allen, who has sold a lot of very expensive real estate to a lot of very conservative Nashvillians (I’m something of a charity case for him) has one on his big silver Lexus – smack in the middle of the back bumper. If he can, why can’t I?

Well, as it turns out, I could. But it took a while.

I put this down to my continuing journey outward. By both temperament and training, I’m not the “in your face” type. And yet, while already out to all who knew me, there came a point when I needed, and wanted, to declare myself in a more public way. We are members of a sometimes despised, sometimes ill-used, minority group. We have to stand up and be counted – as best we can.

I’m not saying every gay person on earth has to rush out and declare the fact on the bumper of a car. Or that there’s ever a deadline for going public. Everyone has to walk his or her own path. If it takes time, it takes time. Obviously, it took me a while.

Now that it’s there, I’m glad I stuck the sticker. It makes me feel more out, more whole, more real.

More me.

Flying the flag … discretely.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/28/2010 1:23 PM

    I, too, do not like bumper stickers. But, human rights is something that affects us all – gay, straight, black, white, immigrant, etc. And, just this month, there have been several very public disturbing displays of hate and bigotry. We should all take a stand against hate.

    • 06/28/2010 1:35 PM

      Thanks, hon. I knew already how you felt about those things, but it’s good to hear you say it. Glad you dropped by the blog, too.

  2. nanci Reese permalink
    06/28/2010 7:39 PM

    Dear David,
    Good for you!
    This weekend has been wild. Greg was downtown to transfer to a bus on SAT( pink parade used to be dyke march- started in 80’s when the women wanted to support all the gay guys dying from AIDs.) from BART and he said there were tons of guys and girls running around naked. I lit my toy peace sign for the two nights.
    I’ll try to get Greg to take a picture of my wild outfit. At church they said I should be the Grand Master of the parade!
    I didn’t go to parade- I don’t like crouds but I did like wearing my outfit around in the neighborhood and and to an event I had to go to.
    I am so proud of you.
    Love,
    Nanci

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