Here lately it seem the Generation Gap within our community is really staring to get out of hand. LGBT member born at least 10 before the computer age are starting to feel left out by their own communities.
I was born in 1972, just a few years after stonewall and Woodstock. I grow up and start dating when AID’s/HIV was just starting, I watch from my closet when ACT up started and so many other great LGBT Org’s start, but I fail to get on board of any of these since being out in the 80’s was a public death sentence in VA. I move to NC in the winter of 91, where I was shown my very first gay bar, bookstore and many other items what we experience for the first time once coming out. However I still didn’t get on board of any of these Activist Org’s and groups. I played the field like so many of us did, once coming out.
Now that I’m older and bit more wiser, there are so many things from my youth that I regret, miss opportunities that I would never get back, and those mistakes that we wish we didn’t make. Anyone who claim there is nothing in their life they would change if they could is a liar. I wish I had be brave to coming in my teens, while still in school. I wish I had got my political in my youth then now. I wish I volunteer more and did more in my community when I was younger. For many of us this wasn’t a option then.
I recently tried to join/apply for a position with a group that will once again go in to action next year, to only to be shot down, simply because of my age. How nice in a community where we value openness and inclusive, and diversity, we still discriminate against because of our age. Even if the event is youth focus, why can’t those who are older be included as support staff? I’m tired of being told that this and that is for the youth of our community.
The really funny thing is that this group/organization was started by to guys that was over 45 years of age at the time. What the youths of this generation has to understand is if it was for the actions of the two generations before my, there would be none of these rights that they enjoy today in our communities. The Falwell’s, Robinson’s, the Bryant’s, and many others would have won their campaigns against us.
We need to stop this ageism, which is define as the stereotyping of and discrimination against individuals or groups because of their age. It is a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify age based prejudice and discrimination. Why is it not ok to judge people by their race and gender in our community, while it’s ok to discriminate against our older member of our community.
So lets stop this one form of discrimination that is running wild in our communities and our organizations. United we Stand, divided we fall. We need everyone in our community, not just young ones.
“It is, perhaps, ironic in an age when, across the country, police cameras capture and ticket red-light-runners, and many traffic stops are videotaped from the dashboard of a squad car. “Well, all of a sudden when the shoe is on the other foot, it’s, ‘Wait, wait, there’s an intrusion of the wiretap act,’” says Paul Hetznecker, a Philadelphia civil rights lawyer.