Something happened on the morning of June 12, 2016 waking up to the news about the shooting in #Orlando at #Pulse Nightclub. Outside of being horrified watching the news, I took my two dogs for their morning constitutional, which happened to be the same day as Gay Pride Los Angeles. As the third cup of coffee began to take effect, I began hearing a screaming, angry voice being blasted through a portable loudspeaker that was making my dogs Woodstock and Alfie irritated, to say nothing of my increased annoyance.
You can imagine my horror when I realized that it was one of those Christian Fundamentalists enacting their First Amendment Right “Freedom of Speech” allowing them to say whatever the f#@k they want. Things like:
“God wants all lesbians to die of breast cancer.”
“Fags are despicable sinners and God gave you AIDS as a punishment.”
“All homos and dykes will burn in hell.”
With my blood boiling over, I rushed to this creep’s makeshift stage and began yelling that he shut his pie hole. From nowhere a group of West Hollywood Police rushed at us to keep a safe distance between me and this #GrossBaboon. Like I would do anything that would remotely jeopardize my two sweet Chihuahuas.
The fine line between Freedom of Speech and Inciting a Riot is a shade of gray that deserves it’s own amendment, not fifty. Failing to convince the cops that they were somehow participating in his civil disobedience, I went home, tears running down my face and googled the Act Up poster from the 80’s, tweaked it and posted ACT UP - FIGHT BACK - FIGHT NRA where ever someone was posting their horrified reactions on Facebook to the 49 innocent lives taken that fateful day. I vowed to take a stand, get involved and become part of the solution.
When I read about Gays Against Guns in the New York Times and subsequently in Vogue (I’m gay, after all) I immediately friended Kevin Hertzog who started the organization and asked what I could do to help. He suggested starting the Los Angeles Chapter of GAG and within days, we held or first meeting and a new path has been laid before us that has begun to unfold.
The fact remains that Los Angeles is not like New York City where 500 people can appear in a nanosecond for a cause whereas in LA, you are at the mercy of cars, traffic, and Botox appointments. That said we were determined to stage a Die-In, like GAG-NY did so effectively and yesterday we pulled one off without a hitch. We converged on Downtown Los Angles, an even greater feat since most of us don’t live anywhere near there. So the stage is set for us to enact our first amendment right. Get ready.
The Gays Against Guns - Los Angeles mission from now through the November election is to Name, Shame and Blame the #NRApuppets that take blood money from the NRA and cock block voting for sensible guns laws. There’s no excuse for the apathy and corruption that the GOP members of the House of Representatives and the Senate get away with such a free pass...and a vacation, no less? GAG-LA has a #SHAME CAMPAIGN in the works to bring voice and awareness to their unacceptable re-election and to highlight who is running against them. My sister Vivian, a tried and true cynic says, “If 20 children sitting in a classroom didn’t change anything, what makes you think GAG can?” A valid question. But as someone who was very involved in AIDS fundraising and activism, I will prove Joy Behar right when she said on The View something to the effect of, “we need to get the gays involved, they’ll get this done”. Mama watch me fly.