Opinions on marriage equality, LGBTQ rights and religion run across an extremely large spectrum. Just look at your friends on Facebook and you'll see what I mean. But there's one opinion that a friend of mine posted on one of my marriage equality statuses that I just can't accept any longer: "live and let live."
Now, let me say that this friend is an extremely dear friend, and our families have been close for over 20 years. I'm positive that he meant no offense by it. If I had to guess, it was his way of saying, "Hey, I'm cool with you being gay."
However, the moment I read his comment, I realized that that is the problem. To live and let live is not enough anymore. It's no longer sufficient for our straight friends to say, "Hey, I have no problem with you being gay," or, "I have gay friends." Guess what? We have no problem with you being straight, and we have straight friends as well.
It's also not OK for members of the LGBTQ community to say things like, "As long as it doesn't affect me, I'm OK with it," or, "I don't have that problem where I live or where I work." None of that is acceptable anymore. What we really need is for LGBT people and our allies to stand together and say that enough is enough when it comes to homophobia.
In 1969 a few drag queens and transgender women in Greenwich Village famously led a riot against the police for anti-gay treatment and started the modern fight for LGBT rights. This fight is not over, because we are still treated as second-class citizens. For every couple of steps forward, there is a step backward. All over the country, anti-gay feelings are surfacing. A gay man was just killed in New York City. In Florida, an 18-year-old girl is facing felony charges for a same-sex relationship with a younger teen from her high school. And let's not forget Pat Robertson and the Westboro Baptist Church, who blame the LGBT community for everything that goes wrong in the world. It's time for all of us to harness our inner drag queen and take up the fight.
I'm not saying that you have to join a protest or even start one (unless you feel that doing so is warranted) to join the fight. You can do things as simple as donating to pro-LGBT charities, volunteering at an LGBT youth organization or voting intelligently! You can also talk to your straight family and friends, explaining to them how these issues and anti-gay policies and opinions affect you directly. I'm sure that some of them will have had no idea.
If we want change to happen, we need to take action. Every significant change in history started with one person or one event. You never know, maybe your action with be the catalyst to make change happen.
A version of this blog originallly appeared on Diary of a Drag Queen's Husband.