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The Star, No. 4, December 23, 1983
File 010
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The Star, No. 4, December 23, 1983 - File 010. 1983-12-23. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. July 4, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1078/show/1074.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1983-12-23). The Star, No. 4, December 23, 1983 - File 010. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1078/show/1074

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Star, No. 4, December 23, 1983 - File 010, 1983-12-23, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed July 4, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1078/show/1074.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title The Star, No. 4, December 23, 1983
Contributor
  • Martinez, Ed
Date December 23, 1983
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Austin, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 783846406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 010
Transcript Over the Rainbow (and Beyond) By Dan Siminoski, Ph.D. Stonewall Features Syndicate Of all my memories ofthe 1979 Gay Rights National March on Washington, the image I recall most clearly came shortly before the end ofthe rally at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It had been a glorious fall day, with blue skies, white clouds and a light breeze that snapped the flags all around the Washington Monument. One hundred fifty thousand people had come to make themselves visible to our government and demand equality under the law. I was standing at the side ofthe stage as Holly Near began to sing the Judy Garland standard from The Wizard of Oz, "Over the Rainbow." Holly's singing was electric, sparked by the magic of the moment and the power of our mingled voices. I cannot speak for everyone's feelings, but mine included tears, pride, satisfaction and faith in the continued growth of our struggle to be free. In The Wizard ofOz, the rainbow represented both escape and arrival—escape from a world of loneliness and frustration, arrival in a place of technicolor hopes and imitless potential. Like Dorothy, many of is have felt isolated and unloved, and lave dreamed of some time or place where -ve might know security and affection. For is, as Dorothy discovers, witches have seen all too real, and powerful wizards with empty promises all too plentiful (especially in election years). And, as Dorothy discovers at the end of her odys- sey, the place to struggle for change is right here at home, in the real world of ordinary people and routines. When we sang with Holly Near those familiar lines of yearning for something better and freer, we were in part reminding ourselves of our goals and purposes, affirming to one another that we would make it to the Promised Land, to that pot of gold at the end of our quest. But while it is important for us to consider long-term goals, it seems to me that too much emphasis on our dreams may leave us just as unsatisfied as Dorothy was in the Land of Oz. What we need is an image of ourselves that is less concerned with dreaming and more occupied with doing. What we need is a political program. Neither I nor any writer or activist I know of is prepared to present a fully- developed manual for accomplishing the goals to the gay or human rights movement. But some important steps are being taken by the architects of one strategy, which I believe may be the most powerful idea of the 1984 elections: "The Rainbow Coalition." Though the image belongs to You're Reading THE STAR America's Newest Gay Community Newspaper many, it is most associated with Jesse Jackson, the black activist and Democratic presidential candidate. It was incorporated as the theme of the recent March on Washington for Jobs, Peace and Freedom, at which blacks, Hispanics, women, gays and others united to strive for individual goals through collective action. The "melting pot" was once the common image of a society in which ethnic differences would be minimized as all individuals became "Americans." Though pleasing in history, this image is patently absurd in application. .Americans are far from equal with one another, and differences among us are based more on race and class than on any other factors. The "Rainbow" concept offers an image of groups working together, each still as distinct as the bands of color in the rainbow The proponents of the Rainbow Coalition urge minorities to ignore their differences and to emphasize common goals by uniting on voter registration projects and by agreeing on candidates to support in 1984. The program begs three questions, each of potential interest to the gay community: (1) Is such a coalition feasible, or might it tend to weaken incumbent progressives, laj-gely in the Democratic Party? (2) If a coalition candidate (probably Jackson) were to enter the presidential primaries, most observers agree there would be little actual chance of winning the nomination. Therefore, could a coalition candidacy justify itself through increased voter registration, deeper attention to coalition issues in the campaign, and election of candidates to lesser offices? (3) Is there a place for gay issues and candidates in the coalition, and would support for Jackson offer lesbians and gays a better political strategy than more established (but supportive) figures such as Alan Cranston or Walter Mondale? These are large questions that gays and others will be debating for months, per haps years in the future. However we feel about particular candidates or strategies, one thing is certain. Gay political muscle was evident in every ■ace in which the Human Rights Campaign Fund made an endorsement in 1982. That success was made possible by sizeable contributions of time and money, and by some fine work by our national and local organizations. But we haven't uncovered more than the tip of the iceberg of potential gay power. As will all minorities, our communities are under-registered, our candidates underfinanced, and on election day, far too many of us do not vote. We can and must turn each of these tendencies around. We have a real chance to return control of the Senate to the Democrats, a party historically friendly to the needs of minor- DEC. 23, 1983/THE STAR 9 Commentary ities. .And we have the best opportunity in our history to elect and reelect supporters of the Gay Rights .Amendment, and then push for serious committee hearings on the bill. These are not dreams to be realized at some indistinct point in the future. They are specific opportunities that we must commit ourselves to realizing in the months to come. If we do, and if we maintain that commitment, I believe that passage of the Gay Rights Amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will be possible before the end ofthe decade. Dr. Siminoski is a political scientist and has been active in the gay rights movement for about a decade. He may be written at 1221 Redondo Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90G19. &1983 Stonewall Features Syn, dicate.
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