April 2000

Victory and Defeat

My life has been in an uproar the past month or so. A lot of big things have happened. First, a 13 year old friend is pregnant. I've got her to worry about. Then, I've got all this stuff going on at school. To top it all off though, I'm losing a very good friend and former boyfriend to homophobia. It's kind of ironic that in the wake of Vermont passing a Civil Marriage act for homosexuals, a big step forward for us as a whole, homophobia has hit me the hardest and closest ever.

All signs point to victory and equal rights for us, but sometimes we can't see that we're winning the war because we're too focused on the battles we've lost. It is very despairing when we lose someone close to us to the enemy mentally or even physically, but we must carry on with our cause, and cherish their memory.

I feel that if I'm going to explain myself fully, I'm going to have to go into a very sensitive topic, the Columbine Massacre, and two very overlooked victims. Dylan and Erik, and everyone else who was affected by the shootings were direct results of hate, fear, and prejudice. We call them monsters, and despise them for what they did, but aren't we blindly hating what we don't understand? Sound familiar? We should focus on, not simply preventing school shootings, but preventing the prejudice that drove the two teenagers to the pitiful state that ended their lives, and wrought suffering on so many.

We must continue on with our struggle, not for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren. If we succeed, they will know nothing like the Columbine Massacre, or homophobia in their lifetime. We need to focus on the war we will win, not the innumerable battles we've collectively lost, and unselfishly help to further the cause. Many gays, lesbians, and bisexuals have devoted their lives to eliminating prejudice, which is a pious decision in itself. The flipside is that many of them have been destroyed by their unselfish deeds, torn apart from the inside. There are so few of those teachers, and so many that are ignorant, that they put impractical goals upon themselves, and drive themselves to the point of suicide trying to meet them.

We must, ourselves, copy the works of those who sacrificed their lives to further our cause. Although many have been lost already, and more will be lost in the future, these are simply casualties of war. The only way for us to prevent these needless losses, we must unite. Five people combined are more effective than ten people alone. In the words of the Civil Rights supporters of the 1960's, we shall overcome, but at what cost? We must selflessly give our full effort to our cause, to honor the memory of those we have lost, and to uphold the rights of those yet to come.

My e-mail is Zach9567@hotmail.com. Feel free to e-mail me for any reason: questions, comments, concerns, and criticisms.

Remember their sacrifices,


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