The countdown is over, the ball has dropped, and 2001 has begun. The new millennium holds 1000 years of promise. We will see the legalization of gay marriages, the eradication of the HIV virus, and the end of homophobia and violence. We will be able to watch stereotypes diminish into nothing more than silly generalizations, and we will, as a nation, elect the first openly gay president of the United States. We will look back on the 1900's as a century of change and groundwork that will result in a brilliantly colorful world full of acceptance and equality. But all this will not fall into our laps as a millennial Christmas present. We will have to work hard if we want to see this millennium be the one that gay and lesbian citizens have wanted for so long.
I came out in the year 2000; a rather monumental accomplishment when you consider my geographic location. In the latter part of that year I attended a GLSEN conference, wrote a play about gay sons coming out to their mothers that will be produced at the end of this month, and began a website that has received national attention from LesBiGay Radio in Chicago, and Bay Windows, a newspaper based out of Boston. Through this website, I have been able to work with several high schools, helping young gay men come out to their families, their friends, their schools, and themselves. In the process I have learned that it takes very little to change the world. Too many people forget that by touching one soul you affect others around it. Pretty soon that change has traveled through the entire community, and you have changed the world in a very real way. You dont need to reach every person on earth to make a difference. By simply altering the life of one individual, you have written an entry in the history book of society. It is this way that we will change the world and become witness to all the wonderful things this new millennium can bring.
Together, we can create a world where gay boys and lesbian girls completely and totally fit in. Where being gay is OK, and where they are celebrated for who they are. We can mold our earth into someplace where we can be happy without being nervous about who's around, and where people that don't know you don't hate you just because of your sexuality. Before we know it, the harassing phone calls will stop, and the name calling will be outgrown. In our new and improved homeland, fathers will be proud of their gay sons, mothers will talk about cute boys with them, and nobody will fights for equality because they already have it. You will be able to be a husband and have a husband. And nobody; not a single person will ever want to be anyone but exactly who they are.
Before us lies a very long road. We have traveled far, but there are still miles and miles of uncharted territory. Take my hand and walk with me for awhile. We will never know what lies ahead unless we walk in that direction.
Happy New Year, and may God bless you in all you do. Best wishes for the new millennium.
I believe in you!
Please feel free to contact me through BreakingOUT, or visit our website!
Travis Stanton, 19, lives in South Dakota. He attends college, majoring in Modern American Entertainment, and is the founder of BreakingOUT, a web based organization for young gay men looking for assistance in the process of coming out.