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News - October 1996

Lavender Flu or Spring Fever?

By Ana Melo

On Monday, March 24th, 1997, will you and your co-workers come down with Lavender Flu or Spring Fever? Gay Day, also known as Gay Strike Day, will be observed this year for the first time in the US and Canada. On this day gays will call in sick to work to demonstrate the presence and economic clout of the gay community.

Unlike Gay Pride Day, Gay Day will be a quiet affair. No parades celebrating our colorful diversity will be held. A rainbow ribbon or pin will be worn by those participating or those in sympathy with the gay community.

This idea was first proposed by Debbie Golden and Wayne Seidl during a discussion on the Internet. Debbie comments, "Gay Day to me is a day when we show the rest of the country what we do, who we are and how important our contributions are to this country. This is not a celebration or a party -- well you could have one if you wanted -- this is a self-reflective day where we are very much in touch with how we make our contribution to OUR countries." Wayne also comments, "The purpose of my idea (Gay Strike Day) is to show the country that we do indeed make up a large part of the population, that what we do does matter in the general course of things." He envisions "one day to strike, one day to remind the rest of the population that we still do not have even the basic rights to which we are entitled: equal taxation and legalized relationships."

Gay Day is dedicated to gays living and working in high risk areas where coming out of the closet may lead to a job loss or physical injury. Calling in sick will give them an opportunity to express themselves in a safe, nonconfrontational way. As was expressed by one member of the on-line discussion group, " you can't be fired or beat up for being sick and taking a day off to recuperate."

Ron, another contributor to the on-line discussion summed it up nicely when he said, "Gays have from day one been the bread, comfort, wine and culture to a hungry world. Can you possibly imagine living in a world without gay artists, writers, decorators, designers, engineers, marines, and football players? It would be a dull world indeed."

For more information you may contact Debbie Golden of Albuquerque, New Mexico at goldenluck@aol.com or (505) 344-9205. You can reach Wayne Seidl at WAYNE5569@aol.com or (305) 296-9599.


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