Horror and fear makes the air opaque and protects us from seeing what we as humans must act on. Now is the time to bond together, to unionize, to make con-tacts, to start GSAs (Gay Straight Alliances).

Now is the time to write to our congressmen and to shout out loud that we will not be trampled. How can a society which congregates to mourn the holocaust be allowed to ignore the problem of homophobia based hate crimes so blatantly? And they are trying to intimidate us, those who hate, those who see no bit of humanity in what they cannot understand. They want to scare us silent, to "Scare us straight."

But we need to fight, because otherwise things will only get worse. And, we need to be safe, we must know how to protect ourselves. We need to be aware that it is not necessary to come out to the school bully, the town's ex-prisoner. As I under-stand it, part of pride is knowing where to place your boundaries. It's a foul world, when we have to look realistically at how we dress before we go out, for fear of being raped, and when we have to keep part of our identity stifled for fear of being brutally murdered, but in some ways it is a really foul world, and that is exactly the reason why we must congregate, to generate love, and support, and pride, because I know that I speak for more than just myself, when I say that I am Out Proud.

-Martina Rosen
rjrosenlum@earthlink.net