Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How Jerry got me started

Out of problems and crises, come opportunities. I was not happy when I heard Mr. Falwell bought the farm. Even though he was a mean person, who hurt others, including GLBT persons, I do not usually dance with glee when someone like him exits the stage. Like Ronald Reagan, his policies were backward and dangerous, but he was somehow likeable...sort of like an eccentric uncle.

In the summer of 1981, I had been made unemployed. Finished with college, and a polticial science B.A. degree under my belt, I had been an office manager and an athletic shoe salesman.

I was drifting, and unsure of my career or future.

After being the president of the OSU Gay Alliance, I had no gay community organization to join. There were none in Columbus at the time. Then we heard that Falwell was coming to town to start a chapter of the Moral Majority.

I quickly organized friends, liberal allies, and acquaintances to protest their first meeting. About 150 women's activists, Gays, peace workers, and even socialists got together and picketed the church on Cleveland Ave. where Falwell's group had planned to meet. We sent in spies.

Only a dozen or so people showed up to join the Moral Majority, and the chapter actually never got started.

We were so jubliant, we decided for form a new Gay rights organization for Columbus. We called it Stonewall Union. I became its first president, and later its first Exectutive Director. I had a job. We put on the first parade in Columbus for the GLBT community (back then GL community). The rest is history. Their parades now attract 100,000 people. Columubus Ohio and Ferndale, Michigan are two of the most Gay friendly cities in the Country. All because of Jerry Fallwell.

Thanks, Jerry.


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