Just a quick update on the “fag bug” project. I’ve been e-mailing Erin and she is excited to come to Las Vegas next month. Still need to set up an event and think about pre- or day-of fundraising options. Also, does anyone have connections to LGBT groups in the high schools or at local colleges? I think it could be great to get their input on what kind of event we have and see if there are opportunities for her to speak at any school campuses.
Also, Erin has her fag bug stickers and shirts made and available to buy now! (I am working on creating a live link on this blog so you can contribute directly to her campaign.)
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about here’s the quickie backstory: Erin Davies is a 29-year-old college student in New York. She went out to her VW bug one day this spring and found it tagged with anti-gay grafitti, which she attributes to her rainbow sticker on the back. Instead of allowing this act of hate to hurt her, she has decided to turn it into a movement about hate-speech and homophobia called Fag Bug. She is taking her car on a cross-country road trip this summer to talk about what happened and encourage people (gay/straight or otherwise) to put fag bug stickers on their cars as an act against hate speech. (She’s also talked about filming a documentary about her road trip.) Since I found out about Erin’s story, I have been e-mailing her and trying to put together an event for her to visit Las Vegas (around July 20 is when she can roll through).
As always, let me know if you are interested in helping me out in any way!
[In addition/updated thought …] It occurred to me that maybe I haven’t fully expressed why I feel so personally moved by Erin and her Fag Bug tour. Partially, I think it is because I see the impact and importance as being obvious. Look how brave she is! She’s just an average-Jane like you and me who had something horrible and unexpected happen to her (on the National Day of Silence, no less). Who among us doesn’t wish that faced with such a situation, that we would be this brave, bold and brilliant?
But let me be open and frank about why I am so inspired by the Fag Bug movement that I am willing to take time out of my busy life to do something I have never done before (put on an event, outside of my own wedding) and push myself past my own comfort zone. For me it comes down to a really simple truth, that there is more power in an act of love and compassion than in one of hate. I know that sounds really corney, but stick with me. Sure, hate gets all the headlines and all the glory. But it’s the love in our lives that gives us the strength and courage and wonderment to take on each day. Even on the days when you feel completely beaten down, it is the small kernel of hope that keeps you putting one foot in front of the other. And how can there be hope if there is no love?
Do I think that someone like Erin and her Fag Bug tour (or someone like me who is trying to bring it here) can change the world? Not even close. But I think the better question is, what small spark can I be a part of that creates the path for change tomorrow? Everything starts with something, and as the song says, “What better time than here? What better time than now?”
And for those who have asked me why I have a dog in this fight — I guess the supposition is that because I’m married to a man I can’t be pained by this form of hatred? — let me say that what matters is the message. The message that started this was a message of hate against Erin for being who she was born to be. To me that’s no different than hating someone’s skin color, their eye color or if their hair is curly. If the hate-tagger had attacked a black woman’s car and written “nigger” all over it — to me it would be just as hateful. I would hate that hate speech just as much because the place that comes from is an evil place. Hate like that really does break my heart.
So that’s why I am putting my effort behind Erin and the Fag Bug movement. Because I am completely inspired by her bravery and bad-assery. (I know that’s not a word, but humor me.) I can’t help myself but to want to be a part of helping her spread that message! And I’m so grateful to anyone who is willing to help me figure out how to do that.