Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Letter from the Archive: Time is now to fight for gay rights

4/23/93: Time is now to fight for gay rights

This weekend approximately 1 million people will converge on Washington, D.C., to participate in one of the largest civil rights demonstrations in our nation’s history. The March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Rights is the culmination of decades of activism led by people working toward the goal that all people, regardless of sexual orientation, will receive the same treatment by our government and our society.

Reflecting the great strides made in recent years toward achieving this goal, one of the themes of the march is “The Time Is Now.” With all the attention this weekend being focused on national issues, it’s a good idea to look at what exactly it is the time for here at Northwestern.

The time is now for all people trapped in the closet to find the inner strength to break down the walls keeping them from expressing their true selves. There is a supportive community at NU. There are places you can go. You are not alone. The time is now for members of all oppressed groups to realize that the fight against oppression is a common one. Bigotry is bigotry, and discrimination is discrimination no matter if it is based on race, religion, sexual orientation or whatever. Our histories may be different, and the struggles we have faced may not be the same, but we are all fighting to live our lives the way we see fit without others defining us or limiting our opportunities.

The time is now for this university to address the needs of its bisexual, lesbian and gay students. A gay studies program needs to be initiated. A full-time advisor for bisexual, lesbian and gay students must be hired. Adequate space for our resource center has to be allocated. The time is now for all bigots to finally recognize that gays, lesbians and bisexuals are not different human beings. We are not some separate entity set apart from you. Even if you may not know it, we are your family members, your neighbors, your peers, your teachers, your leaders and your friends. When you attack us, you are attacking part of yourself, and we will not accept your attacks.

The time is now for all supportive heterosexual students to be vocal with their support for our rights. Confront homophobia and heterosexism in others and in yourselves. Tell others you support equal rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation. Just because you do doesn’t change your own sexuality.

The time is now for all apathetic queers-especially those who smoke cigarettes and cop attitude all day in Norris University Center-to get off their butts and contribute something to their community. Stop living off other people’s work. As the passage of the Colorado amendment, the slaying of gay soldier Allan Schindler and the rising tide of anti-gay violence indicates, the forces of oppression are still powerful. The Time is now to defeat them.

– David Bielethen-Weinberg seniorthen-President of Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Alliance

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Letter from the Archive: Time is now to fight for gay rights