Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Mexicans are coming!

Congressman Jim Kolbe of AZ, a gay man with a partner from Panama, is not interested in supportive language within the current immigration legislation to include LGBT people. I absolutely must plead stupidity on this one, I don't get it.

According to his quote in the Washington Blade, he doesn't want "add baggage" to the debate. Dude, this is a very weighty issue already, why not stand up for something which has a profound affect on your life?

Which brings me back to my own stupidity. If I had a chance to have a positive impact to affect my life and many others would I do it? Yes, because I have already done so. So I don't get it. No comprendo, no entiendo.

Oh wait, that's the issue, this immigration debate is really about Mexicans anyway. There is a duel right now for the hearts and minds of some Americans over which is scarier for them - same sex marriage, flag burning or Mexicans washing their dishes. Yikes! How can they sleep at night?

For those of us who are queer and Mexican, let me tell you, we are drunk with power. So much talk in DC about us, talking about us like we are part of the destruction of the world as we know it. I have never felt so empowered, knowing that I scare so many people.

But let us return to Congressman Kolbe. He is retiring this year. He only came out as a gay man when he thought the Advocate was going to out him. Now he doesn't even have the huevos to stand up for himself and his boyfriend? I still don't get it.

But I doubt in this lifetime I would ever understand that thinking. I come from a long line of very strong women who always have stood up for ourselves and did the right thing in the face of long odds.
My great grandmother outlived 3 husbands, raised a gazillion children, including grandchilren, nieces, nephews and neighbors. My grandmother moved the family to California from Texas and left her husband behind because he wasn't ready to go and she was ready for new opportunities for her children. They lived in a tent for quite a while until they got real housing, part of the Mexican exodus out of Texas to the Golden State. We beat Ahnold here by decades.

So for us queer Latinos, so drunk with power and yet invisible in this discussion, we must continue to educate our gente about our lives. That's familia, something we will always have to work on. But the education of the Jim Kolbe's of the world, I'll leave that to some of you other folks to see if you can make those changes. I have my hands full with my own folks.

I am with Zapata on this one Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas. (Translation: It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.)

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