I hate the phrase, “gay friendly.” I think it’s condescending to hear of restaurants, retail establishments, bars, and even people being gay-friendly. I doubt if other groups refer to establishments as being Jew–friendly, Black–friendly, or Hispanic–friendly.” If gays want to reinforce the perception of themselves as second-class citizens in some people’s minds, using the phrase gay-friendly is a great way to go.
I doubt if other groups lose a lot of sleep wondering if a person or an establishment is “hetero–friendly.” At least I’d hope not. It’s time that the LGBT community stop rewarding people or establishments with the moniker gay-friendly for simply doing the right thing and making themselves or their business comfortable to all, including the members of our community. We should no longer act like this is special. We should expect it and demand it.
Yet we hear gay-friendly continually. At the July 19 Creating Change meeting it was innocently brought up when the group was asked to suggest hospitality venues for the more than 2,000 attendees expected of the Conference. It might have made more sense to ask for places to avoid because they might be inhospitable; hopefully that would be a short list.
No doubt there are places for us to avoid, as there are for other minorities. Even in this new century we still read about African Americans being discriminated against by certain restaurants or in housing. A recent news story reported on a suburban Kansas subdivision that would restrict sex offenders from living there. Should we assume that any subdivision without this restriction is sex-offender-friendly?
With the August primaries and November elections our LGBT political groups have endorsed candidates. Read more in that story in this issue. They send out questionnaires and based on the candidate’s responses, our groups issue endorsements. Many candidates actively seek the gay vote yet others know that an endorsement from a gay group could possibly be used by an opponent to garner votes at the LGBT community’s expense. This is about much more than being gay–friendly. It’s about being gay-supportive or gay- fearing.
Maybe it’s time to retire the phrase “gay–friendly.” Equal is equal. Nothing more, but also nothing less.

Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.

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Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash

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