Thursday, December 05, 2013

I'm glad that Nelson Mandela was here

Nelson Mandela
Today the world mourns one of our greatest heroes.

Nelson Mandela died today at the age of 95. Mandela's fight against the awful system of apartheid in South Africa led to his 27-year imprisonment after which in 1994, he became the first black president of the country, helping to dismantle apartheid and inequality.

Mandela never gave in to the demons of revenge or resentment, choosing to use his time as president as well as his status to be a statesman for peace and equality for all, including lgbts.

The Human Rights Campaign issued the following statement:

Nelson Mandela tore down oppression, united a rainbow nation, and always walked arm-in-arm with his LGBT brothers and sisters—and with all people—toward freedom. Though every man, woman and child who seeks justice around the world mourns this loss, his vision of an equal future lives on undimmed. Mandela, who was South Africa’s first post-Apartheid president, was an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality. He appointed an openly-gay judge to South Africa's High Court of Appeal and during his presidency, South Africa became the first nation in the world to constitutionally prohibit sexual orientation-based discrimination. Mandela will be remembered for his social justice activism and commitment to equality for all people. 

While there is sadness over Mandela's passing, I'm not really mourning. I never met him but I am so glad that he wasn't taken from the world before he could fully impact it like other leaders such as John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mandela lived a long life and leaves a great legacy. And now he is at peace, taking his well-deserved rest. So while there is a void in our hearts, let there also be a bit of contentment and gladness. Let's not waste so much time mourning the fact that Mandela is gone that we forget how thankful we should be that he was here in the first place.

Magic and Cookie Johnson's unconditional acceptance of their gay son is wonderful

The following snippet is from an interview that former basketball superstar Magic Johnson and his wife, Coookie, had with Oprah Winfrey. I was very happy to see this because we don't hear conversations about African-American lgbts and our families. Instead we hear the lazy narrative about how the African-American community is supposedly more homophobic than other communities.

That's really not the truth. What Magic Johnson said about accepting his son is not an anomaly in the black community. In fact, it mirrors how I came out to my father and I'm sure it mirrors experiences of other African-American lgbts.

While it is true that some African-American families do not accept their lgbt children, let's not forget that many others do with no conditions at all.

That's something which should always be kept in mind