Friday, October 29, 2010

Texas Is A Lost Cause? Don't Think So

One of the things that irritates us Lone Star TBLG people is when we see online comments from people that arrogantly presume that Texas has always been a red state and will never change.  

We hear from the 'experts' living inside the Capital Beltway, along I-5 and I-95 that Texas is a lost cause GLBT rights wise and the money and time to organize it for progressive action could be better spent elsewhere.

Oh really?

News flash for you folks.  Texas is a majority-minority state with progressive roots.  The current GOP dominance of it is a fairly recent phenomenon that was built on a foundation of deception, party switchers, corporate cash and Southern Strategy inspired anti-Black and anti-Latino bashing to 'scurr' low income white voters.   .   

Bet you didn't know that the only southern Democratic senator to vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Act was Texan Ralph Yarborough?   As a matter of fact, Sen. Yarborough voted YES for every civil rights bill during his term in the US Senate from 1957-1971   

Can't forget other progressive leaders such as President Lyndon B. Johnson,  Congressmembers Barbara Jordan, Mickey Leland, Sam Rayburn, Governor Ann Richards, and Billie Carr, the godmother of Texas Democrats who mentored a certain William Jefferson Clinton back in the early 70's. 

As for the LBITG aspect of it, one of the things GLBT peeps elsewhere forget is that it was Houston, not New York, LA or even San Francisco that elected an openly gay large city mayor in 2009 in Annise Parker   Dallas came agonizingly close to doing so the year before.  

Texans have also shaped much BTLG history.   The Lawrence v Texas case that wiped out US sodomy laws got its start in Houston.   The Texas 'T' Party, one of the first popular trans conventions was organized by the Boulton and Park Society group and held in San Antonio in the early 90's.   Phyllis Frye sponsored transgender law conferences in Houston in the mid 90's under the auspices of  ICTLEP.  Sarah DePalma once ran It's Time America!    Texans were part of the team that organized NTAC in 1999.    Other TBLG Texans continue to be cutting edge thinkers, opinion shapers and continue to provide innovative community leadership ..

We have four IFGE Trinity Award winners from Texas alone, Phyllis Frye, Vanessa Edwards Foster, the late Brenda Thomas, and some loudmouthed opinionated African-American trans blogger from Houston. 

Yes, we have homophobic and transphobic yahoos here along with wonderfully supportive allies  just as you peeps residing in so called blue state GLBT 'paradise' areas.         

The point is that just as you love the quality of life in your neck of the woods, we love Texas and our quality of life and its culture just as much and think it's worth fighting for.    The fact that we have majority-minority population status compels us along with our progressive tradition to fight even harder to establish the type of Texas we want to live in and pass on to our children and grandchildren, and not this unequal conservafool red state version.    

The other three states that have majority minority population status, Hawaii, California, and New Mexico are Democratic or are swing states, and it's past time for Texas to join the swing state political party.

So is Texas a lost cause?   Don't think so.    

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