Yesterday when I got a text message that Barack Obama had just signed into law The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, I was elated. In my mind I could hear the collective cheering across the country. Finally now we are legally defined and bias-motivated crimes against LGBT people would now be recognized for what we have known them to be all along, hate crimes.
Although law enforcement is now empowered to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence against LGBT people, that still does not change the hearts and minds of those who still hate us, especially those who see us as objects for sport.
On my way to an appointment less than a half mile from my home, I see a Toyota jacked up to where I would need a latter just to get in. On the back cab window was a pink sticker that said ‘Navy Wife’. I think to myself, there is a proud woman who is supporting her husband and our military! Thatâ€™s nice.
Then I see this other sticker. I canâ€™t really make it out so I inch slowly closer so I can read it. The woman probably thought I was going to hit her. I start to make it out. I was in utter disbelief. I just could not believe my eyes, I think my mouth even fell open. This was so disturbing that just a short distance from the safety of my home, in my own neighborhood, this proud Navy wife would probably like to see me and many of the people I love dead! If not, even just the thought that this was somehow funny is chilling.
We still have so much work to do! The truck proudly displayed this sticker: