Deidre McCalla is a long-time favorite recording artist of mine, and I was listening to the title track from her album “Everyday Heroes & Heroines” and realized that to me, though the song is from 1992, it spoke to the recent (and ongoing) efforts of countless people to pass and defend the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.
The ordinance, which became known as HERO, was passed by City Council last May and before that Houston was the largest city with no laws protecting its citizens against discrimination.
For the Council sessions over 300 people from both sides spoke passionately, and many at home were glued to their television and internet screens to take it all in. I was proud and often quite moved to watch members of the LGBT community and our allies state our case from a variety of viewpoints, and that included several brave folks who were moved enough that they summoned up their courage to come out in that setting.
Then the usual cast of hate-driven bigots gathered thousands of signatures to try to force the issue onto the November ballot. Our community rallied again to undertake the massive effort to work with the City in determining if enough valid signatures were gathered. As a result of sloppiness, and perhaps fraud, the number came up short, and of course its proponents then filed a lawsuit, with the case now set to come before a judge in January.
My point is that our community should be very proud of our ground-swell of work, and it is encouraging indeed that spear-heading the effort is not the usual cast of activists. Yes, they were part of it, but this cause moved folks into activism who had never spoke up and/or volunteered before. We found that we indeed have a large community of heroes and heroines.
Find out more:
Deidre McCalla Website