The night before

It is the night before one of the most historical moments in America’s history. Tomorrow at 12NOON (Eastern), Barack Obama takes the oath of office to become the forty-fourth President of the United States, and I get the feeling that the country is really ready for this kind of change.

Many people are sharing their thoughts in the blogosphere about what this means for them, and for the country. One blogger that I’ve recently started to read added this great post to his blog. He reminds us that while this is a day to be celebrated, we need to remember that there continues to be a number of inequalities throughout this country that still need to be addressed. As Davey writes, tomorrow is just “one step on a journey of many” and I’m proud to be here as the US begins that new journey.

In that light, there was an editorial piece in Friday’s New York Times by Mary Frances Berry (former co-chair of the US Commission of Civil Rights), who suggests that it is time to abolish the Commission on Civil Rights and create a new commission that addresses the rights of many groups, including gay people. What a great call to be making to a president that wants to bring change to this great country, and how phenomenal that this call is being made from such a strong advocate of “civil” rights in this country.

It has long been my belief that before any group can achieve equality, that group needs to work with other groups, people and communities to build support for that goal of equality. It is only through these partnerships that true and effective change can occur.

Many in the GLBT community feel that we must achieve these changes alone because it is “our” fight. I don’t agree with this, as this thinking is outdated and counterproductive to achieving the goal that we seek, and in many ways it slows down the progress that we hope to make. Tomorrow we start a new journey, and with that – I hope – a new opportunity to change the way we think. It’s time to focus on what we have in common with others, and work to bring about a united change that will see equality for everyone, not just another smaller subgroup of society.