Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hey Chely: Dream Louder!

Let's review: Martin Luther King, Jr started college when he was only 15 years old. He earned his first Bachelor's at 19, his second at 22, and his PhD at 26. He won a Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Congressional Gold Medal, and a Grammy Award. (Who knew?) He wrote at least 8 books (that I can count), and dozens--if not hundreds--of articles and sermons. He traveled internationally, pastored a church, organized and led a public transportation boycott lasting over a year, founded the SCLC, and yet still managed to coordinate a little gathering of 200,000+ people, 10 chartered airplanes, and 2,000 chartered buses into what is remembered as the March on Washington.

And he was done and outta here by the time he was 40.

I am reminded, though, that what actually got the world's attention was not his prolific work and exertion--it was his dream, verbalized. That's when everyone else began paying attention. He had a dream, a mental image, inside his head. He could see it clearly, but we could not. He took the microphone, and essentially described for us the picture inside his head of the future he imagined. How nice things could be. A more perfect union.

And somehow, through all the push and shove of life, we heard it. We "caught" it. We could see it too, and we said to ourselves, "Yeah. I can see it too. Wouldn't that be nice?"

As I understand it, that's when things began to change. The number of concordant minds reached critical mass and agreed that the status quo needed to evolve.

Perhaps that's where we are now. The Gay Rights Movement may not have a central figurehead on the level of ML King yet, but we do have notable "activists" like Chely Wright and others.

What is her dream? Does she have a picture inside her head to describe for us? What could our future look like with no gay/straight dichotomy? No discrimination about marriage, jobs and housing? No exceptional statistics of gay suicide and addiction? What will day-to-day, punch the alarm clock America look like?

Chely Wright, if you can hear me: please dream loudly, clearly, and specifically. We are counting on you.