Grand Prairie is one of many areas referred to as the mid-cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Recently I happened to be in Grand Prairie for work. As I drove down Main Street I noticed a marquee in the distance. I am always attracted to old theater marquees. And the Uptown Theater did not disappoint. Now that I know it exists I can’t wait to catch a show.
The marquee caught my eye. But when I stopped to take a photo, I noticed the doors.
The doors remind me of the movie house era, when tickets cost a quarter. (Not that I remember those days!)
For those of you that have evolved in your thinking and those of you that accept the LGBTQ community for what it is, without judgement and without prejudice, you may find the actions I witnessed today unbelievable and ignorant.
I believe many of us naively thought once the supreme court of the United States confirmed that people who identify as LGBTQ deserved the same rights as any other American our fight was over. Sure there will always be people that don’t care for us…but they won’t be able to treat us as if we are not equal.
Silly us. Though we have made great strides and though we are now afforded many of the same rights as others, there are still plenty of people in our country that believe who we are and how we live is “sinful” and “wrong.” The same people will continue to fight against any advance we make socially, politically and religiously.
Today I was reminded of this.
I attended a conference for people that work with the senior population. Organized by Tarrant Area Gerontological Society. The majority of the event planners and attendees were social workers. When a group of social workers get together you know most of the conversations will be inclusive, progressive and tilt to the left. Our conferences tend to focus on ways to assure the people we serve are given the tools they need to function in the world.
Rarely do we find ourselves having to confront prejudice during a conference. Today that changed. Our conference was held at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Apparently they took issue with the fact that the Coalition for Aging LGBT paid to have a vender booth and would be presenting one of the educational sessions. The seminary refused to allow the organization to have a booth. They actually went to the board of directors of TAGS and told them the booth must be dismantled. It is my understanding that when the group attempted to challenge the seminary’s decision they were told if they put the booth back up they would not be provided a microphone for the presentation.
This really happened.
I am happy to say the TAGS board members were just as upset as the rest of us. I was told by several of the board members they would never rent this space again for any activity. The Coalition for Aging LGBT did dismantle the booth, but they maintained a presence at the conference throughout the day and other vender booths voluntarily displayed the Coalition’s educational material. The coalition also went through with their presentation with grace, class and dignity.
She stretched her arm high above her head, stood on her tip-toes and begged her dad for a lollipop from the jar.
“Please Daddy, can I have one?”
Her dad looked down at the girl and smiled. “Of course, but first I have to finish my business.”
The lollipops were only one reason Teresa liked to run errands with her dad on Saturday morning. The bank, in the neighboring town, was so big and fancy. The counters were marble and everything shined. It was like one of those banks on TV. She fantasized about being the hero that stopped the bank robbers from getting away.
After the bank they would go to Lost Corner. The full-service gas station owned by her dad’s friend. While her dad and his buddies stood around and talked she would go play in the junk cars behind the building. With imagination as her co-pilot Teresa would have time to drive across the country and race around the Indianapolis Speedway, before she heard her dad call her name.
Teresa wasn’t sure what other errands her dad needed to run this Saturday morning, but she knew there would be adventure at every stop
Her dad hesitated before turning away from the teller’s window, he grasped the lollipop jar and lowered it to where Teresa could reach the candy of her choice. Chocolate Tootsie Pop….no other lollipop would do. She plucked the lollipop out of the jar and smiled at her dad. “Thank you.”
He placed his hand in the center of her back and guided her toward the exit. “Come on Sis, we have a lot to do today.”
A tag line used in Austin Texas is, ‘Keep Austin Weird.” So when I read this week’s challenge from The Daily Post (Unusual) I immediately thought of some photos I took recently when I visited the south side of Austin.
Apparently someone with a unique eye has stapled stuffed animals, puzzle pieces and photos of people on telephone poles up and down a main street. And even more unusual…no one seems to mind. Its just more proof that Austin is proud of its weirdness.