Wanted: LGBT leaders

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

How ironic that "the LGBT compromise" was announced the same day as the 50-year anniversary of four black men challenging the status quo by sitting at a whites-only Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C. So we choose a weakened compromise to delay extending basic civil rights to gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender Utahns because it is less complicated?

Those who are our supposed exemplary leaders chose to take the facile, less clash-oriented road. With our current legislators (Democrat and Republican) we will always be on the defense. We need worker-leaders, ready to do the very hard work. Leaders who understand an orchestrated offense.

The black men on that historic day said, "Don't ever request permission to start a revolution." What guts and integrity that took, not to mention undeniable courage?

I only wish our LGBT and straight-supportive legislators as well as the entire Utah LGBT culture could muster such organization, fearlessness, bravery and courage.

It was excruciating to watch State Rep. Christine Johnson's pathetic YouTube excuse video for illogically taking the easy road. Shame on her, shame on Equality Utah for advocating such a tragic strategy.

Some say this is going to be a big year for us, the LGBT community. Perhaps a big year to deal and dance with the devils even longer, allowing them to find ways to legitimize our inequalities. One more year to swallow the bitter (Buttars) pills. All of this because of fear and a need to quiet those queers. Dialogue has been had, studies have been done and evidence presented, common ground has been ignored and trampled, lives have been lost, injustices have occurred, and belittling words such as "violence to marriage" have been hurled.

That simple refusal 50 years ago to accept separate but equal led to a movement that changed the South and the nation. Utah is the South this time around; the spotlight is on us . Too bad we don't have the players and, more important, the leaders to create the change the universe is ready to deliver; albeit with more arduous and grueling work and duress, but nevertheless deliver.

Charles Lynn Frost is an award-winning playwright and businessman. He has served as board member for the Utah Pride Center and Equality Utah.