Have you bought new calendars yet? 2008 was just too fun. Didn’t you just hate to see it pass? A new year is upon us now and with it comes expectations, New Year resolutions and goals to achieve, for ourselves, our community, our nation and the world. Q-Notes asked readers and community members and leaders to share with us their expectations for 2009. Their responses and prognostications run from personal goals to new hopes for LGBT community achievements. Some are forward-thinking, positive and idealist. Others are realistic and practical.
Take a look at what these readers had to say and add your voice to the mix in the comment thread below!
My hope for 2009 is that Raleigh will get its much-deserved LGBT Community Center. And I resolve to do whatever I can to help make it a reality.
— Les Geller, Raleigh, NC
1. This one’s a safe bet: Given the spiralling out of control of unemployment in these uncertain times, I predict that under and unemployment for trans individuals will dramatically worsen as jobs in general are cut. It’s always easier to fire, or not hire, those who are tokenized and disenfranchised.
2. Civil rights may have to take a back seat to economic and climatic concerns. As important as equal rights are, they become moot if there is no planet left on which we can survive, if we enter another all encompassing depression if any combination of crises (droughts, famine, storms, ethnic cleansing, etc.) The silver lining is that joining arms together to overcome these colossal and formidable problems may help make civil rights and equality a non-issue; that is if we manage to see the bigger picture.
— Robbi Cohn, Lexington, NC
1. I expect the LGBTQ community to create more synergy among ourselves as well as with our allies. For us to get things done in activism and in the issues we care of, this is a must. We at Out Impact lead by example in doing this and will do more of this in the upcoming year.
2. I expect this country to get “back to basics” and focus more on eco-friendly, socially and financially feasible living since our economy was like a rubber band breaking lately. Thank God for sites like etsy that bring together artistry and commerce.
3. Personally: To give myself some more down time, with at least one hour a day of doing nothing associated with my work. Whether it be playing with my pets, reading a book, writing poetry again or going out to the movies with friends. I have been so driven that has been a major personal neglect of myself in the last year.
— Bambi Weavil, Wilmington, NC
My expectation for 2009 are as follows: I expect that the economic crisis will get worse before it gets better, thus forcing change. However, this is an opportunity for the return of independent thought and love for our fellow human community. Now is our chance to re-establish our own direction as a human family. We can get back to basics and examine the differences between our “wants” and our “needs.” More than 70 percent of our economy is based on consumption fueled by self doubt, fear of being ourselves without product enhancement and a want to be “better” than how God made us. I can feel the change happening inside of me and all around me. I welcome the return of people helping each other just because they want to help each other. I welcome the return of people spending less because they are forced to not waste our planets precious resources. I welcome the return of people entertaining their family and friends in the loving walls of home. I welcome the return of slower, more carefully thought out decisions designed to “make it last.” I welcome the return of the wisdom of saving for peace of mind. I welcome the return of a U.S. being led by someone who we believe in (and actually voted for). I welcome the return of taking only what we need being labeled a virtue instead of unfashionable or cheap. I welcome this and all changes for the betterment of We. God bless each and us in our Human Family.
— Josh Starnes, Charlotte, NC
I expect Obama to immediately follow through on the promises he made to the LGBT community — including a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and a complete repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). I am also hoping for some kind of nation-wide legislation in favor of gay marriage, but considering Obama’s recent alliance with anti-gay Rick Warren, that hope is dwindling.
— Brook Taylor, Greensboro, NC
2009 is the year of Obama and an exciting year for change! The LGBT community will see an expansion of their civil rights movement as never before. For the first time in history, new rights will apply to all 50 states of America. In 2009, expect to see passage of The Employment Non-Discrimination Act to fight workplace discrimination; passage of the Matthew Shepard Act to expand hate crimes law protections; a repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy so the LGBT community can serve proudly and honestly in the armed forces; more funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, education and health care; expansion of adoption rights; and will support a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act to ensure over 1,100 federal rights and benefits would apply to same-sex couples through legally-recognized civil unions. Thanks to a newly-elected Democratic government in both the executive and legislative branches, 2009 and the next four years will be very exciting and inspiring years of progress for the LGBT community across the country! Happy New Year!
— William Weathers, Anderson, SC
I expect charitable giving to become very difficult, especially for organizations serving the LGBT community. I hope each lesbian and each gay man will ask themselves, “Who will fund gay/lesbian issues if not me?” I expect gay men and lesbians will continue reach out with confidence to other groups and look for common ground. I believe that we will rise above circumstances and continue to lead in the effort of reconciliation. It’s slow, difficult work, but somebody has to do it. I expect the new sense of community that has taken root during the last year to continue to flower.
— John C. Quillin, Charlotte, NC
Reader responses compiled by Q-Notes staff