Today I gave testimony on HB481 which would add protections for the LGBTQI community to the Montana Code. It’s a fairly easy bill to support, and it’s one that should have been passed nationwide decades ago. And yet, it wasn’t, it hasn’t, and it might not be.

There’s not much in this world that truly pisses me off, but the fact that some people think, if you can really call it that, that being gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, intersexed, or just different, is somehow equivalent to being wrong, bad, and unwanted. These people are being idiotic. That’s the nicest way to say that, because I don’t think all of them are idiots, I just know they haven’t spent any time with people who are gay to learn what we are really like.

And who do we have to blame for that? No one but ourselves. I gave testimony telling the House Judiciary Committee that I grew up here in Helena and basically fled the state because of how I was treated growing up. Being bullied sucks, and I wanted out. And out I got.

But that didn’t help the cause at all. In fact, it let it fester and stay for so long that now it’s a nightmare to try to fix because the players are entrenched and the thinking is unquestioned. And in many cases unquestionable.

So I apologize to my LGBTQI brothers and sisters for running away. I’m not regretting what I learned or that I did it, I just think that it was a choice I made while letting fear guide my actions, and that fear was not helpful in any way. That fear is the same fear that is letting people like Dallas Erickson and his cohorts get away with slandering us, and I won’t let it make decisions for me again.

But I digress. I testified. I didn’t yell. I saw Jamee Greer before the meeting began and he told me I couldn’t yell at people, and to be honest, I don’t want to yell at people over this. I want them to hear me. I want them to understand what it means to be labeled “the unwanted other” and to know the pain and sufferring they have caused with their crusades against my tribe. And the pain and passion that I feel leads me, very quickly, to what most people would identify as rage. And I yell.

Is it productive? No. It’s fucking cathartic tho. And sometimes that’s what I need. But this is bigger than me. It’s bigger than all of us.

I gave my testimony calmly, yet passionately. I asked the members of the committee to stand up for what’s right, even though it’s not the most comfortable thing to do. I asked to be treated as the equal they all, every single one, claim for me to be.

And… we’ll see.






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