This story was written by Jennifer Siino, The Orion
It's not uncommon to hear of people calling in sick to work. The excuses range from a nasty cold, tuberculosis, smallpox, polio or anything else that seems plausible.
On Dec. 10 employers will hear a new excuse. Some employees may be calling in "gay." The event is called "Day Without A Gay" and it is similar in concept to the Chicano movement's "A Day Without A Mexican."
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its supporters are asked by daywithoutagay.org to call in gay, not attend school or work and volunteer their time to various causes instead. They are also asked to avoid purchasing anything on that day.
There is even a note to those from the LGBT community who live in any of the 30 states where you can still get fired simply for being gay or lesbian. Quite honestly I didn't know there were still 30 states where you could be fired for being gay or lesbian.
That could simply be a testament to my woeful ignorance of matters outside the realm of California, but I think it's that same ignorance that gets legislation such as Proposition 8 passed.
Guess what, gay people don't just live in L.A. or San Francisco. A movement like this would show how widespread alternative lifestyles really are.
It would have been beneficial for gay rights if this event had taken place before the election. People who personally knew members of the LGBT community seemed to either vote no on Proposition 8, or at least seriously consider the matter.
If more people were aware that some of their family members, co-workers and friends were gay or lesbian, they may have voted differently.
I'm amused by the people who say they know gay people and think they're great and everything but just don't want them to get married. Because, logically, if you think someone is awesome your natural inclination is to deny his or her social freedoms.
Even if you're defending "traditional marriage" with the fact that your religion says it's not OK for gay people to be together, the fact of the matter is, though marriage may have started as a religious institution, it is now a social one. This is how atheists get married.
Since marriage is a social institution, it really doesn't matter what you or your religion thinks about gay lifestyles, similar to the way it doesn't matter if you like atheists, it's still denying a social freedom, which is wrong.
What I like most about this "Day Without A Gay" is that it will make it very obvious how many people are really affected by anti-gay legislation. I'm not sure why they didn't think to have this event before the election, unless they were holding out for Dec. 10 specifically because it is International Human Rights Day.
Although this is a great idea to show people just how large the LGBT community is, especially with its hetero supporters, there are some elements of ridiculousness to the whole idea.
First of all, the Web site is classic. It boldly states, "A day without gays would be tragic because it would be a day without love." Indeed, because heterosexual couples are incapable of loving. They get married for the sole purpose of creating kids who they may not be able to feed and clothe.
And calling in gay is totally lame. That's not even clever. The concept of calling in sick is that your present state of sickness inhibits your ability to work. Your present state of "gayness" does not inhibit you from working.
Not to mention the awkwardness of replacing the word "sick" with "gay," since they're obviously equivalent.
On the FAQ page of the site there was a question of why "sick" is used interchangeably with "gay," and if they were implying that gayand sick were the same thing. The following was posted as the Web site's direct response:
"It's just that 'gay' rhymes with 'day' so it was a cute and clever way to get you involved. HAHA! Now you're hooked! You're beautiful, very not sick and super wonderful. Help us spread service however you feel comfortable, SWEET THING!"
Does anybody else notice that this whole Web site seems to have been written by a high schooler? I think the movement could easily gain more credibility by amping up its writing standards to seem more professional, or at least intelligent.
If I were an employer and one of my workers called in gay I would probably just laugh. Calling in sick, or explaining that you plan to take the day off to do fundraising I could handle, but calling in gay?
To spare yourself embarrassment, call in sick. A nasty cold, tuberculosis, smallpox, polio or even syphilis are all viable excuses. Being gay is not.