I’m kind of proud of Tampa.
Damn, I hope that doesn’t sound too condescending. But I really am.
It’s not news to anyone reading here when I share that I am a huge supporter of LBGT rights and that I kind of can’t see straight when any person, law, idea or organization segregates, discriminates or excludes a person for their sexual orientation, gender, race, class, any of it. But you all know this, color me “bleeding heart”, it’s what I stand behind. So there.
Florida, meanwhile, has had an, ahem, shaky past with some LBGT and race issues. And that has made me less than proud to live here sometimes. For example, when I first moved here, same sex couple were not allowed to adopt. Mind-blowing.
However, as of 2009, this changed. (Breathe out sigh of relief.)
And, more recently, Tampa has put forward a couple initiatives to try and get things on the right track towards less discrimination, also.
Firstly, Tampa has recently created a domestic partnership registry — the first of it’s kind on this area. It would offer partnered couples more rights as family than it did before. I’m thrilled to hear this. It’s not perfect. But it’s a start.
Also, and what I am all fired up about today, Tampa is hosting it’s first Erase Hate Festival this weekend, on April 21st. I am thrilled about it. With family activities happening all afternoon and great musical performers on stage in the evening, I think this is pretty much one of the best ideas Tampa has had in awhile to foster an open, accepting community — at least in my humble opinion.
One of my dearest friends also happens to be a DIE HARD Brandi Carlile fan. Brandi is the featured performer on Saturday. So, my friend has bought a plane ticket down here and has managed to win two V.I.P. tickets for both of us.
*cue squee… now…*
So, we all kinds of fired up for this. And I kind of think that anyone in the Tampa Bay area should be, too.
Did I mention that this event is FREE?
I think you should go. I do. If you live around here, I mean.
See you there?
PLEASE NOTE: THE EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED. Hoping I can attend when it is rescheduled.