It’s New Year’s resolution time again. I’m just a hair late for this, but maybe that’ll make a good resolution: not to be late making resolutions.I don’t know many people who make New Year’s resolutions. Seems like something from an episode of The Lucy Show. But people should. It’s good to be humble. Most people have a lot to be humble about. It’s good to think about what one can improve in one’s life, to embrace change, and to see opportunities for growth. Well, more likely, it’s an opportunity to feel optimistic that I’ll change things I’ve said I was going to many times before.
Without further ado, here are my “For Whom the Bill Tolls” resolutions:
• I resolve to get involved. In what, you might ask? Not important. I resolve to join something GLBT: a book club, a Men’s Center support group, Outwoods, Naked Minnesota, Toastmasters, the Tuesday night GLASS volleyball game, Lambda Greens, Pride Alive Core Group, Saturday brunches at Pillsbury House, Quadriga, Storm Patrol, rollerblading at the Metrodome, or a Ponyboy group. Anything. The point is to be involved, to get out of the house, and to get to know more people. I firmly believe we are flocking animals, and we need to belong. Just pick something, and make it yours.
• I resolve to support a GLBT group. Nonprofit is ideal—tax deductions, you know. But that’s not the point; the point is to put some money into something I believe in. Most of the groups I know are barely in business, hopping along on free labor, and run off people’s personal computers. It’s time to give what I can. We count on these groups to be there when we need them. The only way they’ll be there is if people support them with more than a pat on the back, and instead with a check in the mail.
• I resolve to get my Lavender columns in on time. Ethan, I promise!
• I resolve to help a friend. Who hasn’t needed help? Do you know any GLBT folks who are isolated, in a dark place in their lives? Many of us have been there ourselves. Here’s to giving a person a hand. No, not becoming codependent. No, not staging an intervention. OK, yes, an intervention if it’s warranted. I mean just being there when a person needs someone to talk to, someone to hear him or her out, someone just to be a friend.
• I resolve to make a new friend. Does anyone really have too many friends? Oh, yeah? What about on moving day? Again, being connected is the goal. Plus, if I make a new friend, he or she may well introduce me to even more people, and before you know it, I’m connected to the community every which way. Can you beat it?
• I resolve to overtip. Really, doesn’t it feel good?
• I resolve to be active politically. It’s about time, don’t you think? Seven years ago, I’d say to people that I couldn’t tell the difference between the major parties, because I saw them as all supporting many of the same things: uncontrolled global trade, military growth, big media, big agriculture, big everything. Well, after seven years of “W,” I don’t think I have any trouble telling the difference. I mean, I never could have imagined any President could screw things up this bad. Time to do something about it. I don’t have to work for a particular candidate. I could help GLBT political groups like the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Minnesota AIDS Project, whomever. Lick envelopes. Go door to door. Make phone calls. Write a check. Do something, before we run off and invade Canada. It’s hard to be apathetic, considering one of the leading Republican candidates thinks people with HIV should be rounded up and quarantined.
• I resolve to play safe. Who’s with me?
• I resolve to work for the GLBT community, not against it. I no longer will put up with homophobia without saying something. I will not tear down people who are working hard for the community, even if I would have done it differently. I will be out to everyone who knows me. I will not spend more time bitching than doing. I will support GLBT businesses. I will buy my books from Amazon—I mean the 37-year-old local feminist bookstore, not the dot.com.
There you have it: my resolutions for 2008. Do you have GLBT resolutions you’d like to make? E-mail them to me, and I’ll post them at www.forwhomthebilltolls.org. Maybe I’ll make them part of a future column.
Happy New Year!
Questions? Comments? Want to read past columns? Visit www.forwhomthebilltolls.org.