Rosa Parks died today. She was 92.
As a white man, it may not seem that I would have much to thank her for. But her courage and defiance has had a significant effect on me in a very real and personal way. One, much of the gay rights movement has followed in the footsteps of the civil rights movement. If Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. hadn't blazed the way for Harvey Milk and Harry Hay, I may not have had the freedom to live openly as a gay man. Also, I have a number of people who are close to me who are black, not to mention Latino, Asian, etc. I've dated a number of black men. There was even a whole year where no one I dated was white. If not for the advances of the civil rights movement, I may not have been able to date people of other colors, even within a potentially closeted gay community.
Freedom for one is freedom for everyone. Thanks, Rosa, for my freedom. Rest in peace, you've earned it.