If We Play Our Cards Right
We will surely win our fight for Equality!
There was a song by country singer Kenny Rogers called "The Gambler" and some of the lyrics went like this:
"You've got to know when to Hold 'em, know when to Fold 'em, know when to Walk Away, know when to Run..."
The son of Civil Rights activist Mrs. Delilah O. Langlois, who fought alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to organize the "Poor People's Campaign March" in 1968, used these lyrics to describe his late mothers style of advocating. And I thought hey, that sounds like great advice for the LGBT community as well as we continue our fight for equality throughout the world.
So let's analyze each part of these lyrics here. The first part says, "You’ve got to know when to Hold 'em." Well, in cards if you've been dealt a good hand you'll want to "Hold" your cards and take the chance you'll win. I think when it comes to being true to yourself, with your sexuality or gender identity it is extremely important to "Hold 'em" meaning "Hold On" to your beliefs and stand firm. No matter how hard it is, never give up your own feelings and fight for your happiness and true identity. We should also "Hold 'em" in our Political fight for our equality and not accept any forms of discrimination whatsoever.
The next part says "know when to Fold 'em." Which means to surrender your bad hand and bow out of that game. So when should we LGBT's ever "Fold 'em" or bow out? In advocating for gay rights there are times when you may have hit a wall with certain political organizations--or even with your personal friends or family members and you may have to TEMPORARILY 'Fold' your hand, (meaning your argument for your sexuality, human rights etc.) but never 'Fold' your beliefs! Then come back at a later time to try your hand again when things have settled down a bit.
Unfortunately, some people, places or organization may NEVER evolve or accept who you truly are. This may be the point when you must "WALK AWAY" for your own personal happiness. It's the hardest thing to do in the world--but you are DESERVING of happiness and YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS just as everyone else--and you must never, ever give up that fight.
And last--but certainly not least-- when do we gays "Run"? Well, you run for your life and safety. You run when you live in countries that look to hurt, abuse, incarcerate--or even kill you if you are LGBT. You run even if you are in a dangerous relationship, home environment--or heated confrontation by a bigot or religious fanatic. Yes, you run both physically and emotionally to a welcoming LGBT society--or perhaps to a trusted friend, family member, an Anonymous Help Line or to the police if necessary (only in gay friendly governments of course.) You must run somewhere you feel safe and protected. Most civilized countries have crisis centers or LGBT Anonymous safe havens, hotlines or organizations listed through social media--use them!
So, my fellow sisters and brothers always remember to—
“Know when to Hold 'em, know when to Fold 'em, know when to Walk Away, know when to Run..."
*We in the LGBT community hold all the cards in our hands, and if we play them right we will surely win our fight for Full Equality throughout the world--along with a little Patience and Perseverance--and sometimes some good, old fashioned Cowboi/Girl Grit!