Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Which Way did They Go Post

Just before we kick out our latest post, COP 24/7 needed to do a few housekeeping notes for our readers. This forum has been an open source as a "digital town square" for Arkansas' LGBTQI community as well as our reach beyond our boarders.

Since our inception there didn't seem a need for too many rules and regulations. But as time and technology moved on I needed to remind readers that I encourage acknowledge comments and or observations.

Usually as soon as these are posted, I move to moderate the comment usually without editing. I do reserve the right to determine if anything is totally out of bounds of either maliciousness or just basic taste. I have encouraged content contributions and continue to do so. If you are interested by all means share your concept, idea, or pitch as to what you would like to develop or share. This platform has a wide berth of acceptable topics and or issues. And last but not least, in this digital format, sometimes we experience hiccups that cause our content not to load correctly or at times depending on post schedule may require re-posting due to updates or otherwise. Thanks for stopping by, checking in, subscribing or carrying us with you on your mobile device. Come follow the leader with news, links, and more of what's really going on!

MLK Equality Conundrum

Yesterday's MLK Day of Service consisted of a host of programming, clean up opportunities, assorted faith based events and  the long running "Marade" sponsored by the King Commission. I've attended the "march/parade" several times in the past although never participated in the actual event due to scheduling or other conflicts. However, this year I was broadsided by an individual whom had close ties to the event who chatted me up as to his confusion and perplexed attitude to the response he received in an effort to assist organizers to further reach out to the LGBTQ community for participants.

According to his account, he attempted to inform his local contacts as to the opportunity to participate in the event, but found that only a marriage equality entity affirmed interest. He went on to state that he was given what he felt were excuses as to "not being prepared," or not having the right "banner" and other lackluster responses. "I couldn't believe what I was hearing," he said. Continuing, "what are we exactly trying to do as far as equality if we don't be visible when asked for. We can't ask to allies to support us if we don't support them." 

As I listened to his concern, this did strike a chord with me. I recalled seeing CAR's youth group last year, however, he was exactly right that the LGBTQ's lacking response and or readiness to step up when the time calls for it has been a missing link. Certainly I appreciated last year's 1st ever pride parade effort which was spearheaded by a determined group of individuals whom proved that anything is really possible. With that thought I began to assess that I don't think the local LGBTQ community really realizes to what extent the various opportunities exist to either participate or create programming within the LGBTQ community or otherwise.

I can attest that as I worked last year with the Our Diversity pride group, I did not encounter any resistance for city officials or vendors to assist with that event. If equality is what we seek then it should not be limited to Topic A or hot button B issue of the moment, but rather that equality should include answering the call for on-air interviews, letters to the Editor, call to actions, and any number of events that should embrace being seen front and center with allies or supporters that we call upon. So you want equality? Then understand what the price of that demand consist of and be prepared to step up to be OUT and Proud about it. Think about it....

Affordable Care Act Enrollment Rolls ON

In case you have forgotten or procrastinated, the Affordable Care Act open enrollment is still going on across the city. Just as a reminder, this new law requires that each citizen obtain or retain www.healthcare.gov,  or 1-800-318-2596.

Even more eye opening is the fact that the LGBTQ community has a direct resource available from licensed IPA guides at The Living Affected Corporation that can meet with you for enrollment assistance either in their offices at 401 North Maple Street in North Little Rock or by appointment for mobile locations.

If you need information you can make that connection at 501.349.7777 or 501.379-8203. They are here to openly assist you with your questions, concerns, updates and challenges. Do it today, there are 70 days left in the open enrollment period!

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