I assume that, like me, you have been following the news lately. It seems that the past two weeks have brought a slew of major tragedy and change. First there was the devastating earthquake in Haiti, then major civil unrest in central Nigeria. Closer to home, there was what turned into an upset senatorial election in Massachusetts.
Because I have friends who are Haitian-American, the earthquake has turned into something that is far from merely images of the screen. Likewise as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who had been stationed in West Africa, I have been following the tensions in Nigeria for years. Needless to say, as Massachusetts resident, I was deep into the special election that many across the United States had thought was a shoe-in for the Democrats.
What was not particularly on mind was being bisexual. In fact, over the past fourteen days, that part of my life has really taken a back seat because of issues that were more pressing as far as I was concerned.
Of course there are BLGT people in Haiti and Nigeria and the election results in Massachusetts are not what the BLGT community as whole is enthusiastic about. But the events in question affect everyone in whole societies. Yes, the BGLT community has special concerns that are often overlooked, but these events did not single it out in particular. Death and injury visited Haiti and Nigeria without concern for sexual orientation. Senator-elect Brown’s victory has people on both sides of the aisle asking, “What next for the country?”
Whether election, earthquake or civil unrest, these circumstances require collective reflection and collective action. It is the human dimension that matters most, not individuals or smaller groups. The question becomes how we can come together to improve conditions, rebuild and move forward. In the case of the election, there are implications for how lawmaking will go forward, but go forward it must.
For me, this has been a good time to see how I fit into the larger picture and how I can act to make things better beyond my own little world. I suggest that this is something that we bisexuals can do as well. There is work to be done that relates to us all. All Haitians need roofs over their heads and food to eat. All the Nigerians of Plateau State need peace and stability. All of us in the United States need to figure our how to move our nation forward.
Naturally, there will be a moment when we have to press forward on the bisexual community’s interests. There will also be work to do to support BGLT Haitians and Nigerians. However right now seems the moment to think about the whole and maybe we will keep the bigger picture in mind as we move forward.