By Hillman Minx

It was early on the morning of that fateful day, September the 11th. I was still in bed when my partner came in and said, "Quick, come to the TV." I got there just in time to see flames pouring out of one of New York's magnificent Trade Center Towers, and while I watched in horror, another plane appeared and crashed into the other Tower.

What a horrible incident to behold. Who could have conceived such a plot? It couldn't have been an accident I assured myself. Suddenly the realization that it was a deliberate act, or series of acts that forever changed the skyline of New York became clear. The pain, sorrow and fear it engendered was to be felt by all Americans. I believe its repercussions will last longer than one could anticipate.

Details began to surface. It appeared that it was a carefully planned and executed act of a band of terrorists. The finger of suspicion pointed to the world's foremost terrorist, Osama bin Laden. Immediately the wheels of enquiry began to churn. Eventually it led to the launching of what would well be a protracted and well orchestrated war, in which many nations and individuals would take part!

As I ruminated on these horrific days and events I began to realize that on a different front and smaller scale the gays of the world were the victims of their own brand of terrorism. In Afghanistan they publicly executed suspected gays. Then there were those groups of people who exhibited the same kind of hatred against gays that the terrorists had for the United States. Even some supposed followers of Christ expressed their prejudices. They manifested their hatred in many different ways. Then there was the Baptist preacher who vehemently denounced gays and attributed AIDS as God's judgment on homosexuals. From such blatant proclamations to more subtle exhibitions, the majority seemed to express disdain, even pronounce God's judgment on us who dared to be different.

Carefully closeted, most gays and lesbians go about their duties to society, but band together after fulfillment of those obligations, for mutual solace. The bars and even gay churches offer fellowship that is otherwise denied them. Dear reader, I'm sure that you are familiar with these pronouncements. There is no need to rehearse them here and now.

There is one thing that we can do though, we can band together in a unity of purpose, one for the other until such a time comes that our lifestyle is accepted, and accepted it will eventually be. A united front is our salvation. An active refusal to accept the second-class citizenship that we are often accorded is a means by which we can endure our present varying degrees of hardship.

I am reminded of a certain discredited LA citizen who opined, "Can't we all get along?" It must be our objective and our goal too.

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