Letter: Voting, not virtue signaling, is best

As an independent voter, I wish the debates around “woke” between Democrats and Republicans would just go away.

I wish too the debates around who should fly Pride flags in our community would disappear also. But unfortunately, the bigoted discourse from Republicans around LGBTQ, and our complacency with it, leads to real consequences, as across the country anti-LGBTQ laws are being passed with alarming speed.

It’s the same way that people who didn’t vote or voted third party because they disliked Hillary led to a far-right president (Trump) which led to a far-right Supreme Court that stripped fundamental rights away from women last year.

Our votes, or not voting, have real consequences for people we know and love, and this Pride Month, action, not words, are most important. It isn’t possible to go to every single march or event spiriting human rights when we’ve all got to put food on the table or raise our kids.

It’s exhausting to maintain a constant attitude of outrage that activists slipping into our email inboxes think we can miraculously manage too.

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But we all should do the minimum, which is voting for politicians that support, not strip away, the rights of women and LGBTQ citizens, and that means (currently) not voting for the majority of Republican candidates at state and national levels.

LGBTQ citizens deserve the rights and protections I enjoy as a cisgender, white, straight guy. It’s fundamentally American to support freedom for all, and currently, one political party is against this: the Republicans.

If Pride in the Park isn’t your thing, no problem. It isn’t mine: as an introvert, I’m rarely lured out of my solitude. So instead of marching, or sharing a virtue signaling posts on social media, do the impactful thing: vote for candidates who support LGBTQ rights.

Benji Gadberry
West Vail

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