Skip to main content

Jones
Cleve Jones marching at the National Equality March in Washington D.C., October 2009 (Gil Goldstein)
Lifelong LGBT, HIV and labor activist Cleve Jones has been selected by the administration as the recipient of the Champions of Change award. He will be traveling to the White House tomorrow to receive the honor.

Jones may be most familiar to America from the feature film, Milk where he was portrayed by Emile Hirsch, as Harvey Milk's tireless deputy. He was also the driving force behind the moving AIDS quilt. It would be impossible to do justice to the breadth of Jone's work not only for the LGBT community, but also on behalf of HIV, and labor.

My initial reaction was twofold:

1. Terrific! Jones well deserves to be honored.

2. This could get interesting.

Part two is because Cleve is both an icon and an iconoclast. He has in the past said, Proposition 8 was the best thing to happen to the gay community. He also recently took the LGBT community to task for relying too much on corporate dollars. I, personally, mostly disagree with his essay, but appreciate his perspective.

This honor comes so close on the President's decision to pass on signing an executive order of non-discrimination for federal contractors, a decision that was met with near universal disdain in the LGBT community, as well as on the editorial pages across the country like New York Times, and the Washington Post. It seemed to me this was practically goading Jones to exploit the opportunity to press further on the issue of LGBT employment discrimination as other activists have vowed to do.

And I was right. Seems he's teamed up with GetEqual to focus the media attention, not so much on his honor, but on the problems that still lay ahead to be addressed.

This week, Cleve Jones -- a legend in LGBT organizing -- is meeting with the President during a "Champions of Change" event at the White House. Cleve wants to carry the stories of workplace discrimination with him to the White House -- and he's looking for your help.

If you've experienced discrimination in the workplace -- in hiring, in firing, being passed over for promotions, being harassed -- we invite you to share your story here. You can be sure that your story will remain anonymous. And if you have friends or family members who have experienced workplace discrimination and would like to share their story with President Obama, please feel free to forward this page to them.

LGBT employment discrimination does appear to be, at times, a victimless crime. We do not hear the stories as often as you'd think given the statistics. But it is common for many victims of hostile work environments to try to move on quickly with the lives, and try to put the chapter behind them. It may be necessary, both emotionally and financially to do so.

As such, it's great to hear GetEqual organizers say they already have already amassed 70 stories, some unfortunately described as "really heartbreaking."

It'd be great to collect more, so you can tell your story here, or encourage people you know to do the same, and Cleve Jones will be delivering these stories to the White House on behalf of people everywhere who value fair employment practices.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site