Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Resquiescat in Pace, Dr Betty Berzon & Coretta Scott King

I'd no sooner read that Dr. Betty Berzon had died on Jan. 27 than I heard on the radio that Coretta Scott King died last night in her sleep.

No listing of their achievements is necessary here. The impact they each have had on the lives on millions can not be described, much less contained here.

Dr. Berzon, through her tireless work on behalf of gays and lesbians in psychology in general and her dedication to LGBT youth in particular will never be equaled. She was a pioneer, an activist, an educator, a leader, a survivor and veteran who challenged those who would harm us; she not merely supported the community but created many of the organizations and devised the strategies to strengthen us and combat homophobia. I have witnessed her take on homophobes and gays wracked with their own self-hatred who offered support and comfort to our enemies and bring them down; discount, debunk and disprove the notion that gays and lesbians are any less human beings with worth and talents to benefit all humankind. She provided real avenues for gays and lesbians t heal, to love and to grow. Not only did she assemble the curricula for us to learn how to lead our lives, when none existed she created the essential texts and guides for us to utilize.

Mrs. King moreso than any other woman in my lifetime, personified justice and dedication to ideals and perseverance in the face of very real danger and adversity. She was dignity; leading by example that taught us courage with unwavering commitment. As she lived, so should we live; as she continued even through her --and our-- unspeakable grief and shock, so should we continue. Her commitment was a model for us to follow just as our struggles she took on as part and parcel of her own.

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