Sunday, January 11, 2009

Take Back the Night (this Wednesday)

Throughout the past year, Yetta Kurland has become a friend and comrade. I met her at a gathering for the Stonewall Democrats of NYC. It was hard to miss Yetta, particularly in a roomful of gay men (we were the only two women there). My friend John (of LOHV-NYC) insisted we set up a brunch-date, and a week later, we were all sitting at Kate's Joint talking furiously about yerba matte, civil unions, and the future of the animal rights movement.

Yetta is a civil rights attorney here in Manhattan. Her office, which I recently visited when my partner and I were seeking out advice on which way is up in terms of legal protection for same-sex couples, is full of photographs and doo-dads from Yetta's activist career. There she is with Hilary Clinton, back when Hilary was president... There she is leading a rally of some sort, no doubt speaking up for the underdog once again. On her desk was a knitted scarf that a young client had just sent to her. The note attached said "It's nice to know someone believes in us and fights for us when nobody else does."

A few months ago, I co-led a workshop on the intersections between gay rights, women's rights, and animal rights. Yetta was a guest speaker, and somehow eloquently tied together the hate-crime murder of Sakia Gunn, Sarah Palin's atrocious anti-feminist, anti-gay, anti-compassion stance, and how in order to end oppression, we must all go vegan.

Lucky for NYC, Yetta is currently running for City Council ('09), and lucky for me, I'm in her district (3). Lucky for all of us, this Wednesday, January 14th, Yetta will be hosting a Take Back the Night event, a fund-(and fun!)-raiser for her campaign. It's going to be a fabulous time. Janeane Garofalo will be there, too--and I mean, do I have to go on?

So be there for Yetta on Wednesday. Even if you hadn't realized until now, she's been there for you.