Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! 

Those are the immortal words of the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.  I have always loved the Cowardly Lion, not for his cowardice, but because he not only is a true hero who finds his courage in the end, but also because he is the one character that I have always identified with the most, for his courage.  The Cowardly Lion has been on my mind lately for a few reasons.  It is the time of year that I always show The Wizard of Oz as a way to discuss the Populist Movement in American History. Also, having posted about gay icons during LGBT History Month, I have been reminded of the courage that so many LGBT people have had that help make our lives easier to live.  Furthermore, I was sent a link to the British docu-drama A Very British Sex Scandal (which I plan to write about in a future post).  The docu-drama is about the courage of Peter Wildeblood in helping to decriminalize homosexuality in Britain.

So this week, I want to focus on courage, and the courage that it takes to be a gay person, even in this day and age.  There are still places where homosexuality is still illegal, and in many parts of the United States, gay people are still discriminated against.  I hope that one day it will no longer be an issue and that people can and will be accepted for who they are, and not derided for “what” they are.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

6 responses to “Courage!

  • Mitch Block

    I love this post for its fun and its wisdom. And I will now be singing this song for the rest of the day.

  • Jack Scott

    Joe, I look forward to your blog this week on courage.I am fortunate as a bisexual man to have two very close gay friends. Each of these friends is out and partnered living openly as gay men. In Texas, that still does indeed take courage. But thee of the four people who make up the two couples were once married in a traditional heterosexual marriage and were unhappy through all of it.The true courage came when they decided it was in everyone's best interests to stop living the lie and come out.All four guy are very happy now, three of them for the first time in their lives, so courage does have its rewards.Thanks for exploring this important topic.Jack Scott

  • silvereagle

    Courage is expressed in so many different forms by different people. Some people do have the courage to challange the laws and the norms of society on the front page and on everyone's lips. Others have the courage to stand up, maybe somewhat silently, without the hoop-laa of the media, against injustice in its many forms. Others have the courage to make a small, but important difference in every day life of so many, perhaps without even knowing it. Yo, my firend, have the courage of the lion in writing and publishing your thoughts here every day! Thanks!!!

  • mrg

    Great post. I am going to have to watch it again!

  • tamayn

    This makes me think of a movie I saw a while back that was, I think, based on a sex scandal in England back in the 80s.I'll have to check this out some time. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • fan of casey

    Joe: Courage in the face of difficult situations is so timely a discussion topic. While I normally would keep the comment related to LGBT issues, what happened over the weekend with the Penn State pedophile case shows us that people often find themselves in circumstances where they must choose to do what's right or focus on their self interest. Unfortunately as the case plays out, many people with power and influence choose to look the other way than to muster the courage to do the right thing.

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