Birder's Guide

MAY 2016

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 47 of 59

46 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2016 ivil rights and social acceptance do not arrive, with a Hollywood fourish, all at once. Many small steps are needed for a society to overcome its prejudices. One of the crucial lessons of the liberation movements in the latter half of the 20th century was the need for members of any oppressed group to talk to each other in order to overcome the si- lences that had defned their social status. After being reviled, persecuted, and condemned for so long by church, state, and medicine, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people especially felt this need to share and compare our experiences. In the late 1990s, as an out lesbian, I felt the cross-currents of both fear and acceptance. There were political and religious movements seeking to castigate us, but there were also signs of progress. Yet, in 1998, in the heart of San Francisco, there was a hate-flled, violent assault against a gay man on my street, just four doors from my house. The general birding community, with high levels of education and scientifc literacy, was not the center of homophobia in North America. But there were homophobes out there; I'll never forget the birder in Arizona sporting a hat with the logo of an anti-LGBT rights organization who promised me he "wouldn't hold it against me" that I hailed from San Francisco! The last place that I wanted to fnd out that someone didn't approve of my way of loving and living was one mile into a C n Watching Yellow-winged Tanagers and digiscoping a Brassia orchid in the montane rainforest of El Ocote, Chiapas, during the 2015 GBNA meeting in Mexico.. Photo © Don Kienholz Genesis: How the Gay Birders of North America Came to Be

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