There has been a great deal of applause for the “Dreamers.” These are truly remarkable young Americans who are speaking up. The debate as to whether or not they are American is what’s at stake, because by law, they are undocumented immigrants. These young Americans who could face deportation, loose everything they have built in America — their home, but that means nothing to them. They are American, and they are speaking up. It’s about damn time. These Dreamers are American’s who are talking about why it is vital that the United States pass the Dream Act. Instead of hiding who they are, they are putting a face to the issue.
Not that long ago, the gay community figured out that in order to pass any sort of legislation we had to put a face to the issue. We figured this out and that’s how things like the Matthew Shepard Hate crimes legislation was passed, things like gay marriage right here in New York. We put a face to the very issue that is vital to the movement that needs many more faces.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are,” Harvey Milk said as he ran for office, attempting to become the first openly gay person elected, ever. And his community responded by coming out and he was elected.
Coming-out as someone who is not legally in the United States carries its risks but for some the risks are greatly out weighed by the benefits. People like ASU’s former valedictorian Angelica Hernandez are exactly what the Dreamers need.
In America where diversity should – and often has been, celebrated, it should be not only allowed but demanded. We all should be who we were born to be. Instead of coming out wherever we are, I challenge you to not only come out wherever you are, but whoever you are.