LGBT politics in Wine Country
As our LGBT population continues to grow in Sonoma and we gain visibility within our community I have seen a rise in groups such as EQCA (Equality California) and HRC (Human Rights Campaign) making moves into Wine Country. Both these organizations, that have been vital in fighting for LGBT rights not only here in California but across the nation, have seen the vitality of our community and are looking to tap into it’s resources to gain awareness and funding.
Just a few weeks ago there was a weekend of events sponsored by EQCA. A concert at a private home on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the hills of Calistoga followed by a pool party at the ultra-hip boutique hotel, Bardessono, in Yountville. This will be followed by an HRC event at a private home here in Sonoma to assist in promoting their upcoming fundraising event in San Francisco.
I love seeing our community gather at social mixers such as Sonoma GayDar, but it is equally vital that our LGBT community be a part of what is going on in our country. As I have been saying for a while now, the LGBT community is on the cusp of more and more equality, but we know that the struggle, and boy is it an exhaustive struggle at times, must continue.
It is great that these organizations see that the people who live up here in Wine Country need to be counted on as well. Support is needed in every part of our country if we are going to continue to move forward.
It is invigorating to see that people here are caring about these issues and want to get involved. Where once the home in Wine Country was a place to “get away” from the politics of the city we see that no matter where we live we must get involved. Strength in numbers and more than ever we need to show that solidarity.
Gary Saperstein is a transplanted New Yorker, living and thriving in Wine Country. Working in the restaurant business and focusing on hospitality for most of his “so called” adult life he has now started “Out In The Vineyard,” a Wine Country Tour and Event company marketing the LGBT community. It is his goal to make Wine Country a destination for his community with a chance of getting a date along the way.