There are certain things that warrant a flag of truce, and this is one of them.
Because of the efforts of such groups as the Komen Foundation, awareness of breast cancer -- as well as the amount of resources directed towards preventing and fighting it -- has skyrocketed in recent years. While breast cancer still ends the life of far too many women, early detection and better treatments have significantly increased the number of survivors.
Unfortunately, for the glbt community, the problem extends beyond our moms, sisters, daughters, and other relatives. Because of various risk factors, lesbians are twice to three times more likely to develop breast cancer than straight women -- and less likely to have it detected quickly.
Fortunately, several resources have sprouted, such as the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund here in San Francisco, who, with support from organizations like the Komen Foundation, work to educate lesbians on risks and self-examinations, as well as to provide support and assistance for those battling the disease.
Most students of gay history will tell you that one of the pillars that kept our community from collapsing during the AIDS epidemic was the support and help of our lesbian sisters. They worked tirelessly to care for the sick, raise money for treatments, and speak eloquently in the public square -- all despite the fact that they were one of the groups least affected. Their actions gave us hope and help when we needed it the most.
Now it's our chance to show our gratitude.
Please consider donating to the Komen Foundation, the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, or your local organization.
And if one doesn't exist.....make one. Both the BCEF and the Komen Foundation will be happy to lend you expertise and a helping hand.