So all over the news lately is the battle over can LGBT people use the restroom they identify with. Specifically it targets those who are transgender. The need to use a restroom is a fundamental thing all people must do. To eliminate them from public facilities is quite unfair.
So let's look at the argument against. The main thing I am hearing is the fear women and children will be hurt by people dressing up as women. Can this happen? Yes it can. The problem is I see no one fighting to limit other problems. In recent news a man forced a 9 year old into a restroom and began kissing her. A priest took pictures of children and women using a restroom.... And these happened in non integrated places.
There are dangerous people in the world. I can understand caution but I can also realize you can not hold all people accountable for the action of one or a few. As of me writing this there have not been any instances of transgender people abusing another person in a bathroom of their identity.
So we are back to is limiting transgender people the right response? No, it is not. If you are so concerned about assaults, rapes, or abductions why not stiffen penalties for those who commit them? Preventing those who do no harm form using a restroom, a basic Human need, is not right.
If we look at pictures transgender people have published you can see a woman walking into a men's restroom or vice versa to coincide with their birth identity is just foolish. You make everyone feel threatened and place people in danger of being hurt.
So now we have a situation where you claim to be protecting people but are hurting others by decree. That's not a good law or policy. That is merely fear and misunderstanding. I understand some of us out there don't know what to do and they fear what might occur. However we must learn to accept difference and extend trust. If we can not do that then fear will always be our guide and that only causes pain.
What I do see developing is reactionary movements instead of discussion and understanding. A man just in the last day dressed up in a wig and skirt and paraded in and out of a women's restroom to prove a point and he bragged about it. He claimed he was warning people of danger.
What did he accomplish? He made customers fearful for their safety, not from being preyed upon but from a man in a costume who did not identify as female using a restroom. He did so and bragged about it nationally. Now with attention I'm sure one of two things will happen.
The real people with mental disorders will try to copy the act and some may get hurt. The other possibility is a zealot with a martyr mentality will attempt to prove a point to have validation for their cause. Both of these happen when issues of this sensitivity occur. Congratulations or creating a new problem.
Hurting some to protect others is not right or a good balance. Giving ideas to those who truly can cause harm is even worse. Acting in fear and stirring more fear up is never right. So what are our options?
I think first we need to agree all people should be able to use the restroom. If you are transgender you should use the bathroom you identify with. Should their be tougher laws to protect those who use restrooms? Yes. By all means create new laws to protect children, women, elderly and whoever is hurt in a restroom. These are places where we are all vulnerable in.
However laws should punish the crime and protect those who can not protect themselves. They should never block those who have never done anything wrong. And I think that is the point. Guilty until proven innocent and guilty by definition are not good laws or policies.
Think about your actions. Learn what you do not know. Hear what all sides have to say. And reach out in love and understanding to all involved. In all things be firm and fair. Allow justice to reign when there has been a crime. Be vigilant to those who truly cause harm. Trust people and give them a chance.
So whats my simple solution? Maybe the people you are trying to protect others from are those who have proven to hurt others, not those who have not. Be honest, humble, and willing to listen and learn. We are all Human. Treat all people as Humans.
Being LGBT we face so many things that cause us pain in life. Trying to figure yourself out in a world that has little to no definition of you is hard. Add in misunderstanding and hate it gets worse. Top that with those who for whatever reason dismiss your pain and life can be down right miserable.
I have known a lot of pain in my time. More pain has visited my soul than any person should have to bear. To me the most hurtful pains are those misguided people who try to force you to be something you are not and can never be and of course those who dismiss your pain.
If you are out there and don't understand then let me try and give you a glimpse of my perspective.
It hurts to be peacefully sitting in a doctors office waiting your turn and you have to hear someone make a gay joke. It hurts when people stare at you because your not quite masculine enough and they are judging you. It hurts when career options are eliminated because your not what they want.
It hurts knowing you have to censor yourself just to be safe, to be safe from being murdered and hung from a fence in the middle of no where. It hurts when your doctor is not LGBT friendly and you can not share all the details that may pertain to you. It hurts knowing at any time you can be evicted from your apartment, fired from your job, or denied service for simply existing.
It hurts when people you love say things that undermine your very existence. It hurts that simple expressions of love are as dangerous as committing a robbery. It hurts when people who are leaders want to arrest, imprison, and murder you. It hurts when men of God forsake love for hate. It hurts...
For all of you out there who still don't get it I only want love. I don't care if you don't understand, I don't care if you don't agree, and I don't care if you find it odd. I do care how you treat me.
All people in this world deserve equal treatment, respect, and love. All people hurt but people should not hurt for simply existing. I am me! I am love! I hurt!
Part of me wants to say shame! The other says there has been enough pain. Let's just love each other as fellow souls on this earth. If you don't want to be part of my life then don't be. But, it is my life and I am entitled to live it as I am and as I choose.
There is enough pain in life as it is. Stop the hurt! Love!
Alright I think we need to talk about the role of being LGBT in spiritual terms. It seems to be the issue that sticks with so many conservatives now days. The issue they have is they say we are condemned by God. I contest no we are not.
First of all let's talk about our existence. We do exist and that possibility means by default God planned for us. Now some would say God created evil to but you don't have to choose it. Ah but there we go, the big one. Sex, sexuality, and gender identity are not choices.
Now before we go down the path of the ex-gay argument let's be clear. People can choose to experiment in life to find who they are due to many reasons. Maybe they simply don't know and make a mistake. This does not mean all people are like that.
So we are back to God planned for us. This means we have both a purpose and a place. We love! Many of us worship. We fight for justice and not just ours. We honor family and friends, sometimes beyond what is reasonable. I don't know about you but that sounds like a path to the divine.
For those of you who like the God makes no mistakes defence. God created us and planned for us. Are you saying he made a mistake?
About those places in whatever religious text that say this or that. Did you bother to read the whole story? Do you understand different laws were given at different times to preserve the faithful. You do realize everyone has a path and everyones path is different. There maybe certain truths but how, when, and where you get there varies.
The certain truths in life are we all have free will, we all have a soul, regardless of birth we all have a path to the divine, and we are all loved. Yes back to love. That one word that means so much but so many forsake. If you don't know love you can't achieve anything beyond a Hell of your own design.
I'm LGBT I have a soul. God planned for me and has a place for me. God loves me. God gave me free will. With this free will I am now speaking to you all. Here is what I have to say.
Put down that stone for you are not without sin. Only he who is without sin can judge. No man or woman who walks this earth is without sin. It is the nature of the world.
God has not made a mistake. He knows every possibility. Mistakes are the fault of man. Just a few...
God we are lonely. God created woman. Woman was not a mistake but now man has to deal with duality. Masculine and feminine.
We were given paradise and asked simply to not eat the fruit from two trees. Yet we did and were cast into a world to ever work for things.
God we need a leader. His reply I am your leader. No God, on the Earth. So we got a king. We asked for and got a system that would never be perfect.
Are you seeing the issue yet? In love God gave us what we needed and desired. He did so with love. He did so knowing we were making our own paths harder. Maybe it's time to stop clinging to people and words in a book and start living and embracing love.
From love all things spring. From hate all things disappear. Think about that. Do you really wish for your world to grow smaller, darker, or colder? Or do you wish your world to grow larger, brighter, and warmer?
Quite simply no matter what a book says, a person says, or a thing seems odd you do not have any right to harm it. That includes yourself.
Have you heard the old phrase you are perfect as you are? God made you the way you are. Yes people can and will hurt you in life. You may get confused or not understand but it will pass. Your path is your own.
As a fellow person on this grand journey may I suggest you worry more about your journey than your destination. Why you may ask? Because your journey determines your destination. If your not paying attention you may very well miss all the wonderful things that have been placed in your life and all the wonderful clues how to get where you want to go.
Go where you will. But know your choices determine your outcome. Others may not like who you are, how you look, or how you express yourself. But that does not matter. What matters is in you. The first step in understanding that is being honest in who you are.
Back to the LGBT soul. We are, always have been, and always shall be children of God. We are loved, planned for, and thus intended. Who are you to come between God and his will? Who are you to say God made a mistake? And as such being created with divine power and spirit who are you to blaspheme the spirit of God?
Love! No one said you have to understand, agree, or like all things or people but you should love. For it is the only path. Anything else is an illusion.
Every one of us at some point has been judged by another or we have judged others. But how many of us actually examine how we judge people? Some of us judge by looks, actions, even words. But are all of those true representations of people?
I know in my own life people have mistaken my words at times to be arrogant. However when I quizzed the person on it they felt as though I was talking down to them simply because my vocabulary was larger than theirs. That was not arrogance.
There have also been times when people judged me by my actions. I recall one time when someone saw me doing something that at surface value would look wrong. But they never asked why I was doing what I was.
Another time when I was not feeling well I went out with rather muted hair and baggy clothes and I clearly recall being stared at as if I were some wild person who popped out of a cave. Yet none asked me if I was alright.
If we add in the times I've heard blind comments on LGBT people and every other little nit pick wow what a life. Imagine that. People are quick to judge and they think they are right to do so. They think they know best.
You know this is sad thing. So many of us rush into judgement to remove people from our lives. We view them as unworthy, untrustworthy, and unlovable. How sad.
In my own time I to have succumb to such thoughts but I grew and overcame. I talked to people who didn't look good, dress well, or seemed odd. I said hello to those with different hairstyles, tattoo', and piercings. I sat down and talked to those who seemed to be isolated from others. I tried.
Do I still judge, yes. Do I try and overcome those bias and move forward anyway, yes. I think we all eliminate to many people in our lives simply based on observations that we don't know the motives or situations behind.
Life is full of people. Some don't look nice, feel good, have much money, or even understand how people are viewing them. Maybe we should take the difficult path and approach others outside our comfort zones and try finding out more. People are worth the time. People have value, even the bad ones. People need help.
I'm not proposing you put your safety at risk but the next time you see someone you would normally stray away from try finding out more about them before you instantly say no. Who knows you may find a new friend, love, or even save a life.
Have you ever had a trusty ladder you have used to climb on for many years? You use it for everything. Slowly over time however they wear down or are ignored. A rung may breakor a crack may form yet we still use it. We adjust our step or climb gingerly. Then one day after enough neglect we fall.
Each of us has a trusty ladder in our lives. The difference is ours is not not a physical object but an internal one. It allows us to climb from ledge to ledge, issue to issue. Our internal ladders are the very foundations one which we step. Each of those steps takes us higher and higher. If we are not diligent tenders our internal ladders will also break sending us crashing down.
Unlike the physical damage of a traditional ladder that which is inside us can be much more destructive. Flesh can heal and bones can mend. The mind and heart however take much more. Sometimes when our ladder gives way we fall such a distance that we hit with a force that shatters our lives. And like the story of Humpty Dumpty we to may not be able to be put back together.
Ideally as good tenders we would fix every broken rung, season its wood carefully, and repair every crack as they occur. However in life we get busy, distracted by pain, or just dread taking the time to fix something we may not understand or even know how to fix.
A good ladder is essential to help you climb to all the difficult places in life. Without it you are stuck in the same area all the time. You may miss things that can define your life or make it distinct and special.
I know what I propose is a difficult task at times. Sometimes our ladders are damaged not by us but abused by others. Regardless of cause rungs need replaced, cracks mended, and the aged wood seasoned to stay firm.
The ability to climb is a beautiful thing. It gives you views you would not otherwise see. It gives you opportunities to grow and expand beyond a certain point. Tend your ladders with care. If you don't know how or lack knowledge then find someone who can help you. Never be stuck on the ground or falling back to the earth due to a broken ladder.