Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Struggle of Being LGBT

Recently I had two experiences that disturbed me. The first was shopping in a store and seeing a child dancing about and his mother grabbed him and scolded him, to not act gay. In that moment I prayed he was not, because what a house to grow up in.

The second event was a friend telling me he could not support gay marriage. If it had been anyone else I probably would have dismissed it as their right to their beliefs but this was a friend that knew a good deal of my story in life. The more I sat and thought about it the more I felt rejected. I realized maybe I had insulated him from the realities of my situation.

I wanted to find some links to try and cover this issue that I am sure others have gone through but no one covered all the implications. So today you get a rare post from me. I will be the link to cover this.

To all the heterosexual people out there who do not understand what its like to be gay I implore you to listen. We are Human, we feel, and do things much as you do in life. When you define us by a sexual act you do insult us. We are more than that and deserve respect and dignity.

I'm not sure many people truly understand the struggle that is our lives. When you grow up in a society that has an unclear definition of your being it can make life so hard to figure yourself out. If we toss in the hate speech and condemnation it makes our early journey of self discovery very painful.

Those words may be in your vocabulary and you do not realize it. "That's so gay", "Don't be a fag", and "Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" are some examples. Would you go up to a black man and use the N word? Would you approach a woman in a supermarket and tell her to go home because women should be barefoot and pregnant, in the kitchen? It's the same thing. Hate is hate.

I respect your right to disagree, hold different views and values, but in the process you have lost sight of something so important. That is the fact I am Human, I am a citizen, and I am being oppressed. Yes oppressed is the correct term. I know it may be hard to see but it is true.

Being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender carries many issues in our society. Do you realize in most parts of our nation I can be evicted from an apartment for my very nature? I can be fired for the same thing. If I fall in love I can not marry. I can not receive benefits or any financial protections for myself or my partner. I can not adopt or if I do I am under scrutiny others do not have. I must always be aware of my surroundings because I never know who will be the one to carry hate into violence against me.

It's so hard to try and relay a life's worth of events to you in words but I shall try. Maybe you will see some of my perspective.

I can remember being a young child and hearing all the adults discourage me from doing anything that did not fit their view of being a boy. It was routine to hear don't be girly or don't do that. Can you imagine constantly hearing who you are is wrong? Do you know the self doubt that instills? If your a parent with a child that does not meet your views of their sex, please stop that. You hurt them and their development.

A child is going to be what they will be no matter what. You forcing a view upon them will only hurt and repress them in an unhealthy way. Worry about teaching your kids structure, values, and love. You are their examples in life. Do you really want them to grow up knowing hate and the feeling of being unloved?

Hate...I now it so well. I was with a friend one time, with a bunch of his friends. One of these people began spewing forth such hate and disgust for anything gay that he worked himself to a frenzy. Taking a bat and repeatedly hitting a tree as if to kill he continued his rage. Can you imagine the silent fear I had? Praying that you are acting straight enough?  Will he turn that rage upon me? Not being out yet I was spared possible injury that day, luckily.


Where does this hate and violence come from? When is it acceptable to hurt or kill?

I hear many cite religious text for their justification. Being a person of faith myself I have to ask are we reading the same book? If so can you please point out where it is acceptable to commit such horrible actions? More importantly are you casting judgements reserved to God alone? It is easy to fall into the trap of listening to others make misinterpretations and to quote lines out of their context. Please read and discover the message yourself. You might be surprised how it may differ from how many define it.

Gay marriage and all the rights associated with it. Many people disagree with this and that is fine. We should all have our beliefs in life and hold true to them. Where it is unacceptable is denying me and others our rights. It's not a redefinition of marriage or even a thing to be voted on. It is a fundamental civil right.

If you are a church, synagogue, mosque or temple and you choose not to perform such marriages that is your right under freedom of religion. If you are an officiant and you conscientiously object to performing such marriages that to is your right. It is not your right to deny me mine.

Is it so wrong for two people who are in love to want to marry? Is it wrong for them to want to have children? When did it become acceptable to discourage the creation of families and family values?

In a nation where 'all men are created equal', 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' are expressed, and 'We the people' are given our rights it is disturbing that we must constantly deny someone those very rights.

If we were to look at our history and how the majority wanted to keep things in this nation it would be a very different place. Asians would be driven to live in underground cities relegated to menial labor. Blacks would still be enslaved. Women would not have the right to vote. Catholics, Mormons, Jews would be forced into ghettos or driven to rural areas because you were not Protestant.

So I ask you all why do you think so lightly of denying me of my rights? Why is it acceptable to believe you have the right to do so? To all those who have been through this in history why are you oppressing me now? Have you not learned that lesson yourself?

Maybe I have failed, so far, to impact you so let me tell you of what this dangerous attitude has wrought.

Ryan White, the first major public reaction to a child with AIDS. It didn't matter if he was gay or not AIDS was considered a gay disease. The fear, hate, and discrimination unleashed upon him was horrific. When only after international outrage you begin to change is very sad.

Matthew Sheppard a young man beaten so brutally and left naked tied to a fence in the middle of no where to die simply for being gay.

Children bullied so intensely and so long they believe suicide is their only option. So many have done so recently and those are only the ones you hear of. There are many more if you search.

A transgender woman denied care at a hospital and called 'it' simply for being.

A street gang brutally beats and sodomizes gay men because of who they are.

Gay families forced to fight for their rights to have children even though they are good stable homes. Yet abusers and neglected kids are ignored. 

The military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. Did you know when the courts suspended it there was not a single issue arise. No lack of unit cohesion or disturbance. The defence department's own survey found most soldiers don't care and don't find an issue with it. Most of our allies have openly gay soldiers. We all ready work with them. So why is it being so strongly fought if its not an issue?

These are just a select few of the issues out there. Consider what I have said and please realize the path we walk. Because when you begin that path and legislation permitting discrimination you can quickly turn into a Uganda where gays are listed in newspapers for execution. You are rounded up and arrested. Or worse yet you take Nazi Germany's path and send us to concentration camps and mass graves.

It's not about religion, it's not about you being forced to agree with something you don't. It's about democracy and fundamental rights for all. Be careful the minority you seek to limit for we all fall into some minority and who knows when someone will come to judge you.

Please end the hate and realize we are all Human. We all deserve dignity, respect, and equality.


Love is Never Wrong

2 comments:

  1. T, I am a gay man and you speak for me too. Your post is not spoken from hatred toward those who do not understand we are just as human as anyone else. The sensitivity with which you speak to our heterosexual sisters and brothers will touch the hearts of some, but not enough. The examples from your own life and the lives of other members of our community are very powerful. If I may, I will share you plea with str8 friends and acquaintances. Every one who speaks out the way you have must be thanked and honored for helping to remind all that we are human too.

    Perhaps it is because I have loved another man and know how deep, creative, fulfilling and sustaining our love be, that it boggles my mind to realize how few heteros can even entertain the possibility that we too are capable of romantic, passionate, committed love.

    I cry and get angry every time we hear of a new Matt Shephard or Tyler Clamenti. I feel sorrow for the the LBGT persons who feel so forlorn that they are driven to suicide. I feel empathy for the parents who lose their children and, in a sense for those of us who have lost another one of our own.

    But there can be sadness to for the perpetrators of such violence and a society which tolerates such hatred and for those parents who allow or teach their children to hate out of fear.

    Yes, T, you understand. Hopefully your words will be heard by many more and that some will be moved to have a change of heart and take action to a society in which "the other is tolerated then accepted as fully human and full citizens. Sebastian

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  2. Sebastian thank you for adding your voice.

    We must sing our song of sorrow to live and hope for the day we sing in joy.

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