Friday, February 24, 2012

A Voice in the Heartland

I don't normally write much of my own struggles because so many have a much worse lot in life and we all need help at some point. My efforts here have been to try and help anyone who needs it where ever they may be. However, events here at home have me concerned at the blatant contempt and hate being expressed.

In an open letter Bil Browning of the Bilerico Project summed up many of the frustrations and pains many of us in my state feel and grow up with. I'll let you read his words before continuing.

Growing up in Indiana is a good life and its traditions and heritage as valuable as any. However, it is a different life if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered.  You learn to hide who you are, deflect questions, and feel a guilt laid upon you by an ignorant society.

Don't get me wrong we have some bastions of relative safety but in all honesty if you were to to say or do the wrong thing in the wrong place your very life could be at stake. It can be a pleasant society where all seems serene and tranquil, where nothing goes wrong but beneath its surface is a bitter brew that will unleash vile things.

In my own life I have seen much hatred and bigotry. I could list each event as if they were yesterday. I have seen a preacher destroy personal property because a person was perceived to be gay. I've seen a young man so isolated in a classroom that his tormentors taunt him with no reprisal from the teacher. I've seen the ones with bruises, scars, and blackened eyes so carefully diverted to the ground to hide, if not in shame, in pain.

In my life I have never committed a crime, I don't live in excess, I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I am not sexually promiscuous. I've never raised my fist in anger at anyone. I was a boy scout and went to church and still have my faith. My whole life I have helped others, done civic duties and volunteered. I am and have been a good citizen.

I know the call of "Is anybody out there to help?" I know the pain! You know what else I know?

I know they amend a Constitution because it was written to not discriminate against any group. I know when you seek to deny any person or group equal protections under the law you seek to do them harm. I know when you cloak yourself in words of not hating and then follow them up with words that seek to diminish me you deceive yourself as well as others. I know when you harass or berate a person simply for existing you seek to raise yourself above examination. I know when you present yourself as the savior of children you will hurt and bring about the deaths of many yourself. I know when you wrap yourself in the word of God you rarely practice it. I know...

I am a citizen. I am equal.

When the day comes and those that have committed hate realize they do not protect themselves or their beliefs but instead hurt the very people in their communities and lives I will forgive you because our lives should be about love more than hate. When those axes ground to their handle are lain down I will weep tears of joy to wash away the pools of blood.

To those who may never learn this lesson I will feel sorry for you because your life was consumed by hate and fear. You missed a life of love and surety of ones self.  My heart will lay heavy that the fire of hate consumed you.

Whether it be this state, this nation, or this world we struggle so hard. Over and over we have to relearn the universal truths. People are people, love is love, and all life is sacred. If you can not know this in your heart, realize its love that creates lasting change in the world, then maybe you should consider the actions you take in life because every one of us is Human and those words, actions, and choices affects another person.

All the words and motivations voiced are false illusions. The purity of truth is how will you treat the person before you?

Will your legacy be love or hate? It's that simple.

Love is Never Wrong

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Power of Compassion, The Power of Change

Recently there has been a study put forth that links those who discriminate with a low IQ, or lesser intelligence. I find this to be a morbid pill offered as an answer to peoples views. IQ tests are neat and scientific studies that work within the confines, or parameters, set by the observer. They do not measure passion, emotion, or even tradition. They do not measure Humanity.

Although people may generally score lower on such tests and hold the views in question, it is not a measure of themselves. One can not fault a person who has not learned as much others or even been motivated the same. We can not judge those who have their whole lives been told something is wrong. They are Human as much as we are.

In our lives we can work to make change. We can educate people and show them the trueness of love and Humanity. Only when we work tirelessly to undo the the fear, misinformation, and hate can we seek an answer. In the business of all things Human we should extend dignity and respect. We should reserve judgment to our very souls.

Never dismiss those of differing views, emotions, or even traditions. Every thread of Humanity is a different color, texture, or material. Some may be worn or coarse but it does not dismiss them as part of our fabric. They should not be judged by their presentation, else we judge ourselves in the process.

I do know regardless of a persons raw intelligence or learning to date they are Human. They carry within them all the things taught to them, shared with them, and all the love or lack there of given them. It is very difficult to understand or accept intolerance, pain, or hate but the burden of change us upon us not them.

People change when they see, know, or learn, a better or proper way. They gain respect when shown it and allowed to express who they are or have been told they are. Whether or not it is right is relative. What is important is the extension of compassion, love, and respect. When you appeal to Humanity wonderful things can flourish. Change can come quickly. But the work must be done by us.

It is not easy for people to let go of a life's lessons and teachings. It is not easy to unlearn fear or hate. Only love and compassion can bring forth change. Judge not a person by the narrow confines of their knowledge or teachings. Judge them by their Humanity. Only when you do such can you truly evaluate a persons ability to change.

By all means fight for justice, equality, and love. Just do so with Humanity or our fight is naught but a ruse of superiority over a different view, which is the fire that consumes that which you object to.

I trust in Humanity, not intelligence. What do you trust in?

Love is Never Wrong

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In Love, We Trust

It is the waning hours of Valentines day and I wanted to talk about love and trust. Two wonderful expressions that go hand in hand.

When we love we extend many layers of trust to others. We trust that we will be treated fairly, our interests will be observed, even we will be defended. Whether you love a friend, parent, or spouse it is the same. A bond of trust that lays the foundation for anything more.

This trust is a sacred acknowledgment from person to person. It is the sign of a open heart and generous soul. Love can not exist without trust. To remove it would denigrate the feeling to obsession, lust, or even something much darker.

Trust is not easy and we may be hurt by it but it is lifting and certainly liberating. Trust can work wonders in life. Have you ever known someone who raised your suspicions and you knowingly extended trust and love? They may surprise you. When you extend such grace in life you lift people up and give them a dignity they may not have otherwise. You show them a path of light. You raise them up in honor.

Love is a splendid garden with countless paths that take us to wondrous views and happiness. Each path is paved with stones of trust. They may grow old and crack, become covered in moss and dirt, or even become whitewashed from the sun but it is the path we should acknowledge as much as the garden for without it the wonders before us would never have been known.

Many people pay excellent lip service to Love and trust but the truth is in the stone. For in love, we trust.

Love is Never Wrong

Thursday, February 9, 2012

LGBT Terminology

So many people new to the LGBT scene come across terms they have never heard or don't know what they mean so today I would like to offer some simple resources that offer definitions. Bear in mind some of these will not be kind or tasteful to some so read them with that warning.

Aaron's Dictionary of Gay Terms

Gay Words and Slang from

Love is Never Wrong