homophobic

Yeah, I Took Shots at EVERYONE…

Bits of thoughts…

I am NOT open-minded. In my world, people, as differentiated from “humanity” fall into 3 groups, people I like, people I dislike, and people that will be one or the other of the first two. Humanity is different, because of the people I like, I write about humans being treated with decency and compassion. I write FOR the people I like and love, to humans, about humanity and faith…

To the young lady parked next to me. Yeah, I saw the dyed pink hair and haircut shorter than mine. Yeah, I saw the rainbow flag on your rear deck. Yep, I looked to see what you looked like because I was curious. I “people watch”. Perhaps I’m reading more into the look you gave me in return but, you have no clue that I write a blog defending your right to live your life as you please so, perhaps instead of seeing a middle-aged guy driving a black Town Car, you might consider that not everyone that looks like me sees someone that looks like you as anything other than a fellow traveler on this rock, not the enemy…

I’m not sure that people really understand the word “conservative” *grins* I see a bunch of alleged “conservatives” wanting to get up in arms over the “bathroom issue”. They seem to think that “traditional conservative values” means that the Constitution was unclear when it used the word “citizens” and not “straight, white, male, Republican, Christian” in it. The Constitution uses that word several times for example here, “The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.” So if y’all all’s grasp of grammar is so poor as to misunderstand that one word, it comes as no surprise that bigger concepts like “equality” and “liberty” are beyond your grasp. Perhaps you should stick to simpler things like “fear” and “hate” as in this example, “Would y’all  misogynistic, homophobic, racist, semi-literate, cretins with delusions of grandeur please shut up?” *editorial, I am NOT a self-labeled Liberal. For most of my life, I have thought of myself as “conservative”. Now, that ideology has been hijacked by hate and fear so, I am of no political party and just look at the issues*…

While I’m at it… The nice thing about being me is that I have very few illusions about myself. I know my weaknesses and strengths. I know the bits of myself to be scared of and the places I trust. *there is a point to this* Guys that abuse women have no such confidence in themselves. All they have is weakness and the only way they are able to feel power is by making someone else less, sort of like those people in the last paragraph. The difference is that the people up there lash out at a group and the guys that abuse lash out at individuals. Either way, it is sadly pathetic when the only way you are able to feel any strength is to make someone else powerless…

And another thing…My Christianity doesn’t give me a lock on morality. When I first started using drugs, I owned and read a Bible and called myself Christian. If all it took was to claim a faith as the key, there would be no pedophile priests, spousal abusers in churches, or scammer t.v. evangelists. Just because you’re claiming “God Hates Fags” doesn’t make it so. If you actually read the words Jesus said, “love your neighbor as you love yourself” and claim that “God hates…” I suspect what you really mean is “I hate myself so, I’ll lash out at you…” Morality is a condition of your soul. It is entirely possible to be a transgender, Pagan, Lesbian and be moral. Just as it is possible to be a cishet, male, Christian and be a pedophile. It is the SOUL that matters, not the trappings around it…

Look, guys, we have to be realistic. We are not going to agree with everyone. We are not going to like everyone. There’s no way we’ll ever understand everyone but, we have to live together on this rock…at least to the day of our demise…so, it’s far easier on ourselves, and the rest of the world, if we spend less time hating and fearing what we don’t understand. There are a bunch of things to fear. I fear that a moment of weakness could bring relapse. I fear finding a scorpion in my shoe…I don’t have time to fear others because their lives are not inside my house or my head.

Predatory people happen. They are criminals. If I spend my life worrying that it will be disrupted by a criminal, I spend very little time LIVING my own and they win. If I spend my time making myself feel stronger by surrounding myself with cowards, how strong am I really? I’d rather be built up by the strength and courage of the people I know than to have sunk to the level of the fear mongers.

That’s it, in the end, do we have the strength to realize that “different” is not the same as “evil” or “loathsome”? Or do we stay with the comfort of our own xenophobic beliefs and forget Genesis 3:19?

By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

The Great Equalizer comes for all of us one day…

Advertisements

I’m the One That’s Abnormal…

Interestingly, this should follow my last three posts…“I Want Z Back”“Because Aj and Z”, and “Aj Was My First Pagan…”

Aj did set the stage. I learned, and still learn, from her. I learned that it is possible to be “not Christian” and still be a moral person. I learned that innate goodness can be a quality that exists apart from my own moral construct. That a strong view of good and evil does not have to include the Christian concept of sin. She didn’t teach me to be “open minded” as much as less caring that some people do things differently than others. That my way is not necessarily the only “correct way, it’s only correct for ME…

Next was Z. When she came out to me, I was “flustered” for a couple of days…then I realized not one thing about her or our interaction was different…*editorial, I lie, we do interact differently because of this blog…I give a further lie to what I just said in the first post in the list above “I Want Z Back”* What I should more correctly say is “she hasn’t changed” and I had to adapt to knowing something I didn’t know.

Anyway, the basic truth is, Aj was the first Pagan I was close to. Z is the first Lesbian I was close to. Z is a trusted friend and a Treasure. She owns a place in my heart reserved for loved ones. *other editorial, “love” is a word never used casually* I digress…She is also “normal”. Being Lesbian doesn’t change her morality. She’s Christian and, yeah, I had to adapt my thinking…again…to fit that. I had to learn that being gay does not mean you can not be a Christian. It just means that some people say you can not, that’s all…

So, I started writing this blog and along came Kelly. After one of my first posts she made shared it with the comment, paraphrase, “he sees me as human” or some such, with a real sense of wonder. Kelly is both Pagan and Lesbian.

Funny thing, when I write about Aj, the underlying context is Pagan. Here, she’s the thought for Religious Freedom. Writing about Z puts her in the “Lesbian box”. As much as I wish it didn’t. *other other editorial, not that I have a difficulty with her being gay, just wish it wasn’t the only thing that comes up. She’s far more than merely that part. Kind of looking at one petal and missing the rose*

Back to Kelly. I just see “Kelly”, not the aspects or “context”, just her. I see her family pictures. I see Kelly and her wife and outings, cookouts, and trips with their kid…and it’s normal. It’s just a family with a kid they love. Sure, there are two moms but, so effing what? It’s a family. I love watching them. They’re fiercely protective of each other and the kid. It’s what a family does, they love and protect and enjoy being a family. Nothing immoral. Nothing different than any other family that does things right…because they do. Kid’s gonna grow up to be a good adult because of the way the kid is being raised. Moms are gonna make sure of that. Just a family…

So, I’ve grown. It isn’t that I “adapted” or fell into the “trap of the gay agenda”. It’s just that I had to learn. I had two choices reject people I’ve come to love or change to be able to keep them. Easier, far easier, to change me. More to the point, I never want to reject someone for something that is innate to them and makes no difference to me. Tossing away someone because my normal and theirs aren’t in lockstep is stupid and short sighted. They are not immoral, just not the same as me. That’s all…and the funny thing is, they are EXACTLY the same. We have the same wants, needs, and desires in life.

It doesn’t matter that we share a faith, that doesn’t instill morality. It doesn’t matter that some are gay and I’m straight, that doesn’t change the condition of the heart. It matters that they love their faith. It matters that they treat me with dignity and respect for being different from them.

You see, to them, I’m abnormal. To the Pagans, my faith has persecuted theirs. To the Lesbians, straight white males have denigrated, slandered, and repressed them. By all rights, they should have a prejudice against ME. Yet, they don’t judge me, they accept and embrace me. They call me “loved”. They are more willing to love me than my past as a homophobic male has any reason to deserve…

I’ve learned. “Normal” is the most subjective of words. Who are we to impose our view of it on anyone else? Aj taught me that Pagan is normal. Z taught me that Lesbian is normal. Kelly taught me that families are families. They are all Treasures. They allow “abnormal” me to share their lives. They have been more patient with me than I deserve. For that, and their lives, they have my gratitude.

They Really Believed What They Wrote

I’ve waited a few days to write this. I’m trying to be semi-polite. It would have been hard at the point of impact…

I do Facebook. There’s a group that I’m a member of that is made up of a mixed bag of writers, artists, free-spirits, and the random grumpy old man Op/Ed blogger…also, it seems at least one person that entirely missed the point *sigh* I received this note “ just want you to know my recent article has nothing to do with your friend. I really do wish her the best. But, the way this is going about is all wrong” and then a blog post about how if someone wanted to get married they should go to a state that allows it. It was couched in the assumption that the blogger didn’t care what people did as long as the blogger wasn’t forced into dealing with it. It said that we should allow states to deprive citizens of their rights because it was a “slippery slope” leading to polygamy, incest, and marrying “refrigerators and goats”. Also, there was some mention of “deformed kids”. *sigh*

*****

Ok, so, yeah, I took it personally. I still do. I will tomorrow, next week, and next year *sigh* I mean, I don’t take stupid personally. They just can’t help it. I do take the idea that we are allowed to vote someone, Z, into second-class citizenship personally. I do take the idea that you would name me in a link so that you could say “nothing to do with your friend” personally. I take the idea that you think that you think that Z is a “slippery slope” because she wants the same rights that you demand, personally. I take the idea that you think the Constitution that protects your right to post some inane nonsense about marrying livestock and appliances shouldn’t protect one of the people I love personally. What? You thought by saying “nothing personal” that it wasn’t?

In all fairness, the blogger did say this ” But my beliefs are mine and yours are yours and guess what? We don’t have to agree with each other. What we do have is freedom of speech and the freedom to disagree and walk away. That is it. We do not have the freedom to force our beliefs and opinions on others.”…then the blogger went on to say what they wanted was more important than treating all citizens equally.

You see, the Constitution is very non-specific about who is granted “equal protection” when it makes that point. It says “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” There are no exceptions listed in the words “any person”. It doesn’t specify gender, orientation, race, or faith. It uses the word “citizens”.

We don’t have a Constitutional right to not be exposed to things we disagree with. I’m allowed to be offended. I am not allowed to tell you that you can not do what you’re doing because it offends me. *caveat, I am not talking about criminal acts, merely legal acts by adults* I can not tell the author of the blog I’m writing about to not publish because it offends me. I can write a response. I can remove that person from the group that I choose to have contact with.

****

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this. The author would argue that Charles Effing Manson is allowed to get married because he’s straight and that doesn’t re-define marriage. They would say that I, an ex-addict, am allowed to get married because I’m straight. They’d maintain that a 90 year old man is allowed to marry an 18 year old woman that wants his money because they are straight but, that if Z finds a woman she loves, she is not allowed to get married? That her desire to be married would be invalid because she’s gay? Hunh? At what point did we get to judge who has a valid reason to get married? At what point do we decide that someone else’s relationship or inner workings of their household, assuming no crimes committed, are our place to restrict?

*****

The author concludes with this comment “So Veruca go forth and get your goose. I just want you to take a minute and think about the repercussions, the end game, what your wants mean for the rest of us.” I would pose the same thing back to the author. When you set forth the “slippery slope” of deciding that some citizens are less worthy of rights than others, you endanger yourself. It has been less than a hundred years since women were given the right to vote in the USA. Are you willing to risk that? Loving v Virginia was in 1967, are you willing to tell interracial couples that their choice is invalid? Are you willing to stipulate that someone is not allowed to marry outside of their own religion? Better yet, are you willing to allow someone else to dictate those things to you? Are you willing to let a majority view vote away your rights? Are you willing to bet that you and your children will always be the majority and, therefore, safe from persecution? The Constitution was designed to protect minorities from oppression by majorities. It protects basic rights. It forces states to apply laws equally. It gives us a framework that enables us to pray as we wish, love as we wish, speak as we decide to, associate with whomever we choose, to peaceably assemble, and a myriad of other things. It DOES NOT allow us to deprive others of those rights. It doesn’t say “any person except…”

******

Yes, I did take it personally. I will always do that. I get frustrated when someone makes Z a “them” or one of “those people”. I will, every time, respond when someone directs that toward me or Z. She’s not one of those. In fact “those people” are not those. They are humans with the same strengths and weaknesses as any other human. They are women, men, and transgender. They are people that merely want to live their lives without being dictated to by someone’s innate prejudices and fears. They are citizens. They are sisters and brothers. They are loving and worthy of love. They are us.

*sigh*

I still can’t get past the original bit, perhaps it’s fatigue or, perhaps because I wonder about what would make them think I would let it slide or, perhaps because I’m protective of Z I can’t seem to let it go. What were they thinking when they implied “nothing personal, I just don’t think your friend is worth as much as I am”? Did they think that I’d just say, “It’s ok. I recognize that a person I love is unworthy of the same rights as you. That she’s really not important to me”. Here’s a hint, Z isn’t a blood relation yet, she’s family. Given a choice, I’d put her rights in front of mine. She earned hers, I was born into mine.

I’ve beaten this horse into the ground. I don’t know if the author of the blog I’m responding to will ever read this. I don’t really care. I do know that I couldn’t let it pass without a response. This was it.

Stats Don’t Matter

I have a weakness. I read the stats on the blog. I look to see if anyone “likes” a post. I check to see if anyone reads a post. I hope for a comment.

I miss the point. It really isn’t about numbers, likes, or comments.

It is about Z. It is about you.

If one person reads a post, that’s enough. If no one reads it, I tried. The point isn’t to get numbers. It is to support Z. It is to tell a reader that you are not alone. It is to stand up and say “the way you are treating my friend is wrong and that has to stop”. The point is to say “equal is equal. Period.” The point is to say that marriage equality is not “extra” privilege but, equal protection.

The point is to try to persuade that hate hurts the hater worse than it hurts the hated one. The point is to try to convince or cajole those that would fear into changing their fears. The idea is to let them know that homophobia discounts the person and hates a label.

The point is to help people see that there’s nothing to fear from love. To teach them that the form might be different but, the base is the same. That it doesn’t matter how you love as long as you do love.

It is also for me. If I’m the only one that ever reads them that, too, is enough. That I have to write something and expand my own capacity and creativity is enough. That, every day, I try to find a new way to spread the same message. That I get to talk about my friend and keep my promise. That, for this moment, I get to build someone up. That is enough.

If you do read this, Thank you. If you comment or like, again, thanks. Yeah, I’ll look at the numbers but, I’ll keep reminding myself that touching one person is enough.

Maybe I’m Stupid

Maybe I’m just stupid.

I am not smart enough to be able to understand hate. I can not figure out why someone would fear an other person that means them no harm.

I can not figure out why someone would not love having Z in their world. I don’t get the idea that she is a threat to them. I don’t want to know why someone wouldn’t rather have her in their world than to exclude her and, by doing that, diminish themselves.

Why be exclusionary? Why reduce a complex human to a simplistic prejudice because of one aspect of their whole being?

What basis to call someone “perversion” or “abomination” without realizing that, to them, the same applies to US?

What basis for saying that my friend wants everyone to be like her? She doesn’t. She’s unique, as are all the humans in the world.

Why say there’s a “gay agenda” without also saying that they have a “straight agenda”?

It seems that the ones wanting to convert the world to their views and perspectives aren’t my gay friends but, my “militant straight” friends. Why assign that motive, without recognizing their own?

Maybe I’m stupid. If stupidity is taking my friends as they come and loving them for who they are and the “content of their character”, then I want to remain stupid.

*****

I said in the previous post I would talk to the homophobic guy at work. If it happens today, I’ll make a follow up post. If not, some chance will happen and I’ll update and post when it does. Work can sometimes be very hectic.

Why Be Homophobic?

I overheard a coworker saying he was homophobic and was proud of it. I’m sorry to say I didn’t have time to call him on it. *sigh* There will be an other chance. What I don’t get is, why brag about something like that?

Where is the virtue in having an unfounded hate for someone you don’t know. What does it gain to think you’re better than someone else?

It is my privilege to be a friend of Z’s. I am a lucky man to have such a strong woman as a friend. I don’t love the person she is BECAUSE she’s gay. It doesn’t signify one way or the other. Having said that, if I were homophobic I would not have her for a friend. That would be my loss.

Perhaps I’m naive. Maybe I just don’t get it. How do people think they are “better” because they weren’t born gay? What is the rational argument for it? Why not relate to someone based on the “content of their character?”

Tomorrow, I’ll be working with the guy. I’ll ask him. I suspect I will not, knowing him, get a rational answer. I have to try. I owe it to Z and myself.

There Is NO Excuse

In my second post for yesterday, I talked about violence toward the LBGT community. I’m going back there. It needs to be revisited.

There is NO excuse that can justify violence except for self-defense. Period.

Violence toward a particular group is not Christian. It is NEVER justified. It is the act of a coward or a psychopath. To encourage violence or to give reasons, by dehumanizing a group, is every bit as culpable as if you had committed the act yourself. There is no difference, in my mind, between a person that would act, or cause an other to act, and a terrorist.

I’ve posted about marriage equality, love, Christianity, equal protection, and any other topic I can in support of Z.  Those are my hopes. This is my fear. I worry that some physical harm will come to her because of hate. My prayers are always with her for her protection.

*editorial, I don’t care what your view of my faith is. You might call it superstition, that’s fine. It isn’t going to cause me harm if you don’t believe as I do or, stop me from having my faith*

This is what I think that those that would cause harm miss. They miss the humanity of those that they would hurt. In the words of Shakespeare,

“Hath (I) not hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh?”

A HUMAN is a human. It does not matter that they might be different than you, they are still human. There is never a good enough justification to perpetrate violence toward an other.

******

Here’s the link to the previous post on the same topic.

https://millerdavidge.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/what-if/