An Unlikely Soldier

I’m just gonna come right out and say it . . . This election SUCKS!

Not only because our new dictator-in-chief is a reality show buffoon, whose petty, xenophobic, misogynist, and homophobic tweets have incited people to crawl out from under whatever rock they’ve been hiding and be just as vulgar.  Nor is it because it seems he’s trying to undo all the good, progressive growth our country has gone through over the last 50+ years, and turn us into a fascist oligarchy.

Those things are horrible, true.  But what bothers me more about this election is to learn just how many people in this country seem to WANT the fascist oligarchy, or hate on any group of people who aren’t Aryan straight men.

And what I hate even MORE than that is that I can’t seem to accept the “other side’s” point of view on this one.

I’ve tried most of my life to be someone who lives by the edict of “To each his/her own.”  I don’t expect all of us to see eye to eye on every issue, but I believe we each have the right to our respective opinions.  I truly used to think I was like that.  But I’m so incredibly scared of what might happen over the next 4-8 years (God, PLEASE let it only last for 4!), that I have no desire to even listen to what the “other side” has to say.

And I tried.  I really did.  There was an article I saw online where a female reporter decided to sit down and talk with a Trump supporter who lived in her neighborhood.  Apparently what I saw was her second conversation with the guy, and they were sitting down openly discussing their opposing views and also responding to various comments in his Twitter feed.

I totally applaud her ability to be able to sit down and have the discussion with him, because, yes, we DESPERATELY need to have open conversations with each other, to try to understand where the other is coming from (because, maybe the “other side” is only afraid of people, because they don’t understand them).  But, unfortunately I got maybe five minutes into the video, and then had to shut it off.  I am so adamantly against this incoming administration and everything they stand for, that I found myself unwilling to listen to this man’s side of things.  He seemed so angry and (in my opinion) ill-informed about what went down, that I had to shut the video off before I began screaming at the screen.

So I find myself in much the same position I’m accusing the “other side” of being in: angry, resentful and unyielding in my beliefs about what is “right.”  I’ve said for some time that the only thing I’m bigoted about is a bigot . . . and here it is, staring me in the face.

But thankfully, there are millions of people who aren’t on the “other side.”  I was SO happy and proud to see all the people out there who marched last weekend in protest of Trump and the crap he’s trying to do.  It’s heartening to see just how many people are out there in favor of the things I support.  It gives me hope that all might not yet be lost.

But there is still a fear inside of me that we might be headed toward another Hitler-like regime.  What with Trump already forbidding certain news agencies to his hearings, and changing the government websites, it feels like the dictatorship is gearing up.  Which makes me think that a revolution isn’t far behind.

And that comes to what scares me the most . . . if a revolution is imminent, then I feel that I must do my part to keep entire groups of people safe from such atrocities as were thrust upon Jewish people in Germany, or even Asian people here in America.  NOBODY should be put on some sort of “registry” just because they follow a non-Christian religion.  Nor should anyone be forced to “convert” to a “more acceptable” lifestyle.  Just the thought of either of those things coming to fruition pisses me the fuck off!  So I feel like I need to join the fight.

Deep down I’m terrified of being jailed or killed over this, but I also feel that I’d be an absolute coward to not stand up and fight for something I truly believe in.  I have too many gay/black/trans/Muslim/etc. friends whose livelihoods appear to be on tenterhooks as of January 20th to just sit idly by and not do something.  I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror ever again, if I sat on my hands.

I never wanted to be a fighter.  I even refused to go into the military (even though I needed the money for college) because I just don’t agree with using excessive force to get what you want.  I had always prided myself on letting people have their own opinions.  But this election has been divisive, and in my mind this new administration is very dangerous.  I have to stand up for what I believe in.  So if it means I need to go out and fight . . . then fight I will.

Vive la revolution!

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Equality Rant

I’ve spoken briefly about how I don’t understand homophobia, or any sort of bigotry, be it racial, religious, etc.  But today, I’m going to delve further into the issues surrounding marriage equality, to explain my views in more depth.

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A friend recently commented on an email I sent to him where I vehemently ranted about religious zealots and their hatred of the LGBT community.  Here’s what I said in my email:

“. . . I am anxiously awaiting the day when LGBT people don’t have to fight these ridiculous battles anymore.  They’ll still encounter homophobia in places, I’m sure, but they shouldn’t have to fight for the inalienable HUMAN RIGHT to be married to whomever they choose, or to receive the benefits from a same sex partner’s insurance, when said partner dies!  It’s the religious zealots who are so frightened of the equality of it all.  Well, FINE!  Don’t be gay, then!  If you truly think it’s a choice, then choose NOT to be gay!  It doesn’t affect you in any way, shape, or form if two men love each other and want to marry!  Especially if they live four states away and will probably never run into you!  What the hell do you care?!  Go pay attention to your own life and family and stop sticking your damned nose in other people’s affairs!”

He thought it was funny that I was so riled up over this, and wondered when I became so concerned about LGBT equality.  I told him that my mother had gay and lesbian friends while I was growing up, but I never knew them as anything more than friends of hers, so I’ve ALWAYS considered them equal (Thank you, Mom, for teaching me that!).

Marriage-Equality~~element30And, quite honestly, that’s what they are.  Equal.  If two men (or women) fall in love and want to be together, it’s really NO DIFFERENT than when one man and one woman do it.  Why some people can’t (or won’t) see that is beyond me, and honestly, really pisses me off.  I’m sure the homophobes (for really, what else can we call them?) wouldn’t like it if some other narrow-minded group of people stuck their noses in the homophobes’ bedroom to find out the kinky sex stuff that goes on (or doesn’t go on) in there.  For crying out loud, there are some people who will think you’re a prude for not exploring any positions other than the missionary one, just as there are those who think that’s the only “proper” position to use for fornication.

Bottom line is, it’s NOBODY’S business but the two people in the bed (or three, or four, or whatever).

And despite what these bigots think, LGBT people aren’t concerned with wanting to flamboyantly display their sexual orientation.  For the most part, anyway.  Yes, there will be those who want to wear their preference out on their buttless chaps for everyone to see, but why is that any more offensive than some person on the bus wearing a huge golden crucifix and carrying an equally large bible?  Or someone walking up to you on the street, trying to foist their religious reading material onto you?  The LGBT community aren’t interested in converting anyone to their way of life.  They’re simply concerned with having the same inalienable rights as EVERY OTHER HUMAN BEING on this planet!  And that’s exactly how they should be treated . . . like a human being.

All Rights for AllI recently attended an informational meeting put on by PFLAG, that was quite eye-opening for me.  During the meeting, I learned that there are 29 states where people can actually be fired from their job for being openly gay!  That number rises to 34 states if you’re Transgender, or if you decide to dress not within the “acceptable” confines of gender roles.  For example, if I wanted to wear dress slacks that look mannish, a man’s dress shirt and a tie, I could be fired in 34 states.  What lunacy is that?!  Why is someone’s sexual preference (or clothing preference) a deciding factor in whether or not they can do the job they’ve been assigned to, especially since sexual harassment has been banished from the workplace?

Marriage_Equality_ribbon_by_marriageequalityIt’s that sort of crap that just pisses me off!  We’re in the 21st century, people!  How is it that some seriously outdated, archaic rules are STILL allowed in our government (state or otherwise)?!

And I’m here to tell all who are afraid of LGBT people, homosexuality has been going on for CENTURIES!  It’s even been proven to happen in other species in our world.  Why are there some beings attracted to a same sex partner?  Who knows?  But, more importantly, what business is it of yours?

I actually heard an uber-religious person tell me that “. . . there’s no scientific evidence to support that people are born gay.”  Well there’s no scientific evidence that people will be born closed-minded either, but that still happens, doesn’t it?

And for the religious people who claim homosexuality is against God’s wishes?  Well, if you think your God is against it, let HIM deal with it.  Just like most other places where religious people stick their noses, IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, because YOU ARE NOT GOD!  Besides, statistics show that 9 out of 10 people know at least one person who’s LGB or T.  The meeting I attended for PFLAG said it’s probably more like 10 out of 10, and I would agree.  Someone might be hiding it, because they’re afraid of the possible ridicule, but that doesn’t mean they’re not.

human-right-marriage-equality-ohioThe one great thing about all of this anti-LGBT nonsense is that it’s on its way out.  Like any other equality movement, it’s a slow process, and ridicule, bullying, and hate crimes will still happen along the way (unfortunately), but I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Granted, I’m not LGB or T, so their perspective might be different than mine, but there have been so many signs lately that let me know–without a doubt–that more equality is on the horizon (for this issue, anyway).

So watch out all of you who are afraid of the LGBT community, or are trying to blame the “state of the world” on them.  To paraphrase a slogan from the 90s: They’re here, they’re queer . . . get used to it!

Fran DrescherIn addition to the movies and TV shows that showcase LGBT people, there are also the great strides for equality in the military.  14 states now have marriage equality (YAY!), and the Supreme Court is going to vote any day now on the issue as well.  The Boy Scouts just took a HUGE step toward accepting the LGBT community, and there are even some sports figures that are either coming out, or verbally showing their support for people of all sexual orientations.

There are also more and more organizations like PFLAG popping up that offer support for those who are affected by the current state of things, as well as education for others, so that to be LGB or T isn’t considered such a “taboo” or “abomination” in our society.

And I’m seeing all sorts of great videos posted on FB (like this one here), that showcase everyday people finding unusual ways to offer their support for equality of ALL people.  When I see videos and stories like these, it helps me to know that there IS a change a-coming, and it’s definitely for the better.

love is gender blind

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