I am not LGBT, but I am an ally.

I am not LGBT, but I am an ally. Here’s why.

“Gay New Mexico Teen Commits Suicide After Reportedly Being Bullied By Classmates”
“Gay Iowa Teen’s Suicide Fifth to Rattle Local High School”
“LGBT seniors struggle with suicide”

Headlines like this make me sick to my stomach. Unfortunately, they are all too common in our society today. I grew up in an excellent, nurturing, loving environment, and it baffles me that there are people out there who struggle so much with bullying and hatred for who they are, that their only option is to take their own life. However, if you spend 10 seconds doing a search of Twitter, there are numerous examples of how much ignorance and hatred these people face on a daily basis.

“It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!”
“Being gay is a choice.”
“Homosexuality is an abomination.”

I used to spend time arguing with theists about whether or not homosexuality is a choice. I still do, sometimes. But I’ve come to realize that the point is moot. They like to say that it’s a choice, which somehow makes it ok for us to discriminate against them. It makes it ok to quote bible passages that define marriage as between a man and a woman, because they’ve “chosen” that lifestyle. Of course, we know now that human sexuality exists on a spectrum. We know that homosexuality exists in thousands of species in nature. We can be quite certain that homosexuality is not a choice, just as the millions of heterosexuals who fight so hard against gay rights can’t tell you at what point they “chose” to be straight. But why does it matter? In what way does what 2 consenting adults do affect you, at all? Let me tell you something. It doesn’t. I’ve said this many times to many people and I think it’s worth repeating- if I’m not fucking you, it’s none of your business who I’m fucking. What consenting adults decide to do with their time, sexually or otherwise, does not affect you. I can’t possibly understand why you would want to ruin the happiness of people, or prevent them having the same rights as you, simply because of who they love. It’s complete and utter madness. I’ve never met anyone who had an issue with homosexuality that was independent of religious belief. So what we’ve come to as people is the decision that homosexuality is wrong, based on the teachings of the bible which also states a non-virgin bride should be murdered, a rape victim should marry her abuser, or that slavery is ok under certain guidelines? This is utter madness. Why should I or anyone else, believer or not, be held up to this horrific guideline? When’s the last time you murdered your child for talking back? When’s the last time you killed someone for being gay? Never, I’d hope. And why not? Because these horrific acts we are told to do as a “biblical standard” are obviously completely immoral by today’s standards. So why do we still think it’s ok to tell LGBT people they are less worthy, they are abominations, or they aren’t allowed to marry?

I’ve heard people compare homosexuality to bestiality. If you have ever used this argument, you are an ignorant twat. I refuse to even explain why that comparison is nonsensical, because it’s offensive that I should have to. Likewise, the “argument” that homosexuality is somehow linked to pedophilia fills me with so much anger that I can barely stand to mention it. People who say things like this have been completely blinded by hatred of something they choose not to understand. They would rather completely discount the rights of LGBT people simply because they can’t step outside of their own ridiculous preconceived and baseless notions of how or what these people are. Let me explain something to you about “what” LGBT people are. They are you. They are me. They are people who were born human, to human parents, who grew up and feel attractions that are outside of their control. They are people who fall in love and form attachments and just want to be treated as equals. But our bigotry and hatred are preventing that and turning them into a marginalized population simply because of who they are, and what they do in THEIR lives. The fact that there are places in the world, and even in the United States and other industrialized nations, that still don’t recognize LGBT as equal to everyone else, is completely fucked up, for lack of a better term. This is precisely why the rest of us cannot remain silent, and why we must stand up against the true abomination- that in 2013, there are still places in the world that can imprison or kill LGBT people by law.

So, you still think homosexuality is “wrong”? Fine. But if you can’t stop feeling that way, then keep that disgusting, bigoted opinion to yourself. By expressing it, all you’re doing is furthering the hatred and discrimination of an already marginalized population. You’re contributing to the hate that is making so many teens and adults feel like they don’t belong, or that there is something wrong with them, or that maybe they’d be better off dead. Can you live with that on your conscience?

We can’t change everyone. We can’t change every bigoted opinion. Some people will remain ignorant, and will keep hating and discriminating. That’s why it’s up to the rest of us to pull up the slack, and stand up and tell the world this type of behaviour is NOT ok. Even if we don’t succeed in changing minds, the support we can lend to marginalized LGBT people may be the difference between life and death. A kid in high school who is bullied may look at us and realize that not everyone out there will look down on them and treat them as less than human- that things will get better, that there ARE people who will support them, and fight with and for them, for the equality and acceptance they deserve. So don’t stay quiet. Don’t back down when you see someone being bullied or discriminated against for their sexuality or gender. Show the world that we aren’t going to stand by and let people, our fellow human beings, be told they are less worthy of rights and freedoms that the rest of us enjoy. Gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and everything in between- we are all human. “Gay rights” shouldn’t be a term in our vocabulary. They’re called human rights. If you’re a human, you should get them.

Links:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/16/new-mexico-gay-suicide_n_3606614.html
http://www.advocate.com/youth/2013/07/29/gay-iowa-teens-suicide-fifth-rattle-local-high-school
http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=68908

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2 Responses to I am not LGBT, but I am an ally.

  1. I am well into middle-age now, AKA as “old” to young people.

    But growing up, even in this liberal part of the u.s.a., was purgatory for me. I’m somewhat amazed that I didn’t murdalize myself.

    My parents – fueled by my still religious fundamentalist Mom – threatened to beat me to within an inch of my life if I turned out ‘that way’. Her being such an unpleasant person to spend 18 years growing up with (Ayacarrumba!), I did not come out to the public, or myself, until after emancipation.

    Our dad passed several years back, but not before apologizing to me as an adult for the way he helped her treat me. So beautiful to hear.

    Mom still wants nothing to do with me. She has also accused and written off another of her children for different spurious allegations regarding sexuality. This, after her own sexuality birthed six children raised in poverty, ignorance, and – being especially hard on her only son for unknown reason – constant fear. If I had to describe my childhood in one word: fear.

    High school was daily open harassment. I switched to a bigger school: FAIL. More teens to be harassed by. I was the most harassed kid in a school of about 500, even worse than the differently-abled kids. I cried a lot. My nickname yelled in the packed halls between classes was “Daisy”.

    These extended experiences with holy-book based bigotry forced me into being a loner, an outsider. Social torment, along with Mother’s biblical dictate ‘Though shalt not be a part of this world.’ isolated me – into reading.

    These extreme emotional experiences turned into a blessing in disguise. Some disguise, yes? What started as only entertaining fiction reading gradually morphed into only informative non-fiction.

    Increasing understanding, combined with years of torment by a socially conservative society, blossomed into a big-picture compassion. They helped me to see things that even most social liberals still choose not to see. Yet;-].

    They helped me to create an intellectual philosophical mantra that can be used to illuminate many aspects of the human condition: “Unanimous willful ignorance exacts great tribute.”

    Such as for gay kids in Russia today. And kids in Africa labeled as witches, then outcast from society. And the many other bastions of mass superstitious ignorance. So I am of course quite pleased that you posted this defense of dignity. Thank you so much!

    • Thanks for sharing that…. I’m constantly heart broken to hear about stories like yours. Many kids who go through what you did don’t make it into adulthood. It’s absolutely tragic that bullying and discrimination are allowed to go so far as to make people think suicide is the best or only answer. I’m glad you managed to make it through and can see the silver lining, dim though it may be 🙂

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