Facing Facts

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Inspiring the World –

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

~ John Wesley

Mr Wesley also said that ‘we should be rigorous in judging

ourselves and gracious in judging others.’

 Fact: The LGBT population in US according to one study is 9 million people.

Fact: As a group, Evangelicals remain by far those most opposed to gay marriage in the US.

Fact: Government laws still that have roots in 19th century; prejudices are fueling 21st century hate, and writing discrimination into law moves society backwards. This is an open invitation to hate and intolerance.

Fact: There are still countries that enforce the death penalty for homosexuality as well as hanging, decapitation, stoning, imprisonment, flogging, improper burial; there is no political freedom or human rights.

I just now saw the recently released video that’s slamming what critics are calling the “homofascist monolith.” They are calling for a new “San Francisco earthquake” to shatter it. Well that certainly isn’t Christian. [The San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fire, in 1906, destroyed over 80% of the city and killed over 3,000 people]  We have seen images of ISIS throwing gay men off of roofs, and cliffs; and a California man recently proposed a law to kill gays with ‘bullets to the head.’

These put all anti-gay laws to shame but let’s look at other great shames as well:  In Alabama the KKK is publically siding with the State Attorney General in his vehement opposition to same gender marriage.

As we see there are senseless acts of violence around the world:  LGBT  people are targeted, assaulted and far too often murdered: LGBT Children and teens are taunted by their peers, beaten and bullied, pushed out of school, disowned by their own families, forced into marriage … and, in the worst cases, driven to suicide because of pressures caused by bullies.

Two years ago a friend of mine; a gay man of the cloth was kidnapped by a gang of men and held for three days in an apartment – these men sodomized him repeatedly with a broom handle and a beer bottle to teach him a lesson.

A Lesbian in Africa was gang raped by several young men [to cure her of her being a lesbian] then before they left one of them shoved a toilet bowl brush in her vagina.

This is evil.

“Creating safe and inclusive congregations for people who are LGBT embodies Jesus’ message that we are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28). Such communities create transformational and, in many cases, life-saving experiences. As we work to better understand the needs of people who are LGBT, the best course of action is often to simply listen with an open mind and heart.

An authentic desire to support the needs of people who are LGBT will help all of us to discern the path ahead; we can build a ministry rooted in unconditional love — if we want to.

“It will take strong leadership from many people to make our communities safer and more inclusive place for ALL people including LGBT – It would be more productive not to dwell on theological arguments that are based in scriptural condemnation of things like same-sex practices; instead our dialogue should focus on the core Christian values; values such as love, compassion, grace, mercy, justice, unity and/or forgiveness.

The truth… we were called to love

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As a Christian, as a person of any spiritual faith it is our responsibility to promote mutual trust, respect and friendship… as a person of faith we should provide the tender warmth of familial love that has been denied to so many — familial love that so many have never known.
My blog today addresses the thread of prejudice and partiality that was recently promoted by the Duggar families and their association with anti-gay Family Research Council.
Spiritual faith should be liberating; everyone should be free to express themselves truthfully and openly with out fear of judgment; and marriage is not a privilege to be parceled out by segment of people, ban- legislation or any religious institution.
For a period of time I faithfully watched the Duggar Family reality program on TLC.  I watched it each week for a long time and admired their ingenuity, their commonsense practicality and thought ‘how cool’ the family was. I saw no violence, saw no indication of racism, sexism, bigotry, bias or prejudice.
I joined other families around the world in grieving with them for their tragic loss.
Now to my sorrow I’ve discovered that their care and compassion is limited. For all their openness they are willing to repeat and report rumors, myths and lies to exclude the liberties, freedoms as well as justice for a segment of society – 211.38 million LGBT People – worldwide.
Words matter … lets leave out words that are detrimental, and ultimately destructive towards others, they weaken the foundation of civilization, not gay marriage.
Today the Duggar family  shows a dark side to their religious faith; we’ve heard the hurtful petty words uttered by Mrs. Duggar who opposed a housing ordinance bill … by using carefully arranged words she helped create an unnecessary and hurtful climate towards Transgender People.
Her statement started false withnesswith the words “shocking news that affect the safety of Northwest Arkansas women and children.” Later in the call she linked the words ‘child’ ‘predator,’ ‘convictions;’ as well as … ‘endanger,’ ‘traumatized’  this supposedly by a man joining them in their private space. It was the arrangement and selection of her words that are offensive since they were specifically arranged to prompt a negative reaction. With this setup she promoted fear; set up a climate ripe for misunderstanding.
How demoralizing: Her words were degrading … they also demonized Transgender People. They also helped to create a lack respect for Lesbians, Gays and Bisexual People as well.
Reality: The ordinance Mrs. Duggar so cruelly opposed addressed the issue of transgender individuals’ right to use the proper restroom. ‘The ordinance allowing transgender people to use the bathroom in which they feel most comfortable and physically safe.’ The author of the bill said; ‘Transgender people — who are far more likely to be the victims of harassment and violence if forced to use a bathroom that is inconsistent with their gender identity or expression — deserve to have the ability to use the bathroom in peace and safety.’
A survey about discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Arkansas by the Human Rights campaign: Facts
  1. Twenty-five percent of respondents experienced employment discrimination;
  2. 37 percent experienced harassment at work;
  3. 39 percent experienced harassment from family;
  4. and 45 percent experienced harassment at school.

Cruel words add to societal stigma, resulting in creating and promoting prejudice and discrimination that LGBTI People face daily from society at large, and from family members, peers, co-workers and classmates.

Population in Arkansas:

  1. Total Adult Population: 2,238,250 –
  2. LGBT Population: 78,339
  3. LGBT -% of State Population:3.5%
  4. -% of Same-Sex Couples Raising Children:21%
We were called to love but by listening to the words by the Duggar family and their anti-gay associates it appears their care, concern and compassion is totally selective – to be included in their circle of compassion one needs to conform to a strict code of morals and values as per their deeply held religious beliefs. One family member stated I know many gay people. If I’m  his gay friend and see that my gay family and/or friends are being dehumanized, demonized and marginalized by the Duggar family anti-gay associates I would begin to question, begin to wonder; friends support each other; if the family feels compelled to repeat myths and rumors about my family and friends, just  how  well do they know me; how do they really feel about me?
Their anti-gay associates steadfastly believes in inequality
and continuously promotes a frightful anti-gay campaign.
Mr. and Mrs. Duggar and their family members obviously have the right to fight for freedom, liberty and justice;but trying to silence the voices of any segment of society will eventually limit what they should be stoutly defending.
The Duggar family and their homophobic associates will never silence the voices of 211.38 million LGBT People. You can try but it will never happen.
The Duggar family and associates  have a certain amount of wisdom but both lack a certain amount of understanding. As a spiritual leader Mr. Duggars’ voice should be a leader in standing up for justice, his voice should be at the forefront fighting hate and teaching tolerance. Instead hurtful words spoken by members of the Duggar family and their anti-gay associates puts children and families at risk through their hateful/hurtful rhetoric. Their anti-gay associates are relentless in their efforts keep LGBTI People from enjoying the inalienable freedoms, liberties and rights – we are all born free and equal. We are human beings first… we all have a sexuality and a gender attraction.
No one’s faith should ever destroy another’s self worth, esteem by creating a homophobic climate; each of us is wondrously made of spittle and clay; everyone of us created in a moment in a blinding light; love is essential to everyone.
Their words barely skirt the laws of free speech. They are hurtful and offensive but not legally classifiable as hate speech but non-the-less their words are offensiveness and hurtful. It is also a shameful practice now common to many communities of spiritual faiths.
Hateful words spoken by one or a group will break the heart of a child or adult.  
The quickest way to destroy someone as to isolate them: Bullying and forcing others to conform to exacting standards is neither Christian nor kind: We all need to feel welcome, that we are a part of the whole: We should be welcoming the advent of a world in which everyone enjoys freedom of from fear: of harassment, persecution, prosecution, punishment and torment. Yet many people like you don’t want this for all citizens in their neighborhood, communities, cities, and nations.
Everyone should enjoy all economic, social and cultural rights – these are indispensable for our dignity and the free development of our personality. Yet homophobic climates deny these basic rights to millions.

Everyone has the right to live and to live together in peace and harmony; therefore we should never accept any vicious act or actions by a body of people that would outrage the conscience of mankind. Yet we do.

We should never accept bias or bigotry, yet we do:

Everyone has the right to know and be known – to see and be seen – to understand and be understood: Everyone has the right to feel safe; to enjoy peace; to experience serenity and tranquility in their home, their neighborhood and community, yet this is not so.

Everyone is different – yet we are all he same: We should recognize the inherent dignity and promote these equal and inalienable rights to all members of the human family as this is the foundation for freedom, justice and peace in the world. Yet we don’t.

As a Christian it is our duty and responsibility to promote friendship

The standard should promote inclusion and acceptance of LGBTI People.

The standard should promote equality of rights; we should promote respect.

We should provide the tender warmth of familial love that has been denied to so many

— familial love that so many have never known.

Churches play an integral and important role in dispelling the pervasive myth that all people of faith are anti-gay. Churches should be excited to share the message of welcome and exclusivity.

We need to work together to move forward toward the peace we want to see in our lifetime: We need to work together to bring respect and harmony – love to all people; we should never deny, exclude or exploit others.

Love is  essential … it is a family value; LGBTI People have been part of all societies throughout history.

Love isn’t something that anyone needs to be afraid of. If God isn’t afraid of new things… why should we  be?

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We have forgotten that we are all connected with each other, that our love for each other is the key to world peace we pray for.  We are not the judge: We are connected to each other through the thread of love, first through our families, then our neighborhoods, then our cities and nation and reaching out to the world as a community of nations called the world.  All the great philosophers, the saints and sages have said those words in some form or another,and spiritually minded people; people of quality and worth do not go out of their way to create myths, spread lies and rumors that destroy lives.

People of quality sow seeds of understanding and teach tolerance as well as encourage, support, provide comfort and strength for everyone – their plans for community are inclusive.

Worldwide LGBTI People lack family support – are involved in family feuds- and face family shunning and there is continual stress; homelessness and violence increases because of hurtful words and extreme rhetoric.
Our legacy should be a legacy of good for others to follow; there is no excuse good enough to justify discrimination, not now, or ever.  Everyone should be gaining better understanding of our human rights and responsibilities and I urge everyone to reject your uncharitable – unchristian words since they exacerbate the issues relating to the homelessness as well as help breakdown a persons mental health. They add to the violence heard around the world, and I think everyone has seen enough of that. I know I have.
May God bless us, one and all,  today, tomorrow _ forever. 
One love one heart one vision one people peace on earth
 

Come into the light, draw close to me and I will draw close to you

Indian children light fireworks in New DLove is beyond the skin and mask – Love is without form, it is an indefinable manifestation of the exquisite compassion of the heart; an inner essence of unique and remarkable capabilities that circulates throughout the body through the ‘thin thread of red’ running through our veins.

Mankind is always in a state of becoming; a Latin word Ingenium is defined as innate character, talent, nature.  ‘I am who I say I am – this is a fact that no one can change: Sexuality is of the body, sexual desire is part of what is felt but should never define us, but it does and is a topic I will address.

Pro-life and pro-family ideology should promote life enhancing principles

which defends, and/or enhances the dignity, trust and respect of all

 There’s a very thin line that separates something worthy and something terrifying and instead of dehumanizing and demonizing LGBT who are not safe int their homes, in the community, at work or social media. And a segment of the faith community is partly responsible for this because of a distinctive rhetoric that dehumanize and demonize us. Many God-fearing conservative Christians spread defamation’s about us saying things such as LGBT people are a cancer on the universe|’ Vermin,’ | Beasts that prey on children | Extremists/terrorists/ a threat to national security| Men on men in military makes the US vulnerable| The cause of the Ebola outbreak in the US| Insinuates that Homosexuality is the cause of the decline of humanity| LGBT purposely endanger families, children, our nation’s security and economy as well as religious freedoms| LGBT make God want to vomit| Christian is the new black-Big Gay is the KKK| Gay activists want your soul| LGBT will impose secular sharia| Government recognition of gay marriage is deceiving citizens into hell and …. LGBT are better dead.”false withness  These are traitorous words to the gospel. Their words do not reflect the message in the Beatitudes or the work of Jesus and this type of rhetoric prevents LGBT from receiving dignity, kindness and respect – we are sentient beings as much as anyone.

Fact: LGBT on social media encounter bullying, trolling, scams, hate speech, and more. Fact: there is a wide range of discriminatory practices and a failing by authorities to adequately protect LGBT people world-wide. Fact: we are vulnerable to intolerable levels of violence both physical and sexual violence and cannot always rely on help from or with social services and other atrocious lacks as well but I’m not going to go on an endless litany of other facts … it’s pointless. But I must point out that there is a fine line separating something good and something terrifying, and far too many of the God-fearing conservative Christians are past masters at running horrific – terrifying themes through the minds of the masses, themes which pierce the heart, and crush the spirit and soul with terror… themes that perpetuate myth and ugly rumors about me and mine.

A prominent leader of the anti-gay parade is Linda Harvey – head of Mission: America which lists homosexuality and witchcraft as focal points, her specific focus is on public schools and young people in general. Mrs. Harvey controls an anti-gay information website called “Truth at School” which encourages students to walkout or protest the pro-equality/anti-bullying Day of Silence.

Another leader of the anti-gay parade is Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center listed as an anti-gay hate group in 2010. Tony is telling anyone who will listen about the LGBT:  “They are intolerant. They are hateful. They are vile. They are spiteful”…”pawns” of the “enemy.  

Both Harvey and Perkins assert that they promote traditional family values but their words are contradictory to the teachings found in the Beatitudes as well as the work of Christ. Their eyes and ears are tightly shut and neither of them will hear or see but what they want to hear and see but in their eyes we will always be demons or monsters: Monsters of their own creation.

Both Harvey and Perkins have regular access to nationwide mass media – and some anti-gay groups own broadcasting stations in the US and Africa and other countries that gives them a broader audience – a wide range to voice their propaganda against us. Social media and Y-tube further push demonizing and dehumanizing rhetoric.

However, society’s attitude on LGBT and same gender marriage is evolving rapidly and there are positive ways to address rhetorical bullying and the myths by communities of faith who do welcome us and they speak words with wings and teach and promote that discrimination was not part of the work of Jesus. We are born the way we were … all of us. Straight or gay… we are born who we are – and that’s a fact, and that’s okay.

Some are opening the windows and the doors – from knowing the facts that we contribute to and support many projects from schools to hospitals and communities; know we can be fired our employment terminated with prejudice because of gender identity, sexual orientation and marital status. We are shunned as well as hunted and we’re exposed as well as denied and that is not okay.

 Present us as we are – human – people – sentient beings – Not the monsters others have made of us.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu asked us to be the maker of peace, healers and restorers… he saw us as we are and helped remove the protective secretiveness that keeps us in the closet. He saw that we are people of heart, with spirit and a soul, and a need to be a part of community and asks others to help make this possible to work with us… to make us a sacred part of all communities.

As a healer – maker of peace … a restorer you too can do so much to help make us visibly welcome; you can help others put aside their masks of anger, hatred, and prejudices, after all they are just masks that hide the truth – a fear that’s held inside. You can help others open their eyes and look at us – really look at us with a new perception and perspective… help others accept the gifts and qualities we offer. You can help us be safe in our homes, our workplace, our neighborhood our local community – make this possible around the world – you can if you will. Present us as we are – human – people – sentient beings – Not monsters that others have made of us.

I am still this child

I am still the child you held in your arms, tucked into bed, read stories too.

You kissed away my fears and tears, walked me to the school bus and after all these years – I am still that child.  

 

 

” God is Not Afraid of New Things…”

We will not be prayed or legislated away – we will not be robbed of our potentials, our humanness or the right to love and be loved or the right to marry whom we love or our right to raise a family.

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Personal growth means self-improvement and clinging to old ways or what used to be will and will never create anything good. My comments references the hostile attitudes of Rep. James Clyburn’s (D-S.C.) Republican challenger references to same-sex couples as “gremlins” and “bullies” and Justin and Melanie Sease of Idaho also publically declared their anti-gay sentiments.

Pope Francis recently expressed that ‘God is not afraid of new things.’ His speech mentioned that we’re to have an inquiring nature – we’re to let God open hearts and guide us to new things and he emphasized humanity’s need for kindness which echoes Archbishop Desmond Tutu who repeatedly called for healers, restorers and makers of peace.

We are people, not a disease or monsters – we are people first – sentient beings with certain unalienable rights which include the right to love and be loved, be seen, heard and known. Mr. Culler and Mr. and Mrs. Sease recently declared publicly they don’t want Gay Marriage in their communities – this supports discrimination. Mr. Culler mentions that gremlins are out to destroy life – his statement implies, at least to me that he wouldn’t be heartbroken to know of our deaths and this reminds me of Pastor Charles Worley of NC  in May of 2012 in a Sunday morning sermon suggested a lethal solution: a concentration camp for gays.  How can this type of lethal ideology not appear to be anything but intolerant? Mr. Culler mentions something on his Facebook page something about ‘evil – as evil does.’

Showing evilness and hostile rigidity towards others certainly fails to come close to the Gospel.

Supporting the destruction of others isn’t Christ-like – in fact the lethal attitude threatens our humanness by weakening our capacity and ability to care for others. An uncharitable biblical interpretation of gays and lesbians undermines the faith of everyone. It stands against the need for kindness, and the world will pay a dear price for promoting ghoulish principles.

While Mr. Culler acts in a threatening manner he isn’t major league player. He doesn’t yet have the high rank with those who promote or prompt hatred of others, as for Justin and Melanie Sease they play walk on bit parts in the drama… the destruction of our humanness.

We are human and millions of good people around the world will pay the price for their lack of charity.

Not everyone will understand the journey of GLBTI people – but it’s not their journey or place to make sense of it. We’re told to follow our hearts but people with biblically destructive mindsets calls us evil and vile, and many have made public pledges to eradicate us with the expectation that we will lie down like good sheep and accept our demise without a response… of we won’t. A gauntlet was thrown with the expectation of a certain response and which was seen and mocked, but ‘God is not afraid of new things’ and God will not be mocked. No good thing will come about as a result of statements that imply the eradication of a certain group of people is welcome.

God fearing conservative Christians means different things to the masses and I can only reiterate again that silence kills, fear kills and arrogant and mocking words uttered by anyone have the potential be lethal… Certain words have the capacity to kill as effectively as a disease or a bullet – it just takes longer to destroy the spirit, the mind; the soul and this is a crime against humanity, against God.

We will not be sacrificial lambs to people with mindsets like Worley, Culler or the Sease,’ who will not be the last to try to destroy us … they are among the latest who have taken a stand, drawn the line in the sand so to speak and we’ve heard their heart and know where the line in the sand is as well but we will continue moving forward with our work for justice and equality for ourselves and all others.

We will not be prayed or legislated away – we will not be robbed of our potentials, our humanness or the right to love and be loved or the right to marry whom we love or our right to raise a family.

Here By Divine Appointment

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A human being is a part of the whole universe; each of us was ‘called’ to play a role for a limited time and space.  Each of us is here for our time in the sun; for a cycle and a season to experience Self, to experience thoughts and feelings that are uniquely our own.  We are here to experience a Self that is different from all the rest of humanity, here to experience our own consciousness.  This is our inheritance, our birthright.

As human beings each of us is part of the whole universe, each of us portray a character in a dramatic play called life; each of us has a limited role in the drama occurring in time and space.

Everyone one of us was called here by some unknown force; everyone one of us was created in flash of blinding light; we are here to experience self; to think our own thoughts and feel our own feelings that are different from the rest of our fellows and here to free ourselves from history that occurred long before we drew breath in this life; a history of bondage and slavery; ultimately we’re here to embrace humanity in its diversity. We are here to grow. 

Each of us can say I am responsible to and for myself; I have free will to think my own thoughts and to express my own feelings. Each of us has residing inside an inner child that is always growing and exploring and knowing all aspects of Self and we are responsible for and to Self.  My only duty is to myself: Everyone has duty to self. 

Some people grow in one direction and feel duty bound to be a loving brother’s keeper while others become self-appointed watch keepers acting as if they here by divine appointment to be a spiritual security force.’  These watch keepers are fanatical religionists who live in a state of delusion; self-made prisons demanding conformity and uniformity. Always they condemn the personal lives of others who are different.

Fanatical religionists choose to close their eyes and ears to other viewpoints and choose to not understand the needs and affections of others who walk a different path. Millions of fanaticals choose to convene and connive to destroy the lives of others by creating a hostile climate and then promote myths/lies; such as ‘gays are diseased and gays demand special rights and gays are child molesters. They play the pseudo victim by saying gays are the enemies of faith and marriage and family. The ultra-fanatical religionist demands the death penalty for homosexuality. Where is their humanity: This is Christianity? 

We are not here to live out someone else’s religious doctrine  – their sense of reality or their frightening fantasies. 

People who care about each other do not convene and connive to demean and destroy the lives of others. People who care about each other do not approve or promote dehumanizing propaganda that demonizes others.  People who care about each other do not practice bigotry.

People who care about each other do not harass, persecute or torment others because they love someone of their same gender – someone who simply wishes to marry the person who fits best in their arms and heart and raise a family.

Intolerant bigots are like common thieves, they put out that spark of life in the eyes of the person we are supposed to call brother, sister; son, daughter: mother-father; … forgetting that we are one heartbeat in the universe, one family of humanity, that we are always a child.

Why is this so hard to understand?  You let a child, a woman – a man cry… deny their heart and want to die, live a life of dishonesty and despair just to please you and your oh so Christian Rules.

This is the Common Era, no one is owned. no one is another persons property. Why must another bend a knee and be humbled just to please you? Why should others strive to meet another person’s standards?  The beauty is of course … we don’t. Remembering our inheritance, we don’t need someone outside to define our wellbeing, our own happiness not at all, our happiness is a part of our own inner journey. we simply need to give ourselves permission to experience it and the joy of Spirit which is part of our heart and soul. We do not have to wait for or rely on another to define our life and the way we are to live it. We are already whole and complete.

As you go peacefully forward into your day please be gentle and kind and bear love with one another.

Rachel

Reflections of GLBT Ally

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I met Rich In 1973, he was my first gay friend and I enjoyed 26 years of close friendship with him until his death in 1999. Rich wasn’t an occasional friend who frequently visited the family, no at a point in time he became a member of my family and later lived with us; he was ‘uncle’ to my children and  I was his sister. Where the family went – Rich went, what we did, he did as well. He was a gentle, sweet man. In those days ‘gay people’ lived in tightly locked closets but over the years as our friendship evolved, as I moved from being a friend-to sister-confidant I learned of his early struggles; I heard his pain.  Many times Rich and I cried together, oh yes, many, many times. In 2003 I finally met my nephew and his husband and in time they also shared their memories and stories with me; I saw and felt their pain; and we also cried together. We are family and we do family things together, we watch TV, we go out to eat, go on picnics … eat ice cream cones and walk on the beach, we tell family stories – we laugh and giggle and we also mourn for the family members we’ve lost.  We do what all families do; we simply enjoy each other’s company.  I’m not their ‘straight aunt’ who comes to visit them. I am Aunt Rachel and they are G and B my family, period.     

Coming out as an ally I was unprepared; the 26 years of friendship and the family stories gave me an overview of the LGBT world. Three years ago I didn’t know or understand the perverse pulpit predators, prejudicial legislative bullies or religious terrorism. I came out as an ally with an open heart and with so much ignorance. No; I knew absolutely nothing about LGBT rights and issues, I thought I did but I discovered there was still so much for me to learn, to understand.  When Joe Knudson introduced himself to me and then to the Let’s Reach One Million People campaign I knew I was home: I knew the moment I met Joe that he was my brother and I didn’t just cry – I howled; thankfully my husband wasn’t home; he wouldn’t have understood my emotions, but I was home and Joe was my brother and the universe needed to hear my voice. I bawled like a baby for an hour.     

Three years later I am immersed in the LGBT community however I am viewed by many as an outsider but I am deeply aware of the intensity of everyone’s personal struggles. I read the news feed, I hear the anger- the pain. Yes, I fully understand that just staying alive is a daily struggle, and that protecting one’s privacy means survival and the ability to define one’s own destiny is vital. I know that staying mentally – emotionally healthy is another subject entirely. I’ve learned about sexuality and gender non conformity, about self-identity and Interconnectedness.

I’ve learned so much and realize there is still more for me to understand. Today I understand Equality, the Equal Rights movement, and I understand the heavy burdens of personal issues and what I know today was not in my head three years ago, then it was general knowledge.

 The personal horror stories deeply, deeply touch my heart; I read heartbreaking stories of betrayal and rejection; childhood violations, lack of support, disappointment and fear; cruelty and lack of nurturing. Yes my heart was always fully engaged, yes I knew of these wounds but I did not understand the depth and breadth of the wounds nor did I understand the extent of the deep pockets and long arms of the religious right or their vicious tenacity; their depravity.

Christianity is not the Christianity I knew either. Three years ago I read a story of a young man and his homophobic mother. Mother took her young son out in the woods and tied him to a tree and put a rifle to his genitals and told him that if she ever found out he was gay she would shoot his ‘balls off.’ This is a Christian? This is a Mother?  This horror story was my introduction to homophobia.  I was horrified.

Today I read horror stories and each one tries to destroy my innocence but I will not let this happen. I am absolutely outraged and horrified but I cannot let this turn into sourness and bitterness, this is a price I am not willing to pay. But I can’t read LGBT news without my heart responding. I read other peoples reports and the comments of the news. I read the news-feed on my page and read the comments; oh yes I hear the anger- the rage the pain. But I am locked out; ‘friends’ after three years and I’m still locked out; I’m still an outsider to so many, ‘straights’ cannot feel their pain I’m told and I will honor those who feel that way but I will also say that I have been honored by a few who have opened themselves to me and shared their anger, their sorrow, their bitter tears; their pain.  

It’s true, I’ve never been bullied, beaten or discriminated against but no one can tell me that I cannot understand feelings. I understand abandonment, emptiness, grief, loss, loneliness, rejection, sadness, sorrow just as I understand the terms equal rights movement; human rights, homophobes and homophobia. I guess they don’t think that I read with horror and pain of the perversity of the violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice but I do. I know for certain that I understand the Equal Rights movement because I fully understand the needs.   The Equal Rights Movement isn’t a party and being gay isn’t a lifestyle a fad or a sickness. Equality opponents talk about Gay and sin and salvation and speak of ridiculous absurdities that I won’t bother to list.  

The Equal Rights Movement is about LGBT people being acknowledged as human beings – warm – wonderful people of quality and worth and deserving  to be acknowledged; to be seen and recognized as warm – wonderful people and should be treated with all courtesy, dignity and respect and have every right to expect and enjoy legal freedoms, liberties and rights as granted when born: The truth is that each of us can say “I was born whole and complete and I am still that child:” Yes, equal rights are civil – human rights and yes they are for everyone.  

A family pet is lavished with attention and care while a senator creates a bill to support bullying. This senator chooses to make light of LGBT safety and security issues such as assault, eviction, harassment, homelessness, loss of relationships and society chooses to stand by and accept and condone this just as they accept the absurdities told by pulpit predators. A vicious bible bashing radio personality said that ‘gays are not human’ and other hateful ‘pseudo religious’ personalities tell hateful lies and myths with such ease and listeners absorb their unholy gospel and sit back and allow human beings to be persecuted and tormented. They allow young people to be bullied; they allow men and women to be beaten and yet they shake their heads and do not understand why a seven year old child takes his life. They sit in church and listen and nod and accept absurdities spoken by their pastor; they listen to news of legislators convening to call for the deaths of LGBT in another country.  I have no doubts about who the monsters really are.    

The International Human Rights Council condemns violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity that undermine personal integrity and dignity. But the question must be asked, where is the public outcry, why does society accept and condone the absurdities told by the pulpit predators, why accept the violence against LGBT? LGBT rights are human rights and civil rights: Human Rights are universal – they apply to me as well as they apply to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.

Of Homophobes and the homophobic: Everyone has a right to be seen and their voice heard, their presence known. As a news contributor to various Facebook pages I read extensively about homophobia and homophobes, I don’t understand them or their extreme hate but I know they hate with an unholy passion. I read their lies and remember what a friend states in his blog; ‘lies told in the name of God are still lies’ and I’ll add that persecution and torment done in the name of God is not only hypocritical this is  blasphemous.  I see how their vicious prejudice undermines democracy and makes a mockery of freedom of speech. LGBT are not the enemies of religious liberty as portrayed by the Frigidly Religious nor are they tools of the devil and certainly not God’s adversaries. Yes, I see so much hate in action; I’m mortified and outraged at the outrageous absurdities.

Homophobes teach intolerance. Homophobes create a climate of fear, homophobes create and spread endless lies and push racism.  Homophobia is responsible for the worldwide humiliation persecution, torment; suicide and murder of LGBT people.  Homophobia puts children at risk: LGBT persecution and ridicule by the Frigidly Religious is unfounded and persecution and tormenting of people is not a spiritual value so I question – where is the caring society?  

Members of a caring society protect children from homophobic bullying. A caring society protests homophobic activity: They protest it in their community, on their street and in their public schools. Members of a caring society write letters to their local and state representatives, they stand up and speak out; they let their powerful voices be heard.

Gender: Today I understand that gender is exclusive to everyone but a punishing society cannot or will not accept the fact that it is alright for the school prom to accept a queen with a penis or a king with a vagina. A punishing society says that two men or two women can’t raise a ‘healthy child.’  

Today I understand Pride – even though I went to Pride event years ago I went not fully understanding Pride or Gay Pride now I understand Pride and Gay Pride and better understand the challenges of achieving full equality. I can say with honesty that I fully understand the need for educating and enlightening society and I know we need good PR – we need desperately need funds for PSA’s to overcome the deep pockets of the Rigidly Religious. We need to find a legal way to counteract those unholy ‘Pulpit Predators’ and their vile messages. Educating  mainstream society is a necessity, they need to understand the worldwide violence, harassment, discrimination exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice that is based on sexual orientation and gender identity; yes, oh yes I understand that hate is man’s doing and his undoing.

Today I speak as ‘we’ because I am not a separate entity. I speak in unity; I understand personal integrity and dignity. To ask another to lock up a part of their being and pressuring another to live a lie is cruel. Again, where is the caring society, where is the care and kindness?

Because it is so cruel and heinous to all mankind no society should never accept, embrace, endorse, condone or promote homophobia yet many do: Today members of churches are afraid to speak up regarding equality and equal rights and this is morally evil! No one should ask another to keep silent about the most intimate part of what makes us who we are.  A justice court states “Sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic… fundamental to one’s identity.” • Immutable means – absolute – unchallengeable – not able to be changed.

Inclusiveness is the center point of my journey as an ally, and though my friends list numbers 160 to the majority I still believe that I am just another name and very few have an interest in me as a friend but some do and I am thankful for this. My friends know who they are: they are warm, witty and wise, and utterly wonderful. When I have a question of a personal nature I ask my witty and wise friends with whom I can talk with about intimate things. At 70 I’m not embarrassed to ask questions [well maybe I do have to think about it a bit] but If my friends are embarrassed at my questions they hide it well but I’m confident enough that they would let me know. This is friendship at its finest.

The democratic process is slow and tedious but I believe that LGBT worldwide equality will be achieved [in time] through proper channels and peaceful means. This does not mean the end of persecution and torment by bigots but I believe that worldwide equality will be achieved.

As long as I am able to think, plan and do I will always be a part of the Equal Rights Movement, my voice of support will always be heard.

Rachel.