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
 
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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.

Ruffled Feathers

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Ignorance is real: Hate is real. I’m not mentioning Quacker by name to give him more air time, he’s had enough – nor will I show his picture, it’s been seen enough as well. By now we should know who Quacker is – if you don’t – you’re fortunate. I barely do and what I do know is enough. I don’t watch TV. I haven’t turned mine on in over a year and frankly I don’t miss it.

Just for the sake of argument, maybe Quacker doesn’t understand the hurtful nature of his words. Maybe he was blind to the reality of life for African Americans. – Maybe- Maybe he is unconscious of the suffering of GLBT – who knows. But being oblivious to the suffering of others is the very root of bigotry and bias. When you hear news articles of Quacker do you see a role model for a child, a hero that you want follow? Does he represent freedom, liberty, equality, justice, hope, faith? Unfortunately he’s on the verge of becoming a rightwing idol.

Do you believe he’s being unfairly, unethically, dishonestly, deceitfully, fraudulently, illegally, unlawfully, falsely, underhandedly, crookedly, discriminatorily, unreasonably, incorrectly being victimized by being suspended from his reality show?

In an article I read Quacker mentions he is a ‘lover not a hater.’ Perhaps this is true but I found a picture of him standing side by side Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church with their infamous “God Hates Fags” – who appears to hate everything so I question that he loves LGBT. I listened carefully but Quacker never quavered when he spoke of ‘sexual sin, homosexuality and adultery: We’re all sinners.’ Have you noticed like I have that people who say they are lovers not haters seldom speak of love instead the conversation tends to flow in the direction of sin and sinning?

Quacker fact: Quacker is not a pauper; good on him, there’s nothing wrong with a man having a happy dollar or two in his pocket since I recall something he said about his childhood and being ‘poor white trash -’ so he’s made a happy dollar in his life; nothing wrong with that. A search on the internet revealed his current net worth of $15 million.

America the bigoted beautiful: So, where are the national strong leadership voices? The one we have is ignored, yet more and more unknown individuals like the individuals noted later will rise out of the muck – coming out to become other little tin gods; dictators and tyrants who terrorize the faithful with their myths and lies. Hate is different than abhorring, which means to disapprove of or not like but in America hatred towards GLBT is intensifying and this is dangerous
Today, apparently making homophobic and racist on national TV is all that is required to become a Religious Right hero and this is a sad commentary on the state of our country. Why is there so much hostility towards GLBT, we’re losing mores and values to the likes of the tin gods who seem to be calling the shots. They know they are losing in America. No, now they spread their often bewildering and ridiculous, mostly offensive, stupid -innuendos, myths and lies in other countries via their own radio stations. They produce and package slick DVD’s, and maintain an up to date internet website and abuse the privilege of YouTube.

From Right-Wing-Watch: Submitted by Brian Tashman on Friday, 12/20/2013 noted the following:
1. The National Organization for Marriage’s petition claims Robertson was suspended merely for stating “his belief in the truth of the Bible,” insisting that “nothing that Phil Robertson said is hateful” and that A&E “succumbed to the demands of bullies like the HRC and GLAAD, which is disgraceful for an entity whose very existence depends on the free exchange of ideas.”
2. The American Family Association has its own petition thanking Robertson for “ declaring the truth of God’s word” and charging that the network undermined the reality star’s “rights to religious freedom and freedom of speech”…because apparently the First Amendment says that no one can ever be disciplined in their job over things they say.
3. The group Faith Driven Consumers accuses A&E of holding “discriminatory,” “intolerant” and “un-American” views, claiming in its petition that the network “effectively censors a legitimate viewpoint held by the majority of Americans.”
4. Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition is urging men to grow beards in “support for Phil and Christian Values,” while asking women to “lovingly tolerate the facial scruff” of men who grow their Phil-beards.
5. Even the ex-gay organization Voice of the Voiceless has its own petition, warning that America will soon “turn into a fascist society” if gay rights groups aren’t stopped.
6. Americans for Truth about Homosexuality head Peter LaBarbera complains that Robertson is a victim of “homo-fascism” while “Christians and moral-minded Americans must rally behind Phil Robertson.”
7. Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel salutes Robertson as “a breath of fresh air in this Miley Cyrus culture” who is bravely restoring America’s Christian heritage.
8. The Family Research Council also launched a petition and blasted “the totalitarian tactics of the Left.”

Ignorance is real: Hate is real and being gay is still a crime in 76 countries—a crime that’s punishable by death in several, Needed are more LGBT workers, friends and allies – again we must gather ourselves around the flagpole … we must. But who – who is ready to fight against hate AND willing to work by reaching out to others? We simply must reach out to teach acceptance and tolerance – this is an imperative. We must help others – we must counter every myth and lie with facts. Why? Because ignorant people who make homophobic and racist remarks on national television is all that is required to become a Religious Right hero.

America The Beautiful: is it acceptable for any state government to embrace bigotry? Is it acceptable for any state government to finance racism? Is it acceptable for our national leaders to ignore gay bashing or take part in it? Once we were a one nation-indivisible America the beautiful. America the Beautiful; a song everyone proudly sang – as well as singing of liberty and justice for all. – But this is no longer the case, there is no single strong leadership voice in America who is standing up and speaking out: saying not just No, but Hell No! What state leader has called out the crisis created by the Uganda Parliament when it passed the ‘Kill the Gay Bill Legislation? I haven’t heard a single voice and this means we must continue to move forward on our own grassroots movement as we cannot depend on any politician much less any legislation and judicial rulings are discounted and fought over and judges are threatened to be impeached and unseated in the next elections because the ruling went the ‘wrong’ way.

America the Beautiful: I read an article about a friend of Quacker who is suing A & E – for his right to hate. Good on him! This is America – let him stand up for his warped right to hate. That’s democracy – but it’s our downfall too, but democracy must remain! Eons ago we came out of the darkness of the caves; we saw the sun, the moon, and the stars. We came out of the darkness to learn and grow and understand. We cannot go back into that darkness and hide and let these bullies win.

America the bigoted beautiful: You can’t camouflage bigotry. Equal protection means treating every individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances. Creating laws simply to deny equal rights or protection to GLBT makes no sense besides being mean spirited and punishing. When did it become acceptable to unite America in hate? When did it become unfashionable to welcome all to our heart – hearth and fire? Why does MAN insist on placing so much value on hating others? Hate which is a corrosive – hate pollutes the mind and spirit.

It seems that so few in America are willing to protect or serve all others. Many are willing to protect and serve their own who sit in fellowship with them and others have creeds and dogmas that guide who they will fellowship with. So many are exclusive, and then we find the many tin gods doing their own thing – flouting rules, regulations, discarding the one thing America has always stood for. Hope.

Notable GLBT haters are visiting other countries telling myths and lies; and one particular GLBT hater is arrogantly flaunting it – admitting that gays are his enemies. This hater also calls himself a Christian. This must be the cycle – in the wheel of time when Man dictates – divides – dominates and it seems this one in particular is ‘hell bent’ to destroy all GLBT rights, freedoms and liberties.

We all start out in life on the same foot, but somewhere along the line when it comes to LGBT then GLBT are more than likely to be with Rosa Parks – standing in the back of the line, standing at a different water cooler, being seated at another part in a restaurant. And LGBT are still denied opportunities, subjected to arbitrary discrimination and job elimination in the workplace, having a less than an equal chance within the framework and structure of the established rules.

America The Beautiful: We cannot allow anyone to demean the dignity of GLBT for no rational reason. Sadly compassion love and kindness and even truth about LGBT cannot be legislated: We cannot go back- or backward into the darkness but we might at a point in time if continue to sit on Facebook with our friends and say fuck this and that and do nothing. We need willing workers! Everyone can do something, everyone, this includes the reader of this article. Equal protection means treating every individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances. Creating laws simply to deny equal rights or protection to GLBT makes no sense besides being mean spirited and punishing.

Yes: Ignorance is real: Hate is real.

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. 

A Portrait in Tyranny

Danger Alert:Image A warning issued by The Freedom Federation; in defense of marriage.  Lead to polygamy, civil war and destroy family values. America is out of touch with its morality: The two-page letter ends with the warning not to test the groups by legalizing gay marriage. Seven pages of anti-gay conservative Christian’s [200] signatures ending with the following: ‘Make no mistake about our resolve. While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the true common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross.’

This is a portrait of tyranny: A line drawn in the sand by the Freedom Foundation [The 200] have convened to prepare for civil war to defend traditional marriage. Democracy is the free and equal right to participate in the decision making processes. Democracy has a degree of fluidity yet it is often turbulent but is a treasure that other countries seek to establish and hold onto.

Tyranny and terrorism walk hand in hand like lovers in the park: Some may think I’m over dramatic here, but I believe it is vital for everyone to understand the nature of terrorism: “Terrorism is a mode of communication, a type of violence used in times of peace; it is a psychological act to impact an audience … an act of politics. Its purpose is to terrorize.” The goal in the end, regardless of the reason, is to inflict fear. The declaration by the 200 is intentional and rational, was designed and published to establish a climate of fear in both the GLBT community and society. This is Christian? Spiritual? This is honorable? This unthinkable; 200 signers of a declaration of war have drawn a line in the sand noting their intent; The 200 are willing to use terrorist tactics to gain their agenda.  There is no isolation in terrorism, when one is terrorized – everyone is.

It is important to see this threat of violence and understand it for what it is. Truth: this type of terrorism affects the humanity of society. This is not just limited to GLBTQIA people; this threat touches man’s humanity worldwide. The greater society must also speak up not just the GLBT community. The Freedom Foundation ridicules Democracy and Justice and mocks Freedom of Speech.

Taking away the rights of one opens the door to take away the rights of everyone.  Look at the whole picture; the threat of civil war over legalizing gender marriage does influence our humanity and affect human rights and human rights activists around the world as well. Democracy means free and equal representation of, by, and for one and all.

The 200 have given their formal version of ‘fair warning;’ in reality this is business as usual for them: The 200 are war mongers who create and perpetuate GLBT myths and lies, this new atrocity is a merely a stepping up of the war against the GLBT.  The 200 are the barbarians. The 200 are the offenders of honor, justice and respect.

Emerging are the ‘peace warriors.’ Specially trained people who have declared themselves not vigilantes but activist who attempt to peacefully de-escalate GLBT hate motivated violence on the streets; this is well and good for those who are mindful and respectful, but what of those who declare themselves ‘peace warriors’ who want to ‘settle matters according to ‘ a different code of  justice on the street.’

This is a band aid not a solution to a serious issue.

Rachel Wolff, GLBT Ally
A Global Voice dedicated to promoting world wide equal rights, civil rights, human rights.

Every human being has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.