Lessons learned

A guest post from my wise young friend Kyle.  Although he tells me he is 26 I believe he is much older. 

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Still fighting for equality

July 23, 2013 
By: Kyle Cecil, July 23, 2013

Most who have known me for the last three years have seen me strongly fighting for equality but for the last couple of months have seen me not posting or sharing as much as I used to in regards to equality and there’s a reason for that, I still fight for equality for all but it’s not the most important thing to me anymore, I have been on a journey of bettering myself such as working to turn my bad habits into good habits, changing the way I think about life, or loving myself more instead of focusing on things that cause negative energies and feelings and I don’t and won’t apologize for focusing on me and making me happy for the fact I have spent a lot of time trying to make everybody else happy first before making myself happy and that’s one bad habit I’m working to get rid of is making everybody else’s happiness come before my own.

Many might view my lack of posting about politics or equality or even talking about the stuff as me turning my back on the fight which is not the case, for me it’s about finding a balance of spending time fighting and spending time on myself; for the last three years I have spent almost every waking moment fighting for equality and doing so I found nothing but a lot of negative energies surrounding me and in that moment I felt I needed a change and I want to better my life and better myself in the process, I wanted to learn to love myself in hopes by doing so ALL the right people will come into my life and my life will get to a place of great enlightenment.

I know I have slacked on fighting for equality greatly but I’m not going to stop fighting but more look for a balance between my personal life and what interest me to live better and spending some but not all of my time fighting for equality, for me right now life is about finding a balance and just trying to enjoy my life the best I can. I have noticed not many will like or comment on anything I post on Facebook unless it’s some sort of drama related and it’s sad because we shouldn’t be that consumed with drama and negative energies we should never let our lives get to the point where drama and negative energies drive us I’m not saying don’t fight for what you believe in or don’t fight for your rights but find a balance between enjoying your life more and give some of your time to fighting for your rights but I know many won’t agree but what can you do but say it’s their life and just focus on me and what I’m doing.

I have slowed down 1000 times from where I was a couple of months ago and with doing so I have discovered I got things I need to work on and the more I have worked on my bad habits and way of thinking I have learned that less worry, less stressing, less negative energy and less drama has helped me to get to a place that I don’t want to leave I am on my way to a state of mind that I can’t help but embrace and love and share with others in hopes that I can inspire someone who also is on a self-discovery kind of mission. With me spending more time on myself and my interest I have rediscovered the love I used to have for my art and I want to do something with my art someday but with spending all my time fighting for equality and dealing with work I haven’t spent any time in the past three years with my art so I have to get my skills back to where they were when I was in High School. I have also gotten back to focusing on my Wiccan path and actually finished remaking my book of shadows which I have been working to do for the last year and a half, for those who don’t know; yes I’m Wiccan and NO I don’t owe anybody an explanation or an apology because I follow a spiritual path, I love working with my craft as much as I love my art and as much as I love music… pretty much I’m enjoying everything I did before equality took over my life and maybe more so since I’m trying to better myself, I tell you I just have this feeling that I’m learning exactly who I am for the first time and I like this Kyle and the more I keep on this journey I’m on this Kyle will just get better and that’s the person I’m excited to meet.

The main purpose for writing this is that even though I don’t fight for equality like I used to doesn’t mean I’m giving up the fight, I’m going to keep fighting but just not spending all my free time fighting like I was before, for some giving their 100% selves to fighting for equality works but for some of us the drama and negative energy that can and many times follows just isn’t what is good for the rest of us because we begin to see us turning into someone we never wanted to be, but too those who wish to keep their ALL 100% selves in the fight for equal rights I will always fight with you and will happily support you every step of the way but know that just because I have slowed down in this fight I’m not out for the count what so ever but I am drawing that line of how much drama and negative energy will be in my life but I’m most certainly not done fighting.

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Kumbaya my Lord_ People are dying_ My Lord

A voice from Haiti: “Gay people will curse our country

And we already have enough curses.” 

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I just read a news article involving the death of two ‘presumed gay’ men at an anti-gay march in Haiti.  They were beaten to death by protesters demonstrating against proposed marriage equality legislation. Among the anti-gay marchers were religious groups that were identified as Muslim and Protestants. Marchers also carried signs that threatened the GLBT community.
A question was asked: “if gay people continue to exercise their rights what are we going to do?’ Response: “We’ll kill them_ we’ll destroy them because we don’t need that in our country. We don’t want the question of gay people we want a man and a woman.’   ‘Gay people will curse our country and we already have curses.’  

 At the time  of their deaths the two unidentified ‘allegedly gay’ men were

not known to have been involved in a punishable crime.

It is criminal that there was no form of crowd control. It is sad there appears to be no remorse or regret only more voices speaking for violence, more expressions of prejudice.   Extermination of a group is a crime against humanity:  Two men are dead and their deaths witnessed by a few hundred people including children.  There were no reports of remorse shown or respect. Their bodies were left on the ground for several hours.  This is an attack on human dignity.  Killing members of the group and/or causing serious bodily to members of a group is a crime against humanity.

Irrationality ruled when Bias along with his brother Hate threatened to burn down the parliament building if politicians legalized same-sex marriage.  Irrationality never tolerates dissent. Sadly there is never an opportunity to learn when one is determined not to listen. Many demonstrators came with the intent to harm. Murder is a crime. Will the perpetrator’s be identified and brought to justice?  An ethical question that needs to be addressed; it appears there is no regret for the deaths; does anyone feel remorse for standing by and doing nothing to help? There is never a blessing in violence. If there is no regret expressed for the murders why?

We are One Heartbeat in Humanity: Everyone has a worth, a value, has the right to know and be known to see and be seen, to think and speak, to find meaning in life, to connect, to know love and to be loved unconditionally, to know peace, to feel safe, to discover the meaning of life. We have a common future, these men deserved to know love; to have a family.  Hateful hearts came prepared to harm. Bias and his brother Bigotry whipped a crowd of people into a hateful frenzy and two men died and hatefulness left the bodies lying exposed on the earth for several hours.

I finished this piece waiting for a time before I posted it then I read of another extremely horrific murder that must be addressed here.  The deviant are those religionists who constantly and consistently promote homosexuality as deviant behavior and an abomination against God. A church represents the spiritual heart and the leadership represents its voice and the essence of spiritual values. A church should be a safe place, an asylum, but how can it be when its leaders use hateful words and sits with others to plan and plot treacherous activities?  Hard line religious groups take full advantage of  freedom of speech and use it to wage an all-out war against the Gay Rights Movement.   Hateful, hurtful words are used as assault weapons against the community and their statements are carefully crafted,  so crafted that they barely skirt the law yet they achieve a desired outcome of igniting negative reactions both nationally and internationally.  The hateful mission of the religionists is to damage and destroy the pursuit of equality, liberty and justice by the LGBT community.   

Jamaica: “A Jamaican cross-dressing teen ‘chopped and stabbed’ to death by a mob – A 17-year-old was attacked by a large crowd of party-goers, who dumped the remains of his body behind some bushes on a road in Jamaica.”  The murder mentality is expanding around the globe and this is frightening. This is the Age of Enlightenment; we should not be acting like barbarians; murder, and the call for murder is wrong.  

I learned long ago, you can’t reason with a closed mind or shake hands with a clenched fist, if we want to be free of the bonds of bigotry and ignorance we need education and free discussion.  Do not forget that at the heart of all ancient parables of all faiths we find acceptance, equality, harmony, freedom; inclusion and respect.

Man is heir, not ruler yet the modern day extremists hinder and oppose the spread of different thoughts and new social developments  and mankind so  desperately needs healers, makers of peace and humanitarians. We simply must come together to work for humanity. We need more kindness between us if we are to move from this darkness into the greater light.

Rachel Wolff

THE FLAG WAS STILL THERE

In 1813 an army General requested a flag made so big that “the British would have no trouble seeing it from a distance.”  Officers located Rebecca Young Pickersgill known as a ‘maker of colors,’ and commissioned her to make a flag.  Using 400 yards of best quality wool bunting Rebecca and her daughter cut 15 stars that measured two feet from point to point, and eight red and seven white stripes, each two feet wide, were cut. The material was laid out on a malt-house floor and the pieces were sewn together.

The next year in the early dawn a young man scanned the horizon for the sight that would end his anxiety; the joy of seeing a flag blowing in the breeze. Yes, when daylight came, the flag was still there! The young man was an amateur poet was immediately inspired and wrote the first few stanzas on the back of a letter he had in his pocket. Later additional lyrics were composed his anthem was set to music and thus we have The Star-Spangled Banner; the young man Francis Scott Key.

From intimate letters between President’s Jefferson and John Adams we discover their perspectives regarding bigotry. “Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds.” “Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.” “We are destined to be a barrier against the returns of ignorance and barbarism….” “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”_ Thomas Jefferson to John Adams_ “May we be a barrier against the returns of ignorance and barbarism’’ “Your taste is judicious in liking better the dreams of the future than the history of the past.”

Recently a Korean War veteran saw a photo in his local paper of the LGBT flag being hoisted in his local park. This upset him and he contacted his local council saying something to the effect that he had not gone overseas and to fight for his country so that he could come back and be subjected to “something like that.” [The Korean War time frame: 1950 – 1953]:  He also intimated that other veterans felt that the flying of this flag was similar to a ‘poke in the eye of a way of life.’

The statements “something like that and poke in the eye of a way of life” reminded me of the morbid minds that Presidents Jefferson wrote about in a letter to his friend. History tells us that the two did not always enjoy and easy friendship “Jefferson wrote that he and Adams were often separated by ‘different conclusions.’ But the two men maintained their friendship despite their political differences. In fact they ceased writing to one another for an extended period of time until a breakthrough and their old friendship was renewed.  The friendship of these two presidents should be seen as example; if two presidents can find a way to maintain a friendship despite their differences we should be able to do the same. These men were determined and patient; if we are patient and determined we can do the same.

korean war soldier_nHowever some members of society are slow to accept diversity, so eager to deny liberties and rights: To the Korean War Veteran who wrote “something ‘like’ that…” Let me say that Gay men have served valiantly in battle since time began and I would like to remember my wonderful friend Rich, a Korean War Veteran himself.  Rich was one of gentlest and sweetest men on earth, he was a gay man who spent eight years in the US military but in his era Rich and his gay friends were locked closets.

Its time we viewed everyone equally, not because of law or legislation but because it is honorable.  Now, as I understand it, the legacy of the Declaration of Independence declares we are ‘one people endowed with inalienable rights; ‘ this means that no one needs to live under the oppression of another.

I believe that the promise of the American Revolution will never come to end; that enlightened people will continue to inspire others to open their eyes to the rights of all mankind to forward the cause equality.

Fabric is cloth made from fibers. A flag is a piece of cloth with a distinctive design, an identity symbol. Old Glory and the Rainbow flag both represent freedom and liberty; one specifically signifies the struggle for equality.  The most commonly seen Rainbow flag consists of six stripes, with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet and is flown horizontally, with the red stripe on top, as it would be in a natural rainbow. The Rainbow flag has a long tradition displayed around the world as a sign of diversity and inclusiveness, of hope and also symbolizes the mores that everyone associates with ‘Old Glory;’ home, family, hope, yearning, pride, values and allegiance with one another.

Will the legacy of this generation be Equality and Human rights through education and enlightenment or the morbid diseases of bigotry and barbarianism?  With liberty and justice for all: Let everyone gather around the flag pole, both flags symbolize diversity, inclusiveness, hope and freedom, and liberty.

Rachel

veteran w flag

Take One Breath ….

“Take one breath let it go… take another to be here and then take another to ask now what?”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Speed cancels out guidance. When we move in speed we are out of touch with ourselves and when we are out of touch with ourselves we burnout. We need to slow down and listen for guidance as my young friend did.

Image Speed cancels out guidance. When we move in speed we are out of touch with ourselves and when we are out of touch with ourselves we burnout. We need to slow down and listen for guidance as my young friend did. 

 A Pursuit of Happiness                      

By: Kyle Cecil – July 10, 2013

First off, I just want to say that this is a journey and everyone’s journey is and will be different and let me say that this isn’t easy by any means, it’s more about improving your way of thinking about your daily life and even maybe finding love, so here we go.

I began my journey to fully understanding myself and the reason why I’m here, my purpose for living if you will about two and a half months ago but one of the things I’ve learned during my journey is that you have to cut the negative things and people that bring you down out of your life or give them a lesser role to play in your life; I fight for LGBT/human rights and after so long of fighting for equality and constantly seeing a lot of negative stuff on my Facebook newsfeed it started to affect me in a way I didn’t think it would, I started to get a very negative outlook on everything. The other had to do with some of the people I interacted with, some were negative which didn’t help me in the least but yet I kept them around and let them continue to affect me in ways I didn’t realize they were affecting me. The other problem that was affecting me in a negative way is I was letting work take over my life which was stressing me out daily which didn’t help with the negative thoughts. Than there was family, when you feel like you have to always be here and there and you feel like you get no alone time to focus on yourself it starts to affect you in negative ways as well, even though its family it can still affect you in a negative way.

The things I’ve done along my journey of finding happiness is this; I don’t have many news sources on my fb newsfeed anymore and the people who are negative I’ve cut out of my life and I have like several uplifting and inspirational pages which has helped me, for the job part I’ve let it not affect me in like it has in the past and I’ve even been looking for a job that I actually can enjoy doing and that I can look forward to going to work, and for the family part I’ve learned that I need alone time and when I need it I take it because MY needs are just as important as anyone else’s but I have worked out a time to spend alone and a time to spend with family. But just doing these things I feel so much better than I have in years but though I’ve not found love yet I’m not focusing all my time and energy on that because if I just focus on me and making myself happy I believe love will come to me when the time is right.

I have always been told that you got to love yourself before anyone else can love you, the more I’m on my journey the more I believe this to be true, though loving yourself can sometimes be hard to learn to do it’s not impossible to do if you’re willing to look hard enough and deep enough inside yourself to find out what’s keeping you from loving yourself. We are and can be our own worst enemy but only dealing with our inner demons and insecurities will we truly find the problems and the issues that keep us from truly developing our spiritual side into what it can and is truly meant to be. Once the problems are found, which most of the time those problems dwell within ourselves, but by working to overcome those problems be it anger problems, trust issues, hard time forgiving others as well as ourselves, or just an overall bad outlook on life can you truly begin to understand and love yourself and get the most of what life has to offer.

One of the things I’ve learned on this journey is when it comes to finding love is don’t focus so much on finding love focus on yourself and self-improvements and do the things you love and enjoy doing, for example I love everything art and I’m very talented and creative in the arts so I’ve learned and have tried to learn as much as I can about my talents and all the different types of art and art related things that I can such as drawing, painting, flower arrangements, room decorating, writing but nothing really specific like stories but just writing like this piece here but now I want to learn about graphic art and photography to see how much further I can take my talents. And my other passion would be music, I’ve always wanted to learn to play the electric guitar so I started to practice with Motley Crue and Kiss music and my guitar skills daily get better and faster and I love it because I’m seeing one of my goals in life come to life right before my eyes. These are just two of my favorite interest but just spending time to do what I enjoy has made me enjoy my life more and just focusing on me more and others less has made a lot of worrying and stress I had before go away, sometimes you have to focus on you and your needs more and less on others or will and can lose yourself in the process.

Another way to improve yourself or your way of thinking is to face your fears, like for me one of my fears is I’m afraid of heights and I’m looking to overcome that fear because if I can face my fears maybe just maybe I can find a more inner peace than I have already, but my point is this; spend time enjoying your life and doing the things you’ve always wanted to do because we only get one chance to live so make it count and when you least expect it love will find you! But just find that happiness within yourself now that way that relationship will only add to that happiness and not be the main reason for your happiness. Look to yourself before someone else for your happiness.

I wanted to share my experience so far in my own pursuit for happiness and what I’ve done and what I am doing to find my own happiness in hopes that someone else might be able to take from my experience and use this to find their own happiness.

Circling the Universe – Spiraling into Bliss

Circling the Universe
Spiraling into Bliss

Duduzile Zozo

Earth School

I recently read a news article regarding a young lesbian who was violently assaulted and murdered. At the crime scene authorities found that a toilet brush had been thrust into her vagina. This murder took place in Ekurhuleni, South Africa.

I don’t want to let this story die – Duduzile Zozo deserves to be remembered.

Fact: Lesbians across the globe have suffered much … some have been violated and murdered just as this young woman.

Fact: We are all more than a name and a gender … at our birth we are committed to a gender identity and allocated a series of numbers by bureaucrats. At our birth we become a statistic; the time of our birth is recorded as well as our size and weight, as well as blemishes and the color our skin and hair, and footprints are taken: this is society’s desire.  The child cries but no one pays attention; a child has no voice, even the parent forgets  – and society has forgotten that each a part of the whole.

We are One Humanity and we are all sacred born.

Society frowns at blemishes and imperfection.

Society is quick to judge, label and discard.

Society wants and seeks perfection

Since time began children have been tossed aside- abused, abandoned – forgotten. Society has often mistaken our fear for anger and our rebellion for our yearning to be accepted.

Society has forgotten that we are sacred born, that we are here to unfold, to show the world the splendor of the inner- the real me.  If I say this is who I am then society calls me names and tells me I cannot express myself as I was born.

Society has forgotten that we are one and we are all sacred born.
Duduzile did not deserve what happened to her in her final hours.

No woman deserves this. Duduzile was born a lesbian. She was not cursed and she was not a sinner; she was not broken and she did not need curing!

Shoving a toilet bowl brush into her vagina after raping her was insanely cruel and vicious.

She had every right to be seen and heard, she had the right to life, liberty and security of her own person. No one should ever be subjected to torture as cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment as she was.

It is important that Duduzile’s attackers are found and brought to court and pay for their crime; what was done once can be done again. Was this was an act of terrorism against the GLBT community? Was this attack intended to send a message? I don’t know. But it was intentional and rational at the time and the entire act caused Duduzile great fear and did intimidate local GLBT community as well. That toilet brush wasn’t inserted into her vagina by her own hands, by her own free will.  She did not consent to this.  This woman was brutally and horribly taken by force. Consider that a man has a bat thrust into his anus — in both instances this is considered as a vile and vicious brutal assault, this is not sexual intercourse.

The attack on Duduzile involves the Force of Will by at least one person, possibly more; [theory probably] more.  What is rape?

I wanted to know the history of rape since I’m not exactly convinced the police department of the Ekurhuleni Township is going to pull out all the stops to look for suspects; homophobia is probably alive and well in Ekurhuleni as it is all across the globe. For this we can thank the radical religionists from the East and West for their harmful propogadisizing against the GLBT people.

The word rape “…originates from the Latin verb rapere: to seize or take by force. The word originally had no sexual connotation and is still used generically in English.  The history of rape, and the alterations of its meaning, is complex. In Roman law, rape, or raptus was classified as a form of crimen vis, “crime of assault. The concept of raptus was applied to the abduction of a woman against the will of the man under whose authority she lived, and sexual intercourse was not a necessary element….”

I’m certain that she was forced to experience ‘corrective rape’ which is a hate crime against GLBTI — a hideous crime where both men and women are sexually assaulted in a terrible effort to strip them of their sexual or gender orientation.

Tis is an extremely horrific act of violence – a demeaning act leading to trauma; and/or; mutilation and or possible/probable STD transmission.
I hold to the hope that the local GLBT community will continue to work to help people move forward to evolve, to grow and change to see GLBT people for who they are: People: Kind and gentle and loving people who love another of their same gender that’s all.

We are more than a name, a gender … Our mortal lives are the continuation of a female and a male. We are the lawful_ rightful heirs of a legacy of an ancient union formed from a rib bone, a body.  We are enveloped in a cloak of skin_ endowed with a mind; spirit and soul.

Duduzile – your beginning began when you left the womb of darkness and silence behind you to walk under the sun, the moon and the stars to leave your footprints in the sand. You were more than a size and a weight … a statistic … Today you are remembered as being sacred born.

Duduzile

On wings outspread

Soaring, spiraling

Flying free

 Spiraling into

Light

Spiraling into

Bliss

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.