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Posts Tagged ‘Gay community

Why November’s Election is SO Important

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I’ve been trying to get this thought out, now, for almost a month.  One thing after another has gotten in the way of its completion.  Yet, I feel it’s vitally important for me to get it out.  Then, last Wednesday following the Scott Walker recall election, I was presented with just the catalyst I needed to see it through.

While out playing music, which is what I do, this local homeless Viet Nam vet came up to me and pushed my button!  “Well, those stupid fucking Democrats really took it up the ass yesterday!”  Now, I’m use to his vitriolic statements.  He’s still at war.  I get that.  I’ve known him for quite some time.  And, his conversations are usually right along that same line.  And, typically, I just listen to his rhetoric, smile, nod, and go on about my day.  It usually works.  Not today.  Today, he pushed my buttons.  He pushed my buttons because he reminded me, up close and person, of exactly why it is of extreme importance for Obama to win in November.

This isn’t about politics, really.  This is about loving and caring.  This is about tolerance.   This is more about right and wrong.  And, it’s about survival.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I’m no professional political analyst.  Not even close.  In fact, the only thing I am, as a professional, is a musician.  I’m a single, gay, black male.  I’m an older black male who was around, albeit as a young boy, when blacks were fighting for their own right to exist.

Our country is entrenched in a cultural war.  That should be no secret to anyone with a pulse.  We’re seeing a second-coming of the Civil Rights movement of the 60s as the LGBT community fight, essentially for their right to even exist.  Just as blacks did in the 50s and 60s.  The parallels are undeniable.

Of course, there are many who would vehemently disagree with me.  Over and over again, I’ve read this older black leader or another protest the notion that today fight for equal rights by the LGBT community is an extension of the Civil Rights battle of the 60s.  I can state as a black man who lived during those times as a young black boy in the South that it is, indeed, the same fight.  In truth, despite their efforts to distance themselves from today’s struggle, it is the same fight being fought against the same establishment.  The same hateful, mean-spirited, bigoted people who wanted to keep Blacks “in their place” 50-60 years ago now want to do the same with the LGBT community.  Well, of course not the same people.  That was a half-century ago.  However, it IS, in fact, the same establishment.  Now, before I get called out on this for not knowing my history, I’m very well aware that there were Democrats and Republicans, alike, who were fighting against Civil Rights back then, whereas today’s war is being waged solely by the ultra right-wing, Christian fundamentalists.  In that day, the political lines were a bit more blurred than they are today.  Today, there is an unmistakable gulf of a line drawn between the two parties.  And, that division has permeated our entire society.  We’re very much a “them and us” culture.  And, therein lies the problem.

Listen, I’m a Democrat, myself.  However, I can readily acknowledge that there’s a lot that Obama has not done during his current presidency.  He’s left a lot to be desired.  I get it.  At the same time, I was realistic enough from the beginning to know that he WOULDN’T be able to do but so much.  Why?  There was no way “they” were going to let a smooth-talking black President show but so much accomplishment.  The Civil Rights struggle of the 60s may have been won in theory, but in reality there are still struggles on the racial front, as well.

Today’s Civil Rights struggle is being fought by the LGBT community, making this the second Civil Rights struggle that I will be directly affected by.  As with the Blacks in the 50s and 60s, all we’re seeking is equality.  That’s it.  Simple equality.  We want to be able to marry the person we love.  Legally.  We want to be protected against discrimination in the workplace and in the housing market.  We want the hate crime laws to protect every single America, which include us.  We want to see an end to the incessant bullying of our LGBT youth, sanctioned legally in some states!, which is leading far-too-many of them to end their lives.  In short, we just want the right to live our lives, as who we are, just as freely as our heterosexual counterparts.  That’s really not asking too much, and it certainly isn’t asking for “special rights” as they try to make you believe

Why IS is so incredibly important that the current President of the United States win the election this year? The answer is quite simple, actually.  The short answer is if Obama fails to retain the White House, our culture will be doomed back to the days, and ways, of Ward, June, Wally, and the Beav.  It’s that simple.  That’s the utopian world they envision.  That’s the simple answer.  A deeper look reveals a much more disturbing picture.  Failure by Obama to win the White House in November will ensure:

  1. Every single hard-fought gain the LGBT community has made will be erased.  The few states that do have marriage equality?  Gone.  Anti-discrimination policies that protects the LGBT community?  Forget about it.
  2. The death rate amongst LGBT teens will continue to soar.  It’s as simple as that.  Look, let’s take off the blinders.  The ultra-conservative, far-right wing, Christian faction hates us.  Period.  Ironic, isn’t it?  Christians hating.  Yet, we’ve heard preachers tell their congregation that we should die.  These are Christians.  These are leaders.  These people are the driving force behind the Republican Party today.
  3. Today’s Republican Party is being spearheaded by some of the most narrow-minded, evil-spirited “politicians” I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.  That there are Republican senators working feverishly to pass legislation that will, in effect, sanction the bullying of LGBT teens should tell you all that you need to know.  And, that’s just a small fraction of the threat they pose to the LGBT community.

I’m not naive. I understand that there will always be narrow-minded, bigoted people in the world and in our society. However, at this specific point in time, they’ve risen to positions of power. With that, they’ve seemingly made it their life’s mission to all but do away with anything gay. Indeed, there has been right-wing political and religious leaders calling for the death of LGBT people. They’re flexing their political/religious muscle, spewing extraordinarily hateful and intolerant rhetoric to their followers. In doing so, they are creating a very dangerous environment for members of the LGBT community. To wit:

  • Just last week, a landmark gay bar was set ablaze in Chicago.
  • The LGBT Headquarters in Washington, DC recently endured a bomb threat.
  • Schoolyard bullies are more empowered than ever in their attacks against those they perceive to be LGBT schoolmates, driving many to commit suicide.
  • In the news just today, an ultra-conservative mayor in Michigan added fuel to the already-raging firestorm directed towards her by way of a recall vote with yet another ridiculous statement about the LGBT community.

Indeed, Obama losing the election in November would be catastrophic for the LGBT community. Not just because he’s gone public in his support for marriage equality. It would be catastrophic because it would put in power the absolute meanest, most narrow-minded collection of “leaders” I’ve ever witnessed. Giving power to this group of people would take the LGBT community back to pre-Stonewall days. At least! Giving power to them would absolutely assure an escalation in the already-alarming suicide rate amongst LGBT teens. Why? Because they don’t care about you if you’re LGBT. In their eyes, we shouldn’t exist. And, quite frankly, people with this mentality have absolutely no business whatsoever in positions of power.

Honestly, this really isn’t about politics, per se.  It’s more about right and wrong.  It’s wrong for people to use positions of power to systematically destroy a group of people.  To call for the death of a group of people is called genocide.  How is that even legal?  Maybe within the next four years, they’ll get some people in their party who actually care about ALL people, including people in the LGBT community.  Maybe that’s asking too much.  Well, at the very least, we can hope for a group of people who aren’t as mean-spirited as this collection is.  Until then, I think we need to do everything in our power to make sure they don’t succeed in November.

Happy Birthday, Harvey May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978

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Secretly, I always tried to keep up with gay-related news stories when I was young.  With no electronic media in those days, following national gay-related events was challenging, to say the least.  I remember hearing about someone in San Francisco becoming the first openly gay elected official.  Of course San Francisco.  Here on the East Coast of the U.S., people are trained to believe that that beautiful City by the Bay is nothing more than a haven for gays.  Like everyone there runs around in pink tutus, spreading fairy dust everywhere they go.  People are strange.

Harvey Milk was his name.  I locked that name into my memory bank, even as a young man.  Even as a 20-year-old, I believed that more gays should become visible for who they were and the contributions they had to offer.  Harvey Milk was a validation.  In fact, we shared that same philosophy.

On his third attempt, Harvey was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  The effects of his presence had national impact.  Amongst the things he championed in a city where the misinformed thought was a gay paradise, Milk fought against discrimination against gays and lesbians in the workplace and housing market.  He won.  He fought for gays and lesbians to be hired as police officers in the City.  He won.  And, the fought the state senate in their effort to ban gays and lesbians from being teachers in California’s school systems.  He won.
On November 27, 1978, after temporarily losing his sanity from eating too many Twinkies, former city Supervisor Dan White shot and killed both Harvey Milk and San Francisco then-Mayor, George Moscone.  Three-thousand miles away, this 21-year-old heard the news and cried.  Even without the instant access to news that we have today via the Internet and 24/7 cable news, I knew instinctively that Harvey had been assassinated because he was, in fact, a gay man.  A gay man who tried to stand up and make a difference.  In 1978, that was unheard of.
In 1986, I arrived in San Francisco.  A new beginning.  Until then, my world had consisted only of Maryland and Virginia.  As a 27-year-old, wide-eyed openly gay man, I soaked in all of what this paradise had to offer.  One of the first things I had to do was visit The Castro.  Harvey’s old stomping ground.  As I got off of the underground transit, MUNI, I walked out into Harvey Milk Plaza.  And, I was frozen in time.  There I stood, on the hallowed grounds where, less than a decade before, Harvey Milk launched a brilliant, if too short, political career.
Harvey did much more than fight for gay rights.  As he saw it, gay rights was just another cog in the wheel of human rights.  Basic human rights that, still today, we still fight to achieve.  Harvey Milk worked hard for changes in education, transportation, low-income housing, and more.  He was truly a politician for the people.  As it should be.  His life, and his promising political career, may have been cut short at the hands of former supervisor Dan White.  His legacy, however, will live forever.  In San Francisco.  In California.  And, around the country within the LGBT community.  On this day, we celebrate the life and times of Harvey Milk.  Happy 82nd birthday.  Oh, and thank you for your contributions.
                                                           

THIS Is What We’re Up Against!

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By now, I’m sure that many of those reading this blog, or on the facebook blog page, have read the story of the North Carolina maniac, disguised as a pastor, who told his congregation to physical abuse their young children if they thought they were beginning to show homosexual tendencies.  That’s right!  In his words, “I give you a special dispensation this morning to…” crack the perceived limp wrists of their very young boy if they thought he was showing homosexual tendencies.  “Man up”.  He also urged them to PUNCH the boy.

I have to pause for a moment to regain my composure and dignity.

What’s worse is the “congregation” he was delivering the “sermon” to were laughing, cheering, and offering their “amen” to the words of this barbarian.    I’m guessing that advocating the harm of a child isn’t a crime in North Carolina.  Or, is that ok “as long as it’s done for religious, political, or philosophical beliefs.”?

My mind wants to go back to the person who “Anonymously” posted a comment last month to one of the blog entries who said that it was “absolutely absurd” to blame religious and political “leaders” for what’s going on in this country, and around the world, today when it comes to the LGBT community and, in particular, the LGBT youth.  Those words don’t go away.  I seeth every time they replay in my mind.

It doesn’t get any clearer than this:  what we’re witnessing right now in this country is an all-out war against the LGBT community.  Keep in mind, as well, that there was also recent a “DJ”, DJ Dominic Dieter, who went on record as telling a father that he should get one of his friends to screw his lesbian daughter straight.  For a nation so obsessed with terrorism, and the threat thereof (and, rightfully so), it’s interesting that groups who publicly wage war against a segment of our population aren’t considered domestic terrorists.  To be fair, I will add that a number of these maniacs are, in fact, listed as hate groups.  Wouldn’t you, as a Christian, be just a little leery about going to a church that is listed as a hate group?  Well, yes, of course you would.  That is, of course, unless your mind is as warped as those who lead these “churches”.

Here’s the issue in plain black and white:  we are in the fight of our lives, as a community, right here and right now.  At stake is our freedom, as a community, as “they” systematically attempt to erase all gains that have been made over the past few years as it pertains to marriage equality and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  WORSE, what’s at stake is the very lives of the LGBT teens from coast-to-coast and border-to-border as we see one political and/or religious “leader” after another all but say “we don’t care that they’re killing themselves.  If they’d stop being LGBT, they’d feel better about themselves and wouldn’t commit suicide.”  We need to let them know that this is 100% unacceptable.  From this constant attack, led by highly visible “leaders” comes the mentality of the young ones that it’s okay, and even expected of them, to bully those they perceive to be LGBT.  


I get a little emotional about this.

This just shows what we’re up against.  It shows that we need to fight harder, with even more conviction, and we need every single available voice to speak up loudly and clearly.  The message needs to be crystal clear:  we are NOT second-class citizens; we are NOT mistakes; we ARE equal in every sense of the word; and, God’s opinion of me and my life is between me and God.  Being gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender has NOTHING to do with the quality of our character.  We are PEOPLE, first and foremost.


Spread the word.  Every voice is needed…right now!

Asperger’s and Being Bullied

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There was a very sobering video posted today on the facebook blog page, courtesy of Wipe Out Suicide and Wipe Out Homophobia.  Sobering because it was a mother telling how her 5-year-old son had been bullied to the point where he wanted to die.  Five years old!!!  There can’t be a more resounding wake-up call than that.asperger4The story of 5-year-old Aden is both heartbreaking and familiar.  Heartbreaking, for obvious reasons.  When you have anyone feeling so much emotional pain because of the actions of a few people who carelessly abuse them because they are “different”, that’s a problem.  When you have a 5-year-old saying he wants to die because of the treatment he’s getting, that’s a 5-alarm blaze.

I could connect with this because Marty, my 23-year-old surrogate son, deals with the same issue.  Like Aden, Marty is not your average Joe.  He’s uniquely Marty.  And, that’s okay.  He’s highly intelligent, as I’m sure Aden is.  He yearns to be accepted by his peers, like Aden; yet, because he’s perceived as different, it’s a constant challenge for him to gain acceptance .  As a result, he struggles with social anxiety.  Like Aden, all he yearns for is to be accepted, by his peers, by anybody…simply for being Marty.  That’s not asking too much.  Isn’t that what we all want?  Sure it is.  And, sadly, like Aden, Marty has voiced on occasions that “I don’t belong in this world”.  I’ve worked hard for 3 1/2 years to show him that he’s wrong.

Like Marty, Aden will grow into the understanding that there IS a place in this world for him.  He’s got an incredible mother who, right now while he’s still very young, is Aden’s “voice”.  On that, alone, he’s got a leg up on Marty.  But, that’s a whole different story.  Like Marty, Aden will grow into the understanding that Asperger’s is simply something he has to deal with in his life, but it’s not who he is.  In the 3 1/2 years he’s been with me, Marty has done nothing but grow.  It’s amazing what positive reinforcements can do for a person.  It’s sad, though, that he had to wait until he was an adult before he had someone who would take the time to give him that daily positive reinforcement.  And, that gives Aden a major leg up!!!  His mother, in speaking out with this video, should win “Mother of the Year” accolades!!  Asperger’s isn’t a death sentence.  It’s just extra luggage to carry as you embark on your journey through life.autism

Here’s the real problem.  How is it that five-year-old kids can be so intolerant and mean as to make one of their peers want to end his life!?  That’s a REAL problem!!  And, there’s no way you can blame a 5-year-old for that behavior.  I’ve said it a thousand times but, obviously, it needs to be said tens of thousands more times:  the issue of bullying isn’t just about the young people, IT’S THE ADULTS WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON!!  The young people are learning this level of meanness and intolerance from people much older than themselves.  Take that to the bank.  And, perhaps, it isn’t the parents, directly.  Maybe it’s the older siblings.  However, the link still goes back to the parents.  Adults are the root to this whole bullying problem, like it or not.  The issue with Aden makes that woefully clear.

I challenge every single adult and, especially, parent to monitor themselves.  Do it for a week.  How are the young people in your life seeing you deal with other people, people you perceive as different?  How are they hearing you talk about a different ethnic group than your own, about members of the LGBT community, about someone with a disability?  How they see and hear YOU deal with people you perceive as “different” is how they are taught to deal with them.  Plain and simple.  And, as is made obvious by this video and 5-year-old Aden, they learn young.

Spread love.

Embrace diversity.

Teach acceptance.

It’s the only way we’re going to change this culture of hatred and intolerance.  As Aden’s mother stated poetically in the video:  “Love…cures.  Hate…kills.  Be nice to others.  It starts with you.”  It’s really just that simple.AutismAwarenessHeader

Written by Ron Kemp

April 12, 2012 at 7:13 am

In Anchorage, Alaska, Voters Choose Discrimination

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Voters in Anchorage, Alaska, chose discrimination against the LGBT community when given the chance to make things right.  Proposition 5, a ballot initiative that would’ve added the LGBT community to protection under their existing anti-discrimination law, was struck down. With 90% of the ballots counted, 58% voted against it.  Fifty-eight percent of Anchorage’s voters feel that it’s okay for its gay, lesbian, or trangendered citizens to be discriminated against, or bullied.

If you thought this was going to be an easy battle, think again.

This marked the third attempt at getting the Anchorage legislature to right a wrong and provide protection for all of their citizen; however, it was the first time it had been taken to the voter.  Sadly, each time up, it’s been knocked down.  Does this say that all people from Anchorage are mean-spirited and bigoted?  Of course not.  I once had a very dear friend who still lives in Anchorage, and he has a heart of pure gold.  And, 42% of the voters obviously agreed with it.  What it says, however, is that the misinformation, the narrowmindedness, and the intolerance still exists at a level that borders on lethal.  More to the point, in the so-called “red” states, it’s ingrained into the psyche of the citizens.

Giving extra or special rights to certain groups is discriminatory to those who don’t get those special rights. Please don’t be selective in your anti discrimination stance.

That’s what one bigot had to say.  Let’s make this point as crystal clear as possible:  wanting the same rights as every other tax paying, hard-working citizen is NOT a special right.  Expecting to be protected UNDER THE LAW against hate crimes and discrimination is NOT a special right.  It doesn’t matter if the citizen is gay, straight, black, white, and everything in between, these are just simple, basic HUMAN RIGHTS!!!

This goes back to what I’ve been laboring on for a while:  one of the biggest problems in this struggle is that there is an overabundance of people in very powerful positions who exact their own prejudices, their own hatred, their own narrowmindedness on the very people they were hired to work for…and, protect.  This is the land of Sarah Palin, and we know how much she’s for equal rights.  Once again, it’s that hardcore, extreme right-wing faction that’s working to sanction the extermination of a group of people they don’t like because of their warped understanding of Christianity.

Opponents, campaigning as Vote No On Prop. 5, complained that the law was vague and poorly written and would impinge on the religious freedom of residents opposed to homosexuality. The proposition included an exemption from the law for churches and religious organizations.

“…would impinge on the religious freedom of residents opposed to homosexuality.”  What does that mean!?  Can you read between the shallow lines here?  This is just one more state, “red” state mind you, that believes that discrimination, hatred, intolerance, and bullying against a group of people, the LGBT community, should be their right as Christians.  Wait.  I have to read that again, myself.  Is it me, or is that just purely insane!!??  “I’m Christian (which is to say “I’m a follower of Christ”), so I should be able to be as intolerant, evil, and violent towards the gay community as I please.”  I’m sorry.  That just sounds insane.

Fortunately, I know from my own personal experience that not ALL Christians think like this.  Nor do all Republicans, for that matter.  It’s just that extreme group way over there on the right who takes it upon themselves to speak for every Christian and every Republican.  Don’t let them fool you.  They don’t speak for all.  Reverend Samuel Tuttle left a marvelous comment on a recent blog post.  Read it when you get the chance.  And, in the midst of this madness in Anchorage, a true Christian left this comment on the online news article about the vote results.

I’m a devout Christian who has lived in Anchorage for over 45 years.  I am the chairman of my church and led a Bible Study in which Jim Minnery participated occasionally.  I have never been more disappointed in my community than I am today.  This community would be better if we didn’t thrive on the misinformation and fear sown by the few.  My faith directs me to stand up for the downtrodden, to stand for what is right in the face of injustice, and to show love to my fellow mankind, regardless of whether we share similar views.  Supporting discrimination is contrary to my faith.  My heart goes out to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members of our community.  I grieve with you today.

Get it?  It isn’t about their rights as Christians.  It’s about them being bigots who are full of hatred and intolerance.  Religion is simply their shield.  And, never be fooled by the rhetoric:  it’s not about special rights.  Never has been; never will be.  It’s simply about basic human, equal rights.  That’s all.

Hatred, Intolerance on Display

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You know when you’re doing something right:  you start getting tomatoes thrown at you.  In this case, naturally, it was only a matter of time before “they” started leaving their well-thought-out and, of course, completely accurate comments on this blog about the gay “lifestyle”.  Makes sense to me.  I would fully expect them to be experts on how we, the LGBT community, live our lives…much in the same way I would fully expect my mechanic to have the perfect diagnosis and treatment for whatever physical ailment I may have at the time.

I didn’t want to publish this comment.  But, the more I thought about it, the more it became clear that this is exactly the type of mean-spirited, hate-laced behavior and reaction that I’ve been talking about.  It’s exactly the type of response we’ve come to expect from the hard-core, ultra-conservative, group who dedicate their lives to hating any- and everyone who doesn’t think like them or act the way they feel you should act.  So, I have to publish it:

Homosexuality is a behavior. I mean that whole “genetic difference” fraud has been thoroughly debunked and now it is referred to as a “lifestyle” which openly implies choice. Thus the Jim Crow analogy you so frivolously apply is errant from the start. Nice try though. Oh yes and studies are also demonstrating that “queerness” does not occur in nature at some regular, predictable rate either as the homo community has alleged recently. It is after all quite “unnatural”. Were it an instinct of nature it would be productive not destructive. Simple enough eh? It’s just plain old square peg round hole stupidity and futility but some are determined to persist in their ways which are much too often self indulgent and self loathing. A frank discussion with the priest or pastor might bring about much needed spiritual enlightenment. I would recommend that.

Regarding the idiotic and shallow remark made above about Christians and minorities nothing could be further from the truth. It isn’t Christians funding and promoting Planned Parenthood the organization founded to exterminate blacks and now applying the same level of hate for their fellow man among latinos. Those are secularists, progressies, and plain old moral wretches. I mean think about it rationally for a moment: you have your baby, your product killed via brutal method then it is sucked down a vacuum hose, the parts placed in a bag, then thrown out in the dumpster? And you want to call this a “womans right to choose”? She chooses allright. There is truly a deep level of pathology at work in that kind of mind. In fact it is acknowledged to be so disgusting and disturbing that Planned Parenthood and abortion supporters don’t want women to see pictures or video’s of the procedure or the result in fear that they might actually become re-acquainted with their consciences. That says it all. God help us.

“Stupidity”, “futility”, “self-indulgent”, and my personal favorite “self-loathing”.  That’s this person’s view of the LGBT community.

Let me say right here that this is not an attack on Republicans.  I have many Republican friends who are absolutely wonderful people.  To be sure, most of them even distance themselves from the narrow-mindedness, hatred, and intolerance that is spewed from the fringe group.  Instead, this is about people who hate anyone who doesn’t conform to their beliefs.  That’s a very dangerous mindset.

The first question that comes to mind is why is it that what other people do with their lives so incredibly disturbing to these people?  I don’t know what goes on in their homes.  And, personally, I don’t really care.  Nothing about their lives has an affect on my life.  That is, of course, unless and until they begin to impose their thoughts, their beliefs, their biases on my life.  Then, the line is drawn.

Now, in an attempt to be fair to “the other side”, I will acknowledge that their first argument to what I just said will be “Well, you gays are always shoving your lifestyles in our(the normal people’s) faces.”  How would I know that?  Because, they’ve used it so much, now, it’s become a tired cliche.  But, let’s explore that philosophy:  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought this struggle that we’re immersed in is for equal rights.  Nothing more; nothing less.  Two factors come into play with their argument:  1.)  if “they” weren’t always so concerned about “those radical gays” or “the gay agenda”, there would be no need for “them” to feel we’re “shoving [ourselves] in their faces”.  If they would simply mind their own business and live their own lives as opposed to trying to dictate ours, they probably wouldn’t even know we are here; and, 2.) we get heterosexuality “shoved” in our collective faces regularly, which makes their argument terribly hypocritical.

Let’s cut to the chase.  What this comment proved, without doubt, is exactly what I’ve been saying:  the mindset and the rhetoric that comes from the opponent out there on that fringe right, is nothing short of hate speech.  There is nothing “godly” about how “anonymous” wrote that.  It was written with unmitigated hatred.  It was written as an attack.  And, it’s precisely that mindset and rhetoric that fuels the violence against the LGBT community that we see.  It’s the trigger to many a gay teen suicide; it’s the catalyst for many of the schoolyard bullies.

So, how do we combat it effectively?  Well, first of all, we need to be realistic and understand that it may never fully go away.  There will always be lunatics who need someone to look down upon in order to make themselves feel superior.  And, there will always be the self-righteous power junkies ready to force their will, their views, their reality on others.  Ultimately, we combat them, and win, by continuing to increase our numbers and making our voices heard.  We win by continuing to live our lives openly, honestly, proudly, and happily.  Most importantly, though, we continue to spread love because, in the end, love will always conquer hate.

“I’m a Christian, Unless You’re Gay”.  Explain to me, again, how that works!?

Written by Ron Kemp

April 4, 2012 at 5:07 am

A Culture of Hate

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It’s been said many times that this “war” that’s going on for equality, to end hate and intolerance, is nothing new.  We know from history that this is true.  History has provided us with instance after bloody instance of how hate permeates our culture.

As a reminder of some of the examples of extreme hatred and intolerance in recent history, it wasn’t really that long ago that a man named Hitler set out to exterminate anybody who wasn’t like himself.  It wasn’t that long ago when blacks had to ride on the back of the bus, were lynched just for being black, or couldn’t even vote.  I remember those days, actually.

I remember, as a very young boy, maybe 6, living in a small, backwards Virginia city called Portsmouth.  This was back in the early 60s, so racism was rampant there.  I was riding my bike farther away from home than I was allowed to, but I was a 6 year old boy.  Since when do THEY listen!?  As I went to ride across an intersection, this royal blue ’64 Ford Galaxie with a white top attempted to make a left turn.  We both screeched to a halt in the middle of the intersection.  The driver was a middle-aged white man with dark sunglasses.  We sat there in the middle of the intersection for what seemed like an hour, to a 6 year old boy, just staring at each other.  I was staring because I was 6 and didn’t know any better.  In addition, he was staring at me, so I figured it was what I was supposed to do in return.  However, thank God I was born with good intuition because, even at that early age, my young gut told me that this guy was dangerous.  Eventually, he peeled off past me and on down the street and I continued on along my way.  I saw him hang a hard right at the next intersection, and my gut told me that was not a good thing.  Sure enough, as I neared the approaching corner, which had a gas station on it, there was that very same 64 royal blue Ford Galaxie 500 with the white top.  My heart raced.  Thank God for my young intuition!  As I approached the car for a second time, the man with the menacing stare from moments ago lept from his car and lunged towards my 6 year old back with what had to be a 12″ dagger.  Already sensing that he was going to try and harm me, I was able to speed past him just ahead of the blade meant to tear into my back.  This man was willing to kill a 6 year old boy for no other reason than the fact that he was black!

Of course, there’s a much longer list of instances of pure hatred and narrow-minded, fear-induced intolerance.

Today, we’re in the midst of yet another struggle of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, love vs. hate.  The LGBT community’s battle for equality and acceptance is, for sure, today’s Civil Rights Movement.  And, just as the case with that small 6 year old black kid in southern, racist Portsmouth, VA, there are people one “the other side” of the battle who have so much hatred and intolerance in them, they would use extreme measures rather than see us achieve simple equality.  One only has to look at the level of violence against members of the LGBT community to get a sobering snapshot of just how intense this battle truly is.  Watching from the sidelines are tomorrow’s LGBT community:  the LGBT teens.  Watching with the hope that we’ll win this war so that they will be able to simply live their lives happily, safely, and with the one they fall in love with.  We can’t let them down.

A regular reader contact me recently.  Inspired by the recent blog post about Daniel Zamudio, and himself a writer, he sent me a poem that needs to be shared.  It fits seamlessly with the emotion of the day and with the theme of this post:

If history had gone another way
Non-whites would be second class citizens
If history went another way
Jews would  still be in death camps
If history went another way
Gays would have been shot on sight
If history went another way
Hate and fear would control the hearts of leaders
So tell me now!
Tell me if you condone of such hate
Tell me now!
If you wish this upon others
Tell me now!
So I can sleep at last
Or lie in my bed  waiting for the nightmare of hate to become reality once more
TELL ME NOW!
If you so wish to kill or harm such a person
For little more for their religion
Their race
Their love
TELL ME NOW!
So that I can have a clear path ahead of me
Tell me now
So that when the time comes
I know where to stand
Tell me now.
Because as I witness hate I shall not stand idle no more.                           Written by Devin Callan

We cannot afford to stand idle.  Not now.  No more.  Each voice needs to be heard.  Our message needs to be clear.  Hitler was defeated.  The Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s was won by the black community.  Today’s Civil Rights Movement focuses on the LGBT community.  It’s a battle that can, and must, be won.