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Stand With Orlando

I am still having a rough time wrapping my mind around what happened at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. More and more states are legalizing same sex marriages, which gave me so much hope. More and more people are able to transition to the gender they identify with, with the assistance of doctors, family and friends, which is amazing. Businesses who refuse to serve same sex couples are usually greeted with outrage instead of congratulations, which is exactly how we should react. It seemed like we were getting somewhere.

Out of nowhere, on a night where friends, family members, old and young, of various genders and orientations were having fun and enjoying life, one horrible person destroyed everything. Innocent people were murdered, others injured. A former safe place was riddled with bullet holes. The wrong kind of history was made thanks to the death toll.

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Some people want to blame terrorism. This would be a mistake. Idiots like Donald Trump want you to believe that this was an evil Muslim who came to this country with the goal of destroying America. Not the case; the shooter wasn’t attacking America, he was attacking the LGBTQ community. I don’t care if he did it out of self hatred or for religious reasons or because society still doesn’t fully accept certain lifestyles; the point is, he targeted this community out of hatred.

If you don’t care about the shooting at Pulse, you are part of the problem. “But I’m straight and don’t believe in homosexuality, so it doesn’t affect me.” Simply because you don’t believe in someone’s lifestyle doesn’t mean that you should feel justified in ignoring their suffering and silently condoning their slaughter. We’re not savages; we should value every human life regardless of whether or not we agree with their personal choices. We should not get to turn our backs on this type of tragedy, especially one as horrifying as the shooting at Pulse.

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Thanks to the actions of one horrible person, who thankfully is no longer around, people around the country have been afraid to celebrate Pride month. People who I call friends are afraid of their lives. Let me repeat: THEY ARE AFRAID FOR THEIR LIVES. All because of who they prefer to spend their time with. There are not enough of us fighting for the rights of our peers. We need to be more vocal. We need to make it clear that the ones filled with hatred are the ones in the wrong, not our LGBTQ community. We need to do more, and we need to be better. We can’t keep allowing this to happen.

 

 

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The Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law this morning in a private ceremony, and I for one could not be happier!  For far too long, wonderful upstanding citizens have been forced to endure countless hours of agony thanks to the gay community.  Business owners have had to sit back while the evil gays make purchases in their stores, then be wished a nice day before those awful gays return to their life of sin.  Now, thanks to the savvy minds in Indiana, this is no longer a worry!

Business owners are free to kick out horrible lesbian couples, refusing to give them service because of who they choose to love.  Yes, CHOOSE, because being gay is 110% a choice and definitely not a way someone is born.  No longer will I have to go to my friendly neighborhood bakery and watch as two men DARE to hold hands as they leave after purchasing their muffins and donuts.  Gay, pink sprinkled donuts, no doubt.  Mike Pence has made all our dreams come true, and I’m so glad we are ushering in 2015 with this type of forward thinking!

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And no, before you say it, this is definitely not a cheap way of allowing people to hide behind religion in order to discriminate blindly against people they don’t understand, lifestyles they wouldn’t want for themselves, or other things that don’t affect them personally.  I’m not religious myself, but boy if I was, I would definitely use whatever interpretation of the bible I could in order to keep certain people at arm’s length.  It’s not hiding behind God, it’s doing His work!  Because if there was one thing we can all learn from Jesus, it’s that we are NOT all God’s children and definitely do NOT deserve equal treatment.

If Governor Pence didn’t take this amazing initiative, just think of what the great state of Indiana would devolve into?  Gays would run rampant through the streets, frequenting businesses in their community like the rest of us and enjoying life’s little pleasures.  They would likely demand that all local businesses cover everything with rainbows and glitter so they feel more welcome.  Our children would be corrupted by the sight of a loving same sex couple who has the NERVE to go out on a day trip to do some shopping.

Some local businesses are protesting the RFRA by putting stickers in their windows saying “This Business Serves Everyone.”  Clearly, these people need to find God.  Equal treatment for all is not what this country is all about!  In this day and age, we should be striving to move backward through time and return to the days where people were afraid of anyone who was different from they are, be it race or religion or sexual orientation.  They don’t call them the good ol’ days for nothing, am I right?!?

Open-for-Service-stickerSure, Indiana may be losing Gen Con, as the popular money making convention wants nothing to do with such a close-minded state, but we don’t need those costumed weirdos anyway!  The nice thing about RFRA is that not only can businesses discriminate against same sex couples, but they can also discriminate against other races, religions, tall people, guys with ponytails, you name it!  Even if you think someone LOOKS gay, out the door they go!  It’s brilliant!

Pence stated “This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it.  For more than 20 years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana.”  See?!?  This is not about kicking a gay couple out of your store to discriminate against them!  It’s about kicking a gay couple out because God says they are wrong for being who they are!  It’s totally different!  It doesn’t legalize discrimination, it just says that it’s totally okay to discriminate if you own a business and don’t like the personal lives of the people who choose to come around you.

It’s a proud day for Indiana.  Heck, it’s a proud day for the country!  Hopefully someone comes along to address my marriage next, because God knows I was totally wrong for marrying outside of my race.  And I also hope someone quickly holds an intervention for me so I can rid myself of every friend and acquaintance that isn’t 100% straight and proud of it.  This return to the dark ages is something we should applaud.  Thank you, Mike Pence, for signing this bill and making me realize how wrong I was all these years thinking that each and every human on Earth deserved equal treatment.  Thank you for teaching my child and children around the world that being different is something that should be punished.  Thank you for showing us that “separate but equal” is an idea worth returning to.  Thank you for opening my eyes to the fact that someone’s personal and private lives involving love and companionship is something we should blindly hate and publicly shun.  Thank you for showing me that I was wrong all these years I ignorantly assumed that I was doing the right thing by treating everyone fairly and openly.  Thank you, Mike Pence.  I applaud you.

Where Does It Come From?

When I grow up, I want to struggle immensely to have children on my own or to adopt.  When I do have kids, I want their friends to make fun of them because of their parents.  I want to struggle with marriage too.  I want to be stared at when I’m in public with my girl/boyfriend and be made so uncomfortable that I’m afraid to even hold their hand or give them a peck on the cheek.  I want people to hate me without even getting to know me.  I want to be fearful of my safety when walking in certain areas.  I want to be disowned by members of my family.  A familiar story that we can all relate to….

….except that it’s not something we would ever say or choose for ourselves.  Those things are just a handful of potential issues facing any homosexual man or woman and it is one of the reasons I can not accept it when people declare that homosexuality is a choice that people make.  No rational person would choose to place so many hardships on themselves and their family.  Maintaining a loving relationship and starting a family is hard enough without adding additional issues to the mix, such as finding a sperm donor, undergoing artificial insemination treatments or IVF, finding a surrogate mother, or attempting to adopt.  I enjoy being able to kiss my husband at work without drawing judgmental stares from people around us; I don’t believe someone would choose to be gay and deny themselves that freedom, among others.

I’ve had gay friends in my life ever since 6th grade, and although they weren’t out in the open about it then, there were definitely signs that they were not a typical male or female.  The guys didn’t go flitting around like fairies and the girls didn’t dress in flannel and construction boots, they were just obviously a little different in their mannerisms and their interactions with either sex.  They had been a little different their whole lives and eventually realized it was because they were attracted to the same sex and desired to have a romantic relationship with someone who society doesn’t want them to be with.  Every single one of my friends who came out later in life was teased in middle and high school and some forced themselves to date someone of the opposite sex so the name calling would cease.  They tried to act straight but it wasn’t who they were.  Just as I can’t force myself to become a lesbian, a homosexual person can not force themselves to be straight because nature simply did not make them that way.

I watched a documentary months ago about two people, a male and a female, who were trying to be straight after having dated people of the same sex.  The male’s story bothered me the most; he was seeking help through his religion and had a mentor that was part of the church and also a “reformed homosexual.”  They treated being gay in the same way as someone would treat alcoholism, as a disease to be cured.  In seeking acceptance from their God and their church, those who go this route are burying a part of themselves and living a lie for the rest of their lives.

Being gay isn’t anything to be ashamed of and it sure as hell isn’t an illness that requires treatment so that it can be cured and a person can be straight again.  It’s not a condition and it doesn’t make someone less than human.  How is it helpful to tell a person that the only way they can be happy and go to heaven is to deny a part of who they are and force themselves to ignore what is in their heart?  It’s heartless and irresponsible for groups and churches to actively try and turn people straight, especially when their time could be better spent fixing actual problems facing the members of their community.

It is none of my business who anyone chooses to lay down with at night, just as it’s none of your concern who I share my bed with.  It pains me that it’s even an issue because I don’t see how it matters.  We’re all born a bit differently; tall or short, big-boned or rail thin, gay or straight.  It is not anyone’s responsibility to attempt to “fix”a homosexual person nor is it their right to interfere with someone else’s life in that way.  Rather than make pointless efforts to make us all the same, we should embrace the fact that we’re different and unique individuals.  I’m not asking anyone to like homosexuality or agree with it, just let it be and leave them alone.

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