Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Listen and Listen Good

I was just on facebook, excited about planning my weekend trip to go to Butler to visit one of my best friends, and congratulating another friend on a college acceptance when my mood was completely ruined due to the small fact that people have no respect, no filter, and no decency left.

I recognized a name on one of the comments left on my friend's wall, so I clicked on them to see their default picture to get a better look. This picture was of three people, all wearing shirts and holding signs that said "God Hates Fags" and "When Fags Die God Laughs." Words cannot describe how disgusted I am from this. I can't even BEGIN to describe how stupid, trashy, rude, offensive, and completely false those statements are. Thinking about this logically, first of all, if there is a God above, He hates no one. Read the bible. I guarantee He doesn't hate anyone. But if He had to, I wish He would smite people like that. Yes, I realize that me wishing that is slightly contradicting, and I guess I don't really mean it, but the problem is that people who say things that really do mean it. Secondly, what makes people think that it's ok to say things like that? What the hell does that accomplish except to upset and embarrass people who have a different sexual orientation than the norm? The world is changing faster than a lot of people change their underwear, and to think that something like this is still going on is a shame. So many people have worked so hard to make this world a safe place for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to be and be comforted knowing they can be who they are here and yet people like this can make us take a hundred steps backwards every time this happens. You'd think that with all of the recent, and even the not so recent suicides and deaths due to abuse and bullying for being gay that people would step up and be the bigger person to not go out of their way to make such a statement. Even if you don't agree with the concept of gays, even if you don't understand or if you have a different opinion on the matter, the least, and I mean VERY least you can do it quietly accept them, because (excuse the irony) God knows you have differences too that people live with and accept. Just because you don't support them doesn't mean you have to be a straight up jerk about it. You don't have to be for them, but you certainly don't have to be against them either. It's so unbelievably frustrating to me that there are people like that in this world. It makes me not even want to be in it. Imagine how someone who is gay feels when they see that. They definitely don't want to be in this world, so who is really to blame when they aren't anymore. It's just a big chain of events that some people don't even have the heart to admit to.

Maybe it's because I'm a theatre person and have always been open and accepting of everyone, but who has the right to stereotype? Honestly? Who has the right to say, "Well that's weird that they're doing that activity," or, "Ha...I would never be caught doing that," or my personal favorite, "That's gay." What happened to the teaching of diversity? The acceptance of people's differences? The beauty in the different cultures and beliefs and unique values? Not every guy that is a singer or an actor or a dancer is gay. Not every girl who likes shooting ranges and sports and cigars is gay. But even if they were, WHO CARES? Let people be who they want to be! We only have one life for crying out loud, who are we to tell other people how to live that life? That one, short life that could be everything we want it to be, but isn't because of people who put others down for daring to be different, or who dare to admit to being different. I commend people who can come out and share that part of their life with people, because that act alone takes more guts and security than any of those haters will ever have in their lifetime. We all have freedom of speech, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Who are we to stand in anyone's way? We are all people. We are all living in this one world. We are all equal.

So my request to you is this: you don't have to campaign for peace, you don't have to lock away all of the people who disagree. But when you see or hear someone saying something like this, let it be your job to squash it. You'd be surprised at how much a simple sentence can affect someone. Some people don't even realize how offensive they are, so it's our job to show them. It's not right to be that unkind to anyone for any reason, even if it's deserved. There is a right way and a wrong way to voice your opinion, and wearing a shirt and picketing a sign that says God Hates Fags on it is the wrong way. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and preference, and everyone has a right to voice your opinion, but there is a professional way to do it and there is a correct way to do it. It is equally effective, if not more effective, to persuade someone or to share your opinion with someone in a nice manner than it is to slam them with criticism and crude comments. So to everyone that agrees with the way those people held those signs and those sayings, grow the hell up and take a good look at the world surrounding you, because someday that same world will look very different to you. Even if you never admit you're wrong to go about your thoughts in this way, just know that the world may turn on you someday the same way you are turning up your nose now.

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."
Harvey Fierstein

"No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody."
Rita Mae Brown
Speech, 28 August 1982

1 comment:

  1. "Not every guy that is a singer or an actor or a dancer is gay." well said. very well said. being an actor, and a singer, AND a dancer, i can vouch that that doesnt mean you are gay. im probably the least gay person you know. right big sis? ;) i love you lots clare, keep spreading the right things :)
    your adoring little brother :)