Eeeks. The holiday shopping season is upon us. Many of you probably participate in the holidays one way or another, regardless of your faith. One thing you can do this year is give the gift of Equality for LGBT people. Is it difficult to talk to your friends and family about supporting rights for gays and lesbians? Don’t we all have an Archie Bunker in our family?
The hardcore religious (they are anything but) right has become so paranoid that their twisted logic has led them to believe that they are the victims. Their solution? The Manhattan Declaration, a statement of Christian convictions on the matters of life, family, and religious liberty. Let’s go through parts of it.
“The preamble to the declaration reads, “While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened…”
I like to read comments from readers on news articles. I’ve read so many that it is rare that I find one with a new point. I admit it. The general public is a broken record when it comes to their point of view.
So I was surprised to find this comment. What intrigued me the most is that this person takes complete ownership of his feelings. He doesn’t invoke religion, tradition or biology. He does invoke incorrect psychology, and then he turns 180 in a surprising way.
Take a moment to imagine this: You are a U.S. citizen, a hardworking productive citizen whose job requires travel to foreign countries. You are HIV positive. It doesn’t matter how you contracted HIV. Your gender, race, age and socio-economic class don’t matter. You are HIV positive. You take your medications, you know how the illness is transmitted. You are healthy otherwise. You don’t have tuberculosis or any other casually transmitted disease.
If you are like me, you can always think of a great comeback to an offensive comment. One day later.
This last week was a whirlwind for me. One week past the National Equality March and I’m still processing everything that I experienced and felt. I felt so prepared to take on the world with such powerful words given to me by the speakers, with such energy and friendliness from everyone that I met.
October 11th is Coming Out Day. I can’t help but wonder what it is that prompts a gay person to come out. Especially in a place like a workplace, where your very livelihood is at stake. As a straight person, I can only imagine and I would never have the audacity to say this is something I know or feel. In last week’s Closet Talk interview with Jen Dugan, of the 1st Annual Nationwide You Are Loved Chalk Messages Project, Jen told her own coming out story and how surprised she was at the support. Many individuals told her that had they known, they would have supported her. She used the words “It goes unsaid.”
Caster Semenya, a young female athlete from South Africa, is making headlines due to genetic and hormonal testing that was performed when she was suspected to be male. Setting aside for a moment that she was tested without her knowledge and that the result should not have been made public, setting aside that I wish she had not dropped out and that this is a heart breaking story, I would like to take a moment to let you know that your high school biology teacher was wrong.
“I don’t care what gay people do, just call it something else.” As if the word marriage is owned by religion. Marriage is a religious word. Really? Then why does it appear on almost every form or document that you fill out? Should we have different sets of forms now? Civil unions, domestic partnerships, marriage. If the point is to have all the same rights, why have different names? I’ll tell you why. So straight people can call attention to gay couples. “No, I’m not married. But I am in a union. A civil union.”
Many years ago, I went to dinner and the local Lesbian Variety show with a lesbian and another woman friend, also straight. After a few drinks, I asked my lesbian friend – in the most respectful way that I could – what did it feel like to be attracted to another woman, what did it feel like to love that person? I just didn’t know if the feelings were the same or somehow different. Her answer wasn’t much help. It was along the lines of “well, it probably feels like you do about being attracted to men and the love feels like the best friend in the world.”
Not so different. But somehow, it didn’t answer my question. I was so young at the time, that I was hung up on anatomy and stereotypes. Women are from Venus & men are from Mars.