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Fear, Freedom and Shaving your Head

January 06, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

Recently, I stumbled upon an article online which captured my attention.  It was a first person account of a heterosexual woman who decided to shave her head.  While the account was from the mid-1990’s, it expressed something that rings true even today:

For the first few weeks after I shaved my head, I walked around very nervously, convinced that people were going to jump out of alleys and beat me up for being a lesbian.

Because I am straight and have a lot of straight friends who I am certain are totally disinterested in hurting my large number of gay friends, I knew that not all straight people hate all gay people. That didn’t matter. I was still nervous.

In some ways, the post reminded me of the conversation I had with Jane Wishon, a straight alley working hard in California to overturn Proposition 8.  But I also noted that the author, Kaitlin (aka Ducky), expressed fear that being perceived to be a lesbian would result in physical harm to her.

This got me to thinking about how successful those in the heterosexual community that devote their lives to tormenting LGBT people have been at promoting terror.  (This isn’t the first time I’ve implied – or even outright stated – that organizations such as the National Organization for [Heterosexual Only] Marriage and the American [Heterosexual Only] Family Association are terrorist groups; however, Kaitlin’s story reinforces my opinion.)

These organizations may think they are simply keeping marriage contracts from being entered into by same-sex couples, but through their lies to defend marriage from a same-sex takeover, they are propagating the idea that it’s ok to harm LGBT people.  The result is fear within our community, like that felt by Kaitlin.

Kaitlin was lucky as she didn’t experience any violence against her person.  Unfortunately, not all LGBT people (or those perceived to be LGBT) are as lucky as Kaitlin.  According to the 2008 FBI Hate crimes Statistics, there were 1673 victims of a bias based crime due to their status as LGBT – over four victims per day.  [For clarification, the term victim can include businesses/organizations as well as persons.  The calculations also exclude the 33 incidents of purported bias crimes based on heterosexual status (roughly 1 per every 10 days)].

But fear only has the power that we give it – and boy do we ever give it power.  As examples, Christopher and I rarely, if ever, hold hands in public; many of my friends speak in gender neutral terms about their spouses or boyfriends/girlfriends when among strangers; a heterosexual ally was convinced to remove the equality stickers by a fellow queer because he was afraid she would get hurt or her car would be broken into as she lives and works in a very small, rural, conservative town.

Until we can truly conquer that fear, we will not obtain equality or freedom – we will remain, marriage equality or not, victims of the majority tyranny.  I for one am tired of being a victim.  How about you?

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Hate Crimes Legislation Will Protect Incest and Pedophilia

April 28, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Stupid Things People Say About GaysI haven’t done a “Stupid Things People Say About Gays” in a while.  Lots has been happening, but there’s certainly no shortage of stupid things people are saying.  Here’s the latest from the AFA (American [heterosexual only] Family Association):

Congress is set to give legally protected status to 30 sexual orientations, including incest. Because of pressure from homosexual groups, Congress has refused to define what is meant by sexual orientation in H.R. 1913, the “Hate Crimes” bill. This means that the 30 different sexual orientations will be federally protected classes.

Come on now… how much more ridiculous can you get.  Someone call Bullshit already…. ok, “BULLSHIT!”  Here’s the actual text of the bill, which states what a “Hate Crime” is:

[A Hate Crime ] is [a crime] motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, or is a violation of the State, local, or tribal hate crime laws.

Now, because I like to play God’s Advocate and show this in a more telling light, I’ll be the first to admit that “sexual orientation” is not currently legally defined by the Hate Crime’s legislation; however, to argue that “incest” is a sexual orientation rather than a sexual act is completely bogus, speculative and would never hold up in any legitimate argument – not that the AFA is renowned for “legitimate” arguments.  Generally, when the law fails to specifically define a term, the term is given its “usual and customary meaning.”  In this case, sexual orientations usual and customary meaning is:

One’s natural preference in sexual partners; predilection for homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.  [sexual orientation. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved April 28, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sexual orientation]

One may note that neither the word incest nor bestiality is referenced in the usual and customary definition of sexual orientation.

The AFA has also made claims that the Hate Crimes legislation would prevent preachers from preaching homosexuality as a sin in church; however, they obviously have not read the bill which is very specific in defining hate crimes as a “crime of violence” a term defined by Section 16, Title 18 of the United States Code:

The term “crime of violence” means:

(a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or prop­erty of another, or

(b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

Therefore, unless the preacher specifically uses, attempts to use or threatens the use of physical force against a person or their property, they can say whatever they want.  If you are a member of a church that does use, threatens to use or attempts to use physical force against ANYONE, I highly suggest you realize that only SATAN would allow such treatment and consider a new church that has not been infultrated by Satan in the guise of God.  Remember, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”

More from fellow blogger, SistersTalk.