Ten Things Tuesday

(Author’s note:  Today is a “twofer” Tuesday – there’s another new post below this one, in honor of the day…)

Ten reasons why I’m an outspoken GBLT advocate/ally:

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1. I didn’t choose to be straight. Gay, bi, lesbian and transgendered people didn’t choose to be gay, bi, lesbian or transgendered, either (I mean, really; who would choose to be a member of a group that is such a target for discrimination and hatred?). A lot of people I love are queer, and I hate that they can be targets of violence and oppression – or worse – simply for being who they are. How would you like to be discriminated against for just being who you are? Yeah; me, neither.

2. I was an advocate before I had children, but I’m even louder about it now that I have these girls looking to me as an example of how good adults should behave. I WILL NOT release closed-minded, hateful people into the world, and the more my daughters see me standing up for others, the better.

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3. Love is love. It doesn’t matter if you love someone of the opposite sex or of the same sex because, really, love isn’t about sex.

4. The great Desmond Tutu teaches that none are free until all are free. Keeping rights and privileges from queer people threatens MY rights… and it threatens yours, too.

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5. I can’t come up with a single valid reason for the terrible things that are visited on queer people; it’s all based on fear and ignorance. I make it my business to fight against the ignorance that fights against anyone – queer people included. God doesn’t hate, and neither do I.

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6. Diversity is what makes our world more fun and interesting. Some of the most interesting people I know are queer, and part of what makes them interesting is that they are different from me in that way. Instead of hating those differences – or fearing them – I celebrate them.

7. The U.S. claims to be the most free and open society in the world. While that may be true, we’re not really putting our proverbial money where our mouths are when it comes to queer people. As a conscientious citizen of this country, I think it’s important to point out those contradictions, loudly and as often as possible.

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8. I don’t want to be associated with closed-minded people. I’m an advocate and an ally because I want queer people to know that not all straight people are uptight homophobes.

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9. No war was ever won without help from the inside. There have always been spies and sympathizers behind “enemy” lines, and anything that I can do to pry open the gates and let some good guys in is okay with me. Oh, and I vote.

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10. Isn’t there enough pain and hatred in the world already?

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31 Comments

Filed under Friends, Home and Family, social issues, ten things Tuesday

31 responses to “Ten Things Tuesday

  1. Pingback: Ten Things Tuesday: Rosh Hashanah and more « The Life and Times of Organic Mama

  2. One of my mother’s best friends the whole time I was growing up was a gay man. He loved us kids like we were his own nieces and nephews and my own kids call him Uncle Leo. I’m so glad my mother felt the way you do and taught me how to treat people so that I could in turn teach my children.

    Good Post!

  3. nhfalcon

    Allow me a quote or two from Dennis Miller’s “The Rants”:

    “Now I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but I need to have a little tete-a-tete with my heterosexual brothers and sisters. Could we get over the gay thing, please, like, like, now?… ‘Why do they do it? where does it come from? Is environmental or genetic?… Hey, I don’t care if they find a chiffon scarf on the X chromosome – the important thing is, homosexuality is here to stay

    “Who cares about homosexuality, really? I mean who cares what coupling gives any consenting adult pleasure? All we should care about is that people are going home and getting off, somehow, with someone, anyone. Because a person who gets off tends not to be a nut who gets off offing people.

    “… I don’t know if you’ve peeked through the Levolors lately, but we are roller-blading toward chaos with no elbow pads. The infrastructure of civilized society is unraveling faster than O. J.’s alibi. What the hell, let’s try tolerance, because we need all the bright, capable people we can possibly get our hands on.

    “We have got to ratchet down the sexual hysteria in this country. Live and let live, folks. Let your neighbor come home, get out of his car, wave happily at you as he goes into his home, and then, you know something, forget about him or her. Let it go.”

  4. twoblueday

    I agree with you.
    Although I do not profess Christianity now, I was compelled to go to Baptist Sunday School as a kid. If I learned anything, it is enough to say that no Christian can be deliberately cruel to another human being. Violent defense of self, loved ones, country, okay. Deliberate cruelty, no, not possible for a Christian.

  5. woo, I love your ten!!

    Many of your icons and items are the same as mine.

    I’ve been asked to be the faculty mentor for the Gay/Straight Alliance for school. I’m already the Civil Rights Team Faculty Advisor, so they mesh well together.

    Great post!
    ~Allison

  6. That, i believe, is the nicest ten things i have read.

    Right on!

  7. I just swiped one of these for my sidebar. I am pretty sure that you won’t mind.

  8. No, Meno – I don’t mind – the more of us straight people who are “out” as advocates, the better. As a matter of fact, I’m stealing your idea and putting the image in my sidebar, too!

    I didn’t give credit for the images, though, and I should have. I went to CafePress and looked up “gay, lesbian, equality” and picked and chose from those offerings….

  9. Bo

    I’m grabbin’ that “Me too” graphic myself!

  10. Pingback: Ten Things 2 Know » Blog Archive : Ten things to know » Ten things to know

  11. Pingback: GSA « A Teacher’s Education

  12. So this TTT is a regular thing of yours. I had no idea! Glad I’m joining a bandwagon that’s fun!

    Also, *raises a fist* I’m right there with you.

  13. Pingback: So….? « A Teacher’s Education

  14. Pingback: 45 Random Things You Didn’t Need to Know About Me « The Life and Times of Organic Mama

  15. Pingback: Ten Things Tuesday « Blue Door

  16. Lanii

    I appreciate your dedication but I feel it necessary to correct you on something.
    God never mentions hating gay people, that’s right. But He most certainly lists homosexuality among a host of other sinful lifestyles of people who obviously do not follow after Christ and therefor will not live forever with God, etc.

    So although it does not jive with your world view, God does not wish gays to remain that way and neither do Christians. But, in all, there is love because God sees the entire eternal picture and He knows, though sometimes it may seem strange or different from how we feel in this moment, what is best for us.

    My point is – please don’t drag God into your defense of homosexuality. He doesn’t hate ‘queers’, He loves them and wants the best for them. And, I agree, that it is sad that some Christians translate that into hate.

  17. Lanii, welcome. While I can see right away that we disagree, I appreciate that you’re here and that you’re willing to disagree with me respectfully. Thoughtful debate is ALWAYS welcomed here.

    The problem we get into when we talk about this sort of thing (and by “we,” I mean the collective “we,” not you and I specifically) is that we can never really KNOW the answers. People rely on all kinds of sources to back up their own thinking – religious texts, other people’s thinking, intuition – but there’s nothing we can point to with any kind of certainty to say “this or that is truth.” This is true even of what we think we KNOW – scientific discoveries are being made every day that invalidate what we thought was true yesterday. It’s simultaneously frustrating and wondrous that this is the world we live in. The truly flexible are the ones who thrive, because literally nothing stays the same for long.

    I believe that there is far more than one path up the proverbial mountain. I also believe that we can never really know WHAT God/dess does or does not think (or, truly, that there even IS a higher power). I take a very live and let live approach to the whole thing; I try to be as accepting of others as I’d like them to be of me. If you (again, the collective “you,” not YOU specifically) wish to believe something that is counter to what I believe, go for it! My objections come when “you” try to force me or someone else, by coercion, force, or fear, to change my viewpoint to yours.

    My point in this post is that MY God doesn’t think that homosexuality is wrong. My God doesn’t want us to be separate or to marginalize others. My God loves everyone and knows that what’s best for one person isn’t best for everyone – there is no one path to enlightenment. People who use God as an excuse to hate and marginalize and demean are misusing the idea of God, I think, and I find it interesting that they fail to see the irony in their behavior.

  18. Gay, straight, transgendered. It’s all the same. Why make such a big deal out of it one way or the other? My sister is one of those “haters” and I just don’t get it. She has no reason to feel that way and no matter what anyone says or does, her mind is closed.

    I have always subscribed to the live and let live philosophy. As for God’s role–who really knows? Quoting the bible and citing that as the word of God is kind of pointless really since the bible was written by men and we all know men have had their prejudices and misconceptions since they were drawing on cave walls.

    I say we leave God out of it altogether since, at best, it is just conjecture.

    The phrase “live and let live” comes to mind. Or if I have to put it in biblical terms, “judge not, lest ye be judged.”

  19. why try to be ‘right’ on this issue anyway?

    there is no ‘my god’ there is only god.

  20. As Mike points out, God didn’t write the Bible, men did, and nobody takes it all literally these days- if they did we’d be stoning people to death for adultery, or cutting their beards off.

    Bottom line- if you get to pick and chose which things are “ok” and which are “not ok” “according to God” from the Bible, so do other people, and they may not agree with you.

    Seems to me that if God made all folks, he made some straight and some gay, and it’s not up to us to judge it. You think if God really wanted them to change he couldn’t just do it himself?

  21. I was going to write about this over at my place but was having a lot of trouble reining in my high emotion. I think I can condense it into a question in a comment and this seems like a good place to get some advice.

    I added this blog http://www.ohmystinkinheck.com/
    to my reader because a lot of people read her, she seems to have a wide sphere of influence. I didn’t love the blog but found some interest in it.

    Then I read this post http://www.ohmystinkinheck.com/putting-that-thing-right-back-where-i-found-it/

    And its follow up
    http://www.ohmystinkinheck.com/some-interesting-feedback-on-thought-policing/

    In the comments of one of them the subject of LGBTQ came up and the blogger’s husband said essentially what Lanii said. I immediately went entirely cold inside and wanted to follow my own dictate about the important thing to do on the internet and with blogs being to just click the window closed and not read since it’s not my space and I have the ability to decide what I read.

    I will be deleting the blog from my reader because the exclusionary nature of that viewpoint is at the core of my distrust of organized religion in general and Judeo-Christian religion in particular. I see a break in logic when someone takes a prideful step to exclude people, (i.e. “This group of people is going to hell. I will still LOVE them because I am a Christian, even though they are lesser than I.” Isn’t that pride? Isn’t pride a sin?) and I can’t imagine that it isn’t something either mistranslated in a long oral history or simply put into religious text by someone without a clear feeling of Christian values. I feel, though, that I should say something before I exit. I want to be respectful and clear, as Lanii has been, but to support my deeply held beliefs and make them heard in even a small way since this woman has such a broad audience. The problem is I have no idea what to say or how to say it.

    Should I say anything? If so any ideas?

  22. Who are these people that want to peer into other peoples bedrooms and tell them where they can put what and with whom. Let’s leave the bible and religion out of it please. But even if you are so lacking in intellect that you cant work out your own moral system of what is wrong and right (dont hurt anyone seems like a good place to start, doesnt it?)and must do as you are told, why not persecute those who do demonstrable, provable harm…like molesting children and starting wars…
    oops sorry got carried away…dont want to hurt anyones feelings…and disprove my own theory…but are we supposed to tolerate people who arent tolerant?

  23. twoblueday

    Hmm, this Lanii stirred things up.

    I make no secret of the fact that I don’t believe in deities, and that, more to the point, I think the whole notion of deities is a distraction from the things people need to be getting about in life.

    So, Lanii ponders a “god” which wants to get deeply into people’s sex lives. If I were going to become a deist, I certainly wouldn’t pick that particular one.

    She’s completely wrong about one thing: She says some “Christians translate [what they perceive to be “god’s” views on homosexuality] into hate.” No, anyone who translates a view about their fellow humans into hate is not a Christian. Period. I’ve never seen or heard of anything in the teachings of Christ (who may or may not have actually existed) which would permit of hating one’s fellow humans.

  24. Rosie said, “but are we supposed to tolerate people who arent tolerant?”

    That is the best question I ever heard.

    I think we’re supposed to, but I’ve never managed it, myself. It just makes me too angry.

  25. Tom

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a “discussion” regarding homosexuality and the bible.

    There are 6 or 7 verses in the bible used against homosexuals. 6 out of many verses in the bible.

    Also there is the fact that Jesus never mentioned a single word against homosexuality.

    Many of the 6 verses are in chapters that list other “transgressions” but the “christians” seem to ignore them.
    An example would be Leviticus. They pick out one and ignore all the rest! We call this cafeteria christianity.

    Then we get into translation issues. Words which were not translated correctly. Biblical scholars still don’t’ agree on many translations.

    It was discovered, not so many years ago, that the entire new testament was translated using the wrong Greek dialect. If you don’t believe me, feel free to research KOINE Greek.

    In the last couple of verses in the bible, there is a very strong warning prohibiting man from changing the bible. If God knows all, would he put a warning in there if it wasn’t going to happen?
    Obviously the bible has been changed by man. So the question is; Which parts were changed?

    Maybe the part people use to attack homosexuals?

    I once read a very enlightened article which basically stated that arrogance of some christians is apparent when they start quoting the bible as a weapon. The article suggested there may be an error in peoples understanding of God’s word. It went on to say, don’t be so self righteous and self assured that you are promoting God’s wishes. It’s possible you are wrong and will warrant God’s wraith!

    Remember Jesus says you should sell all your possessions and give them to the poor.

    The bible has been used to condone crimes against women, slavery and wars.

    In case anyone is interested in a bible study which clears up a lot of confusion regarding the bible and homosexuality:

    http://www.truthsetsfree.net/bible.htm

  26. Mrs. Chilli. Yay for you! Thank you for leading me here so that I could see where you have once again put my jumbled feelings into words. I will be printing this and keeping it for posterity.

    Thanks again!

    LaniE

  27. Very thought-provoking.

    Do all Christians believe the same thing? I didn’t think so.

  28. Laurie B

    Well done mrschilli and Lanie ( and all of the comments). I’ve been working a bunch of ours and somehow missed this bunch of stuff.

    Here’s my shout out. If there is a God, then God created me this way and I give thanks every single day. I have no greater love than this one with BEW, and believe me, I tried straight. Let’s just say THAT was not a God given talent for me.

    If there is no God, then my Mom was right, “Remember your Grandpa doing the Milton Berle thing?..the one where he was wearing a muu-muu and had a lampshade on his head and doing the Egytian dance? Well, the Bible was written by people like him”. That, I can believe.

    If society in general professes to believe in God, then who are they to judge God’s work? That work includes me and mine.

    Thanks so much, we’ll learn to love you and yours too. Let’s work on it together, let’s keep talkiing. Looking forward to it, actually.

  29. Bo

    Good points from Tom. He brings up most of why I never use the Bible to witness.

    Oh, does this shit ever wear me out. Kudos to those of you who are responding more thoughtfully and completely than I am.

    I’ll just say that my God values trust, loyalty, perseverance, strength, love, and a whole host of other unambiguously positive qualities highly, and He cares not one whit whether the two people sharing those qualities happen to be of the same sex.

    This is so settled for me, and has been for so long, that I’m sometimes surprised when I’m reminded how contentious it is for some people. Folks, homosexuality is no more or less interesting, or morally relevant, than eye color.

  30. Pingback: Ten Things Tuesday « The Blue Door

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