Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Time To Give a Damn.

The semi-famous Stacy Soap Box has been pulled out today because I have something to say.

I am mad. I am disgusted. I am sad.

I was 7 or 8 years old, I think, the first time I heard the word "gay" in reference to people. I'm sure at that time I didn't fully understand it, but I do know I didn't seem to have a problem with it. By junior high and high school I had formed my outspoken attitude toward acceptance and equality.

Today, in 2010, you would think homosexuality wouldn't still be seen as a disease. You wouldn't think that the GLBT community would still have to live in fear of being disowned by family and friends or of being the victim of horrible hate crimes. You would think that the rampant discrimination they face at home, at work, at church, in society in general would have faded away. But sadly these are still daily issues.

I understand that a lot of people have issues with homosexuality because they don't understand it, or for morality sake. I get that. What I don't get is why that means it's okay to treat family, friends, and total strangers as if they should not be allowed to be loved and treated with respect, dignity, and equality. I guarantee you that whether you know it or not, there is at least one gay, lesbian, or bisexual person in your life - it could be a family member, your co-worker, former college roommate, a classmate, mail delivery person, hairdresser, a member of your church, your dentist - anyone.
Do they suddenly change when they tell you they are gay? No. They don't change, YOU do. You suddenly have other places to be, people to see, things to do. You are too busy to take their phone call. You are feeling under the weather so that lunch date has to be canceled. You change. They don't. They are still the same person who helped celebrate your birthday. They are still the same person who helped you conquer your fear of heights. They are still the same person who held your hand when your boyfriend broke up with you. They are still the same.

I've been following the case of Constance McMillen. If you don't know, she is a young lesbian woman who wanted to take her girlfriend to the prom. Her school said no and canceled the prom. Then it was announced a prom would be held and Constance could go and take her girlfriend. But it was a fake prom. There were 7 students at this fake prom. Besides Constance, the other students in attendance were kids with disabilities. Where were the rest of the classmates of these kids? Oh, yeah, they were at another prom that the parents (and probably the school officials) put on, the "real" prom. It angers me to no end that they did this. What does that say about them as people, as a community? Not only did they discriminate horribly against Constance, but they discriminated against those with disabilities. They essentially said that if you are different from us, then you are not allowed to be with us and enjoy the things we enjoy. That is cold, heartless, and despicable.

I've also been disgusted by the reports of kids and teens committing suicide due to bullying. This is slightly off topic because not all the cases have to do with the child being gay or perceived as gay. But the fact that it's happening at all, for ANY reason is sickening. The kids doing the bullying can't take all the blame. If they are learning this type of anger, hate, discrimination, or behavior from their parents - then the parents need to have their parental rights stripped away. If you think it is okay for your kids to act this way, then you deserve to be punished as much, if not more, than your children that are doing these awful acts.

Here are a couple of organizations that are bringing attention to the issues of the GLBT community:
We Give A Damn
Human Rights Campaign

Get involved. Speak your mind. Show your support.
Even if you disagree with the lifestyle, but support the people in your life who are gay or lesbian, you can get involved. You can still show the ones you love, and the world in general, that you stand behind them and that they matter - as family & friends, as important members of society, as human beings. Just take that step. It could help open hearts and minds everywhere.

Okay, I'm putting my soap box away again...for now. Please be kind. Please show love. Our differences do not make us good or bad, better or worse than anyone else. Our differences make us stronger, better people when we can learn to live with and accept those differences for what they are.

Thank you for reading from Rdwnggrl's World.

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