On tuesday, the political landscape is going to change in this country, even if the Democrats pull off a narrow win, their historic position in both houses will have been lost.
Despite in theory being friends with the LGBTQA community, under the 2008 congress, the following things have happened.
- DADT was kept in place and defended by the administration. No serious effort was made to actually repeal the law, or take the republicans to task for their hypocrisy including John “I’ll support a repeal when it suits me, i.e. never” McCain.
- DOMA was left in place, and actually defended by the administration again. Despite promises to work on a repeal, nothing was done.
- Transgender surgeries were purposefully excluded from coverage supplied by the healthcare bill.
- ENDA has still not been passed.
My hate-the-gays apologist correspondant, said I shouldn’t support the democrats because they haven’t done enough, and yes as friends of the LGBTQA community, they are a barely even qualified to consider themselves on the pro LGBTQA side of the spectrum.
However on the other side, we have the openly homophobic Tea Party candidates, including Joe Miller, Sharon Angle, Carl Paladino, and Rand Paul.
You have the solid republican base which when they were in power elected 2 of the most socially conservative justices to the supreme court, and if they had the votes would have passed a federal marriage amendment.
Under the republican rule, DADT and DOMA were actively supported and the idea of repeal of either would have been impossible. Also the president, was proud of the fact that he would veto the ENDA bill if it reached his desk. How compassionate, how presidential, how bigoted, how ignorant. As far as I can tell, from most of the predictions it seems like the republicans will reduce the democratic majority in the senate to 1 or 2 seats, and sweep the house.
I despise the democrats, and would love to see the day they close up shop, but they are the least worst option of the two parties.
So yes I’m terrified about tuesday, because what little gains have been made will be all we’ll see until the next congress. The whole republican caucus has shown their LGBTQA-phobic colors with the DADT repeal, now they’ll get the chance to display their bigotry in power.
Clint McCance, the school board Vice President who proceded to tell his facebook friends, that he was happy when “AIDS kills fags” and “the only way i’m gonna wear a purple shirt is to celebrate all the gays dying” has now resigned from his position.
However he has made only a lip service apology, and only resigned to spare the school board from the the drama he caused. He remained hopeful that in a few years he’d be able to run successfully again for the school board.
The school board claimed they were unable to fire him, but if similar things had been said in a racist rather than a homophobic sense, he’d have been off the board by the end of the day…
I’m sure everyone reading this article knows who Constance McMillian is, and what a hero she is to everyone in the LGBTQA community, but just in case, this is how her year has gone.
As a young lesbian woman in Mississippi, a student at the Itawamba Agricultural High School, wanted to take her girlfriend with her to Prom, after all, that’s the tradition, your high school sweetheart, is the one you take to prom. But she had the audacity to do it in a state that is famed for its continuing push for(or is that against) tolerance and understanding of different people and relationships.
The school took issue that she wanted to bring her girlfriend with her. If she and her girlfriend wanted to attend, they could not arrive together as a couple. The only way for it to work would be in the pre-out of the closet days of her and her girlfriend having to pretend to go to the prom with respective members of a gay couple also wanting entrance.
For those of you who don’t know our history, effectively lesbian and gay couples often had to live together in order to present the lie of two straight couples to avoid detection, from the law, and society in general. As someone who wanted to wear formal wear, Constance chose to accompany her girlfriend wearing a tuxedo, which was another issue for the school administrators, since a girl wearing pants is obviously a witch. It was an issue of insisting that people conform to clothing stereotypes and do not venture outside that comfortable
close minded space. Its one thing to specify formal wear, but to state that a type of formal wear should only be worn by one gender, is so pre-1970s… yes it may break your fragile mind that a girl looks beautiful in a tux, but its not your call to make school administrators.
Secondly, because of what she felt comfortable wearing, Constance had the gall to wish to wear a tuxedo, which was so confusing to the school administrators who insisted on conforming to gender clothing stereotypes that if she were to attend she should wear a dress.
Rather than rolling over as I’m sure many have done in the deep south, to conform, to accept the status quo, Constance stood up for herself, took her school to court, and won.
In a response worthy of “I’m loosing so I’m taking my ball home” refusal to accept equality, the School cancelled the prom, after promising the judge that Constance and her girlfriend would be able to attend. Then in a truly vicious action, set up a new prom, and conspired to send Constance and her girlfriend along with a few other “different” students to a fake school sanctioned prom, staffed by teachers and chaperones, while the entire remaining class attended the real prom elsewhere.
Behavior like this is indicative of the problems LGBTQA youth face every day, in school, at home, in everyday life, in times of celebration, and in sorrow. However some justice has prevailed, the school has not only had to pay out for damages to Constance, but they
now have been forced to pay for Constance’s legal efforts as well.
Maybe its an imperfect world but if you want to discriminate against LGBTQA youth, there’s a price tag. Hopefully the next school that wants to discriminate will look to the next line.
Denying a girl her prom, cost $116,000
Doing the right thing, priceless.
Thank you Constance for all your bravery, your determination, and your example to us all.
You’d think such homophobia would be enough, to say that you are happy by the thought that LGBTQA youth would catch AIDS and die.
His first public comment to students and the district on facebook was
“you don’t like being called a fag, don’t tell anyone you’re a fag”
His comments were inspired by spirit day.
“Seriously, they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide. The only way im wearing it for them is if they all commit suicide. I can’t believe people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed themselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE.”
His attitude on homophobia extends even to his own children.
“I would disown my kids if they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone.”
Here is his claim of an apology and offer to resign.
However this hateful bigot, makes it very clear is that if he’s said “I would prefer of gay people were to pass away from AIDS” that would be okay. He never apologizes for the thoughts behind the words, only claiming that his word choices were poor.
I’m sure he’s far from the only schoolboard member with such hateful attitudes, but at least he’s resigned. However he does plan on trying for re-election once the storm has died down.
This doesn’t just speak to his actions, or his schoolboard, or even the entire Arkansas school system. LGBTQA youth in school are vulnerable, and to have someone in authority say this, makes all of them feel much less safe. Is every youth who reads this thinking, do I have one of those school board members in my district, how will that affect me if something happens to me.
The school board claims to be unable to fire him, but they should have made a clear exception and fired him with a fanfare and made it clear that he was never welcome there again.
Found via Pride in Utah”
For those of you who don’t know, the Family Research Council, is a group dedicated to stopping civil rights being extended to LGBTQA people.
Their core value is that being LGBTQAism is a disease, and that LGBTQA people at their core know they are sick.
Recently commenting on the growing numbers of LGBTQA youth who have taken their lives, he said that “There’s no correlation between inacceptance of homosexuality and depression and suicide,” despite all the evidence of that hatred being responsible for driving vulnerable LGBTQA youth to taking suicide as a way to escape the bigotry and misery.
As if he couldn’t keep his hatred any more cloaked, he then went on to claim this “These young people who identify as gay or lesbian, we know from the social science that they have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict,” I.E. we commit suicide because we know we are sick and the natural reaction is to kill ourselves, or to paraphrase “You are sick fags, why don’t you just die”.
I’m not expecting the Family Research Council president to come out and admit that his actions are responsible for promoting the hatred and bigotry that infests the USA, but I’d hope he’d have the decency to shut up out of respect for those he has helped kill.
found via Pride in Utah news sourced from NPR
I just wanted to say, this is what an Ally looks like,
An ally stands up for their friends, and does not let them fall to the wayside for political expediancy… yes I’m talking to you Democratic Party and the White – house….
Found via Pride in Utah, thank you Whoopi
I’ve felt for so long that so many companies and groups out there, claim to be friends and supporters of the LGBTQA population, but actually work against us.
So I’m going to start naming and shaming them. These are not going to be obvious ones like the Democratic Party, Target and Health Insurers, or outwardly homophobic hate groups like the Tea Party, Family Research Council, and the Mormon Church.
The people and groups are as dangerous and insidious to the survival of LGBTQA youth as another Republican administration.
US President, Barack Obama, has contributed a video to the “it gets better” project.
This website began with a sentiment… that sentiment was that a project such as It Gets Better is a beginning, but that in it’s own right, it is not enough simply to appear in a video talking about your perspective on things and simply telling people “it gets better” – there needs to be action too. There needs to be people working hard to make it better, and there need to be an awareness that that work needs to be done.
President Obama has spoken out succinctly, eloquently and unexpectedly on this issue. That the President himself has spoken out against homophobic bullying and in support of young gay people is a fairly big thing – but it was also the least that he could do, and that same sentiment with which this website began applies to him equally. While he speaks in support on the one hand, his government has continued to ignore the issue and discriminate on the other against his word that he would make things better! Well, the President has seen now, and by his own admission has been shocked and upset by recent events in his country. He is a man with tremendous power and influence, and has openly stated that this kind of homophobic bullying stands against core American values… this video is, literally, the very least he could do short of doing nothing at all.
It Gets Better, but it’s not enough – it’s a start… and with the greatest of respect Mr. President, there can now be no excuse for inaction on your part. It Gets Better because people make it better – just as you said you would, and just as your moral conscience should now be telling you to do!
Saline Public School Board last week decided that amending the bullying policy to include LGBTQA students was “Unnecessary”.
This isn’t hyperbole or exaggeration. Yes there is an existing bullying policy, and the school board acknowledges the problem in society and school environments.
But how do they react, they choose to deliver a message that they do not care about the LGBTQA students in their schools. This has two obvious effects, firstly it gives a green light to the bullies that LGBTQA students are fair game, and secondly that those victims of the discrimination have no support from the school authorities.
I wish this was against some kind of federal anti-discrimination law, but the Department of Education fails to deal with this as well.
Saline may be up in the North, in supposedly liberal progressive Michigan, but no where is safe from bullying. I was raised in a progressive fairly liberal area of West Sussex in the UK, but I was terrified by the idea of being thought of as queer because of the attitudes portrayed by both the other students, and the complete absence of any support network made available by teachers.
This school board knew that there was a growing number of queer suicides going on across the country and the world, and they just ignored it. As of today its seventeen, thats the number we know about in the past month in the USA, young vulnerable people who are 4-8 times more likely to commit suicide, and make up ⅓ of all successful suicides, being told that we don’t care about you.
We need to tell every child in every school that its not okay to be treated like crap for being who they are. Its also not only about the victims, but the bullies, I want them to know that their behavior is unacceptable. I want to hear this from San Francisco, to Salt Lake City in the heart of every conservative religious and progressive liberal community. Its time to remove these bigoted uncaring school board members and insist that the Departments of Education in every state step up to the plate and help their students.
Sourced from NPR
I’m a geek. I make no apologies for it, and I’m quite proud of it… I’m a geek! When I grew up in the 80′s, I used to get a lot of flak for my interest in science, technology, and how things worked. Heck, I was learning to program in BASIC (an old language – you may have heard of it!) when I was 5 years old. The thing is, through my childhood and teenage years, being a geek was actually a fairly unpopular thing to be… but a geeks was who I was… and its still who I am. There’s far more to me than just this one thing of course, but it was something that people picked up on and made fun of… and I’m still proud of my geekery. It’s part of what makes me, me! A number of the people I know are geeks or have a geeky side to them somehow, and they’re some of the most fun and most brilliant people I know. You see, I don’t identify my geekery by the fact that most people aren’t geeks and thus making me abnormal or part of a minority. My geekery is identified with a geek culture in its own right – a positive celebration and attitude toward all things geeky… a pleasure in geekdom in general!
In all the talk of LGBT, and indeed LGBTQQIA issues in the last decade or three, much has been made of the concept of ‘internalised homophobia’, where people identifying with one of the letters in this acronym find great difficulty in accepting themselves, having internalised the prejudices and phobias of the society around them. It’s as if a part of the queer identity should be defined by being abnormal somehow. As if it’s about being wrong in some way. Well, it’s not. Few people in history have committed suicide simply because they were gay, and it’s really only since around the 1940′s when society began to take an especially hard line against gay people that this fact really changed. In fact, when homosexuality began to be pathologised all those years ago – nearly a century ago now – and when the psychiatrists asked their ‘patients’ how they felt about their orientation, people often reported being perfectly happy with it and only inclined to make any effort to change anything owing to the pressures of society. They often reported that their orientation was quite natural. Some even went as far as to say that ‘they stand on a higherlevel than those normally sexed, that they are the specially favored of the muses of poetry and the arts’! The artistic queer, the intellectual queer…; Queer people had their own queer positive attitudes about their culture and existence! … in much the same way that I, a geek (not to mention a lesbian trans woman queer), also have such geek positive attitudes.
That culture still exists. Those attitudes can still exist. Being queer doesn’t have to be about somehow being abnormal or wrong, and nobody has to accept the view of anybody telling them that they are. It’s the homophobes of this world that are wrong. Being queer is damned awesome! Being different, being special, being yourself rather than like the sheep of this world, whatever being yourself entails, is a truly awesome and valuable thing to be… and to be celebrated. Some of the best people I have known have been queer in much the same way as some of the best people I have known have been geeks.
Being queer is not just something to be OK with – it’s something to be happy about… to celebrate… to enjoy. And you’re not alone! There are queer people everywhere. If you are young and LGBT(QQIA) there’s the Queer Youth Network in the UK. The US has too many regional/state organisations to list (though the UK’s QYN is happy to see international members in its community too).
Being queer is no bad thing, no matter what they may tell you. It’s not something to be ashamed of, and you can only be humiliated by it if you feel its something to be ashamed about. Yes, it can be hard, but it passes… and even as it passes there are people working to try to make things right… and frankly, being queer – being yourself – is awesome!
Today, I want to talk a little bit about something that to many, even many LGB people, may seem as a small matter. So small in fact that it may not have ever occurred to you. The subject I wish to talk about, is ‘trans erasure’.
What exactly is ‘trans erasure’? Well, it’s very simple – it’s the erasure of trans people from view, history or importance. It can take many forms, from LGB historians and academics misrepresenting trans figures as LGB rather than T and so ignoring their trials and accomplishments, to an LGB only organisation accepting both funding for, and a common mis-perception that they work for LGBT people (for example, the ironically named Stonewall UK). It may seem small unimportant, but then, that’s rather a symptom of the problem – because are trans people unimportant? … and therein lies the problem… trans erasure is dis-empowering to trans people, while coincidentally being empowering to those that do it, whether they realise it or not. While it could be said that this is a prime example of ‘cissexual privilege’ in operation, I don’t want to focus on that. I want to focus on the realities of it.
How many LGB people… or for that matter, queer people, take great pride in their history? Such history is often important to any given minority group… be it black history, women’s liberation, queer history, or yes, trans history. It’s not only a source of identity, but also forms part of a shared heritage… a connection to what’s come before and a motivation to move on – perhaps even a comfort to know that you are not alone and are not the first… to see how others have coped, and the things that they have achieved. Each time a trans person is recorded as going by a name they no longer go by or have rejected; Each time a trans person who’s suffered or done something amazing is misreported or misrecorded as gay or lesbian, it’s yet another attack on that history… that identity… that existence. Trans people do not deserve to be re-written out of existence, and the facts of their lives are no less significant, no less important, and no more exotic or weird than the facts of anybody else’s existence… it’s high time Trans History were reclaimed for trans people, and high time that trans people were accorded with the basic dignity and respect that anybody else would expect – while not public property as is so often sadly assumed, the details of trans people’s lives deserve to be recorded properly, in accordance with who trans people actually are. Old names are generally irrelevant, and gender identities matter! Even historically!
And what about ignorance? Is it either fair or right that trans people be ignored? When a trans teen commits suicide, is it right that it be reported by their previous name and in so doing see their identity – the very thing that they were abused over – written out and erased; their very existence as a person erased, just to fit the more convenient “gay teen suicide” narrative? I speak in this instance, for example, about such people as 18-year-old Chloe Lacey of Clovis, CA. (RIP 24th Sept. 2010)… not “Justin” Lacey as reported by many outlets, nor “he”, or “his”… Chloe was a woman, and living as a woman. To misconstrue her in such a way is the ultimate disrespect!
It may seem a small thing again to some people, but stop and consider it for a moment. The bullying that drove her to take her own life hasn’t even stopped in her death! People are STILL disregarding her identity, refusing to accept her, refusing to give her a damned break even in her death! It’s been reported as a tragedy by people who continue to perpetuate the abuse that saw her take her own life!
So what about lobbying and campaigning organisations that might fight this sort of injustice and inequity? In the US, trans people were written out of ENDA – where was the HRC? What were they saying and doing? … in the UK, gay rights charity Stonewall takes it’s share of LGBT funding from various sources, but does not represent trans people, meaning less funding for the representation of trans people. The UK government consults and holds LGBT political events without there being a single trans person present – indeed, they sometimes consult non-trans people on trans issues. Not only does this mean that trans people are getting a raw deal in fighting to end the injustices and inequality many trans people face, but they find their ability to fight hampered because of it!
Trans people exist. The T in LGBT is not a token, they aren’t less deserving, they don’t deserve a “the majority (LGB) comes first” attitude, and they deserve to be properly recognised for who and what they are; Who and what WE are. It’s only fair… but it DOES get better, and it will… and any one of YOU reading this can be a part of it even if only by ensuring that YOU continue to view trans people with the respect they deserve, and to take the same stand against any disrespect you observe that you would if you saw it aimed towards anybody else.
Together, we can work to a better future for us all, and can do so with clear conscience, ensuring that none are left behind… after all, if a trans person is good enough to unfairly ‘add to the number’ of gay teen suicides, then that same person is good enough to be equally and fairly represented and fought for.
Today I am wearing purple. I’m proud to be doing so. And it’s not enough.
It’s a start, yes, but by itself, it means very little. What does wearing purple accomplish? Is it supposed to magically help? It is a personal sacrifice in any way, given how many people wear purple regularly anyway?
I understand why it’s happening, and like I said, I’m doing it myself. ‘Spirit Day’, as it is called, is like a global memorial for those who have taken their own lives as a result of anti-LGBT bullying. It’s an action to help us think a little more about the topic, to help us reflect on our actions.
However, it’s not going to change the world. Who is going to see someone clad in violet and renounce their homophobic and transphobic ways? Even taking into account that the only ones who are aware what wearing purple today means are more than likely not the worst oppressors. A lot of the ones out there wearing purple are LGBT themselves.
Wearing purple isn’t going to start a revolution. It’s not that easy. Token activism like this is not going to make much difference in the grand scheme of things, in a similar vein to how posting the colour of your undergarments on Facebook isn’t really doing anything about breast cancer. It’s a gesture, but like most gestures, it needs something to back it up. Do you want to make a real difference? An indigo tie won’t do that.
Many have put on calls of ‘it gets better’, posting heartfelt videos to YouTube. As touching as this is, offering a glimmer of home for the future for those who are suffering the most, I feel it misses the point. It doesn’t always get better. The ones who made the videos are ones for whom it did indeed get better, but there’s never any guarentee of that. Saying ‘it never gets better’ is far worse, of course, but again, saying ‘it gets better’ won’t change the world. For some in the deepest pits of despair, suffering all manners of abuse, and stepping closer to a Way Out, those words may ring hollow. It does nothing for their current situation, and if tomorrow is seeming as painful as today, than words about things being better in many years may well be as useful as saying ‘things are better in Sweden (or wherever, even if they’re not by much).
‘It gets better’ – well, why not help make it better? Why wear purple for a day and go back to how things were before on October 21st (for which you may be wearing purple as a matter of fashion or necessity anyway)? Why stop there? What can you do to help make a difference? This is the real question. Now, I appreciate that there’s only so much anyone can do, depending on their situation. A difference does not have to mean changing the world, though. Just changing a part of it.
I know I’m preaching to the converted in many cases. Like I said, the ones who are usually the worst abusers are unlikely to be the ones wearing purple, or, let’s be honest, the ones reading this. Most of you will indeed be trying to make a difference, I hope, beyond the colour of your clothing on one specific day.
I will make one or two more points however. The Facebook page for today’s ‘event’ reads “On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools”. Their deaths are tragedies and they deserved
to be remembered as people we have lost. But, and I hope you realise I mean no disrespect in saying this, they aren’t the only ones. The media suddenly decided to pay attention in the last few months, that’s all. Many many more have committed suicide because of the abuse they receive, or internal self-loathing, and their deaths go unreported beyond perhaps local news. Their sexuality probably won’t even be mentioned. Furthermore, what about the suicides of lesbians, or bisexual people? I know for a fact they have happened, and that personal and institutional abuse was at least in part responsible.
And furthermore, what about the TRANS suicides? The Facebook page only mentions sexuality, yet it references the LGBTQ flag. Do they not realise was T means?
Transphobia kills. Trust me on this one. It’s pretty bad. Trans people face abuse from many directions both before and during/after transition. I barely even know where to begin with this, and most people simply don’t have a clue. Trans people’s identities are used as jokes and invalidated. Abuse on the street, instutionalised abuse, and the media making ‘tranny’ jokes. Widespread ignorance about what transsexuality is, and a general lack of willingness to learn.
Trans people often have the odds stacked against them, and what I have said is not even the tip of the iceberg, but the tip’s tip. Add to this the fact that being trans means your body betraying you, and the high suicide rate amongst trans people young and older sadly makes sense.
So let’s not just stop at remembering the suicides in the news. Let’s remember them all, and let’s do what we can to help make things less nightmareish for those who are on the same path. Remberance is not action, not for the trans girls, the gay cis boys, the bi cis girls, the gay trans boys, the genderqueers, and those of all who ages who are pushed to the brink by hatred of their sexuality and gender identity. Let’s help remember that though things may get better, we should do what we can to help make them better.
Today I am wearing purple. It’s a start. And it’s not enough.
This is amazing News.
For too long Americans have been content to let service men and women be discriminated against because of their LGBT status. I have had personal conversations with those who have served in the Armed Forces, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” fundamentally offends them, and they were straight!
Why is this? Because these service men and women protect and trust each other to the core. A fellow service members sexual orientation has nothing to do with their commitment to serve their country. They said that they felt this program was insulting to them, to insinuate that they would not protect and work with someone just because they were LGBT, well that is insane. If men and women who serve in the armed forces feel that this policy is insulting and degrading, why do we still have it? Give these men and women credit, they fight for our country, they are professionals.
This is an amazing first step, and maybe it will send a message to Congress. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is WRONG! It is disgusting, derogatory, and needs to stop!!
I hear a lot about the quiet acquiescent protests that go on in the US and elsewhere. The polite, the nice, the ones who do what they are told, and don’t want to rock the boat.
I went to Gay Pride in Brighton this year and the impression I got was just a commercial fair, nothing particularly vibrant and fighting for rights. It was like Rome after they conquered the known world, before the barbarians came storming back. There are still LGBTQA youth dying in the UK, some by the hands of others, and many by their own desire for the torment to end.
I hear people like Dan Savage who talk about how it gets better, how there’s a “normal” happy life after high school, I hear about how we should accept civil unions, and almost marriage.
I remember watching Milk, and seeing the “Good Queers” telling him to play it safe and polite, and now I see the Whitehouse telling us to be “Good Queers”.
For those of you who don’t know, “Good Nigger” was a phrase used by segregationists to describe those african americans who seemed happy with the scraps given them. Martin Luther King Jr was told not to come to Birmingham, because they didn’t want his kind upsetting the “Good Niggers”.
I know how offensive a term “Good Nigger” is, but its apt, and accurate. If you want to be a “Good Queer” then keep your head down and accept the scraps of rights the democrats choose to give us then get used to being second class citizens for the rest of your lives.
But if you realize we deserve the same citizenship as everyone else, the right to be treated with respect be it in primary school or on our hospital death bed, then you are going to have to learn to be a “Bad Queer”
If someone uses “Gay”, “Fag”, “Dyke”, “Queer” or any other of our words as a pejorative, call them on it. If you see us being used as the butt of jokes, you need to kick up a fuss. If a business acts in a homophobic way (and yes Target we mean you) then let them know how you feel with a loud hailer and a protest.
Finally if someone claiming to be a friend of our community gets elected to be president on a platform of equality and then doesn’t come through, give him hell, he may be better than the alternative so you’ll need to vote for him, but remind him how much of a disappointment he is.
I found this via my friend Mari, and i think it defines why the gay marriage fight is more of a symptom than the problem that needs to be fixed.
You look at NOM, and all their fucked up “Marriage is between a man and a woman” which has never been true. Arranged marriages happened to perpetuate societal structure, and then the respective parties would then have affairs on the side. Everybody knows who Abe Lincoln was doing on the side…. So please don’t preach marriage is a sacrament, because its just been about perpetuating convenient lies.
The reason is not about marriage, its about love and who we share that love with. They want to be able to walk down the street and only see straight couples, they want their children to see only straight mummies and daddies at school, and they definitely don’t want us to be proud of who we are.
I want the haters to be the ones who feel ashamed (if anyone should be feeling shame), i want them to be reminded that their intolerance is disgusting and peverse, if you want to sit in a cave and say “fags go to hell” go do that, out here in the 21st century all us fabulous fags, dykes, queens, kings, trannies, fudge packers and muff munchers are finding little pieces of heaven with who we love. You can’t stop it, you can’t repress it, so just accept it or FUCK OFF!
Footnote: NOM – National Organization for Marriage
Footnote 2: NOMexposed for background on NOM.
So, another one lost… and this time in a place close to my own origins, the South Wales Valleys of the UK.
This time, it’s a 12 year old girl, Holly Stuckey from Maesteg.
Enough is enough! Not a suicide, thankfully, and as yet unexplained, but at the very very least, the homophobic abuse this girl suffered made the end of her life a living hell, and may well have even contributed to it.
Can we do something about homophobic bullying in schools now please?
Her father Clive, 42, said: ‘People made fun of her because she did not know much about sex education.
‘She was a beautifully innocent young girl but the kids turned on her and started to call her a lesbian because she didn’t know as much as them.
‘In the weeks before Holly died she wouldn’t go anywhere on her own.
‘She wanted me to take her everywhere.’
Mr Stuckey said he found letters in her bedroom which described how she was being bullied by other children – which he believes put a strain on her heart.
I realize thats a headline that shocks, but that figure is a very conservative estimate.
I was having a conversation with a social conservative apologist the other day, who kept trying to explain that he’d choose a hate mongering candidate (like Carl Paladino) because he didn’t see how LGBTQA rights were his concern.
It got me thinking about all those who suffer daily because their mother and father in constant attitude, and in occasional action remind these children that who they are is an abomination against God.
To get a handle on the figures, I did some rough calculations.
|Population of the USA||310 million|
|Confirmed Religious Right (15%)||46 million|
|Religious Right Children (27.6%)||13 million|
|Religious Right Children 5 and under (6% of population)||3 million|
|Religious Right Children aged 5-20||10 million|
|LGBT youth population of Religious Right||1 million|
I realize the calculations are rough, and take certain assumptions for granted, but it was meant to be just a rough estimate.
We aren’t talking about school yard bullies, or other adults, these children are being made to feel like they are disgusting by their parents. We aren’t just talking about the Phelps here, although probably they have a few fabulous apples waiting to come out of that rotten pile.
This is not a minor problem, its a tragedy, and even if they aren’t taking their own lives, they are dying a little inside each day.
How many suicides are unreported as LGBTQA because either their parents did not know, or did not want to admit their child was “different”, how many more must we loose to this plague?
What can we do, I know i want to broadcast into every home and church in america that preaches intolerance and hate, that it’s okay to be you, but we have to start with realistic little goals. If you know someone who is hidden in the closet because of fear of parents, be a friendly ear and a helping hand, if you see someone on the street trying to hide their child’s eyes from the sight of 2 men holding hands, say something.
The most important thing is just realize its happening and keeping your eyes, your ears and your hearts open to those in desperate need of a life-line.
I’ve been wanting to do something for a while, beyond just sticking a #nomore hashtag on my tweet posts about LGBTQA issues, but this brave man, gave me the push I needed.
Joel Burns, you are a hero to us all.
In the USA recently, there has been a spate of suicides amongst LGBTQ youths… Seven in particular that have caught significant media attention. It’s obscene that the attitudes that might lead a teenager to take his or her own life should be tolerated in any corner of society to the point where this kind of thing happens. It’s obscene that these boys felt that it was better that they should die than to face the world with no greater crime than merely being LGBTQ people, and that nobody either could or would reach out to them.
July 9th – Justin Aaberg; Sep 22nd – Tyler Clementi; Sept 9th – Billy Lucas; Sept 23rd – Asher Brown; Sept 26th – Seth Walsh; Sept 29th – Raymond Chase; Sept 13th – Cody J. Barker.
These aren’t the only ones though… such deaths are not the issue of the US alone. It happens in the UK too. Far too often. In fact, unsurprisingly, it happens anywhere there’s homophobic and transphobic abuse internationally.
Well, lets have no more lost, and whether you’re straight, gay, trans, cis (non-trans), genderqueer, or anything else, lets remember for a moment that as members of society we are each responsible for the world we live in, and each responsible for deciding upon what we will accept and what we will not… and on the 20th of October, wear purple – maybe just a little, or maybe a whole outfit… what matters is that you wear purple in rememberance of those youths that have died due to homophobic and transphobic abuse, and why… these were needless deaths of outrageous causes.
It’s not surprising then that this unofficially declared “Spirit Day” has gone international. In the words of it’s originators;
It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in memory of the recent gay suicides. Many of them suffered from homophobic abuse in their schools or in their homes. We want to take a stand to say that we will not tolerate this. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th to remember all the lives of LGBTQ youth that have been lost due to homophobia. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.
In memory of those that have passed, and as a stand against the prejudice, bullying, and discrimination that results in such deaths, please wear purple on 20 October at 00:00 – 21 October at 00:00 … just something purple – you don’t have to do anything special. Just wear purple as you go about your normal day and know why you’re doing it. When ordinary people start realising how important their attitudes are… when we all start paying a little more attention, the suicides will stop, and the tragic deaths of these seven and all that came before them will at least have inspired something good to come from them.
Please, hit the Tweet button on this post or indicate your paticipation at the facebook event page if you’re that way inclined, but please, please wear purple.
Gemma having been inspired to start this effort to try to ensure that the world doesn’t lose any more of us, I have been looking for something I might be able to contribute on the issue too, and so I’m happy to be here writing the good write.
I’m interested in the state of LGBTIQA issues both in the UK and to a lesser degree in the US and globally, though my primary focus is on the UK. I can’t say that I feel powerless to do anything… NONE of us are powerless which is something we would all do well to remember… though in my time as a moderator of a TS support forum, and briefly as a regional co-ordinator for Queer Youth Network I am aggrieved to see oppression, othering, prejudice, bullying, malice, and even violence and hate in our supposedlyenlightened society against LGBTIQA people.
Equally upsetting is the infighting and arguing over the intersections of such ills, where oppressed groups could be working together… and if only they could do so and excuse each others misunderstandings for the greater good so that we can all help to ensure that we lose no more of our number!
A recent spate of LGB suicides on the news has been a terrible, terrible loss – to their friends, families, communities, and on some level, to every one of us. We are here to show such people that things can get better, and that they will. We’re here to highlight what’s happening, and what can happen. We’re here because if even just one more person is lost it’s one person too much, and any single person helped has been worth it. We’re here as an example that there’s something everybody can do if they want to… even if only by living the best lives they can live, serving as an example to others. We’re here because whether Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, or Asexual, everybody should be free of the kind of prejudice, oppression or bullying that might cause someone to take their own life, and should be able to feel free to be who they are, and to feel pride in theirselves, their existance, and their part in their communities, society, and the world at large.
I’m Krissie. I’m an alternative, lesbian trans woman who isn’t going to be silent about who she is anymore… because even though I have that choice, nobody should have to be silent… and I hope for a day when there’s no more lost, and hate is not OK.
I’ve felt very helpless to do something about the situation back in my home in the US.
Every time I hear a story about an LGBTQA youth who’s taken their life, or been subjected to a vicious hate crime, I want to do something.
Maybe this is a tiny little thing, but I want to start writing about the oppressive anti-LGBTQA rights attitudes that are still prevalent in the USA. I want to remember those who we have lost, and try to suggest ways we can stop loosing any more.
I’m Gemma, a bisexual transwoman who isn’t going to be silent about who she is anymore.