You Keep Using That Word

I do not think it means what you think it means.

Hello dear reader(s)!

Today’s word is not “inconceivable”, like in the awesome movie The Princess Bride, from which I took the title and first line of this post.

Today’s word is “ally”.

And for this post, “ally” is specifically referring to those who claim to be for equal rights for LGBTQAEIOU and sometimes Y people.  (Yes, I do not indulge in petty arguments over letters.  Feel free to add or subtract your own.)

You see, last month was Pride month.  And last month, a lot of people had their rainbow flags (some of whom argued over colors), and all kinds of posts about how they were an ally.  How they think that who people love should not matter.  And that’s great.

Except I know how some of these people voted.  These people are not allies.

You can not be an ally if you voted for a Trump/Pence ticket.  I could possibly forgive you for falling for Don the Con’s lip-service to the gay community, but his choice for Vice President was made before you voted.  And Mikey “Mother Lover” Pence is not exactly a friend to the gay community.  He is an enemy.  If you voted to advance his career, you are, in fact, the exact opposite of an ally.  Jeffyboy Sessions (KKK trash) was pretty well-known to be unfriendly to anyone who was not a rich, straight, white male.  Trump himself was pushed heavily by outspoken evangelical enemies of the gay community and it does not take a rocket scientist to know that he would be supporting their hateful, freedom to discriminate agenda.  You can’t be an ally if you are in league with the enemy.  And I don’t care if you are gay, or bi, or trans, or pansexual, genderfluid, queer, intersex, alien, mermaid…if you voted for these clowns, you need to have your head examined for your self-loathing selling-out of your rights.

Allies, provide mutual defense.  Allies come to the aid of those attacked.  Allies sure as hell do not prioritize another issue over the safety and freedom of those who they ally with.  Allies don’t justify the loss of rights of their allies from some empty promises and other rhetoric on other issues important to them.

Being an ally doesn’t just mean posting a rainbow flag on Facebook.  You can’t be an ally and still vote for people looking to take away the rights of your allies.  Greg Abbott voters are not allies.  You can’t justify people’s discrimination as religious freedom and call yourself an ally.

You can’t knowingly support certain discriminatory businesses and call yourself an ally.  Allies don’t get give material support and aid to the enemies of their allies.

When I say I am an ally, here is what I mean:

  • I will never set foot in a Chik-fil-A or any business that I KNOW contributes to the denial of rights or fights to discriminate against others using “religious freedom” as an excuse  This shit was supposed to be settled when racists argued their religion allowed them to discriminate against black people.  I am certain I unwittingly consume from hateful-ass companies, but I try.
  • I will call out anyone and everyone as hateful when they support hateful legislation  Like when I blasted the Mormons for opposing Prop 8 and lost friends as a result.
  • I will defend my allies from attack as vigorously as I would defend myself  And if you fuck with one of the allies who are close to me, even more so.
  • I will vote for the candidate least likely to deny people’s rights in any election ever  Nothing is more important.
  • I will do my best to make my voice heard whether it is June, or July, or any time.  That means showing up to marches when I can, or spreading the word when I can’t.  It means posting about it here.  It mean calling my representatives anytime I am aware of legislation that could potentially impact my allies.
  • I will not associate with any group that discriminates  I think it is hilarious that Christians often call-out Muslims for not stopping those who hate in their religion’s name, and those who commit acts of violence, but are unusually silent when a much higher percentage of people in their own religion hate and commit violence against gay people.  I am surprised when I see people attend churches that are opposed to gay rights while claiming to be an ally.

I am an ally.  Some of the people close to me are in constant danger or losing their rights or being harmed.  I am their ally though, and if you want to attack them, be prepared for a war.

 

 

The Gay Kid Who Wasn’t

Hello dear reader(s)!

Since the shooting at Pulse in Orlando, my Facebook has been pretty much a non-stop series of status updates by yours truly about my thoughts, fears, shock, sadness, and anger about every aspect of this hateful attack.  I’m sure some of my friends are shocked by how affected by it I am.  Most have been very respectful.

However, some well-meaning people are posting some things that leave me cold.  Specifically, they are posting that talking about the gun control side of the debate invalidates the hate towards LGBTQ people in this society.  I don’t think discussing immediate concerns about how to possibly mitigate the attacks that do happen by limiting the deadliness available to those who will attack takes away from the fact that we all need to be working toward a society where people are not attacked for not fitting what someone else thinks is right.  This to me would be the equivalent of saying it is not okay to talk about seat belts as long as people are still getting in car accidents.

You may disagree with that, and you have that right, but you do not have the right to attempt to prevent me from speaking on it.

But there is something even worse to me that I have encountered.  I know it is from people who mean well, but the effects it has on me are anything but good.  Some people have adopted the positions of some of the self-appointed LGBTQ “community” spokespeople that at its base point essentially asks who the hell I think I am as a straight person who considers myself an ally to speak about it at all, instead of just listening to those in the “community”.  This assumes two very incorrect things.  The first, is that there exists one homogeneous group of people in a community that includes everyone that is not all the way to the spectrum of the most masculine male and the most feminine female as defined by society.  The second issue is that these people assume that because I am straight I do not identify with and have no knowledge of the struggle of anyone in this “community”.

When I was growing up, it was in a pretty redneck town.  Ask me why I hate Reno.  Ask me why I hated it so much I had a blog called “Reno Failure” before this one until I got tired of bitching about that place all the time.  Ask me why I kept that as my user name for quite a while.  There was no gay community.  Not for a long time.  The one or two kids in high school (who were my friends) that were brave enough to be out were hunted.  Hunted.  That meant there were plenty of closeted gays.  And to the hyper-masculine, redneck dipshits, anyone who was different or not as masculine as them was gay.  If you think I don’t know what it is like to be the victim of male hate violence, you don’t know my story.  It didn’t matter that I wasn’t gay, to them I was.  I didn’t always talk about it, and still don’t, but I know what it is like to be at the bottom of a pile-on of hateful bullies calling you a “fag” as they’re throwing punches.  I know what it is like to worry about hanging out with just one of my other guy friends too much to avoid the attacks or names from their assumptions that was quite frankly none of their fucking business anyway.  I know what it is like to be harassed over and over again just for going to my drama class.

I know what it is like to have to develop a false persona to avoid the violence.  To take an interest in football so you can be as manly as your brother and cousin who were adored for their athletic ability.  I eventually learned to like football, but did not when I was a kid.  Playing was an act of attempting to be loved.  You could say the same things about working with my hands or trying to build up muscle.  All things I enjoy a little now, but at the time I did not have those interests it was a matter of trying to be loved and also a matter of self-preservation.

I deliberately suppressed emotion and my interest in art and literature.  I wouldn’t play D&D or with computers because those kids got beat up.  I had to pretend I was less interested in learning than I was.

There was no internet.  No Tumblr.  The people around me believed gays went to San Francisco when they grew up to live in a modern day Gomorrah.  Bisexual people didn’t exist and were just obviously confused or gay who hadn’t fully accepted it yet.  Transexual people were mentally ill and to be made fun of.  They were trannies.  Forget terms like pansexual and gender-fluid.  There may have been many of those people around me, but if the terms existed, those terms sure as hell didn’t exist around me.

I went to Pride for the first time with my first wife in 2005 after we moved to Seattle.  It was the last year the parade was exclusively on Capitol Hill.  I didn’t just go as an ally, I went for me.  I felt at home there.  People who were unashamed to be themselves, and love however they chose.  I envied their bravery.  We spent a long time there, and had fun.  We would have gone to one of the gay bars after, but my wife was tired.  So when a gay bar gets shot up during that city’s Pride week, please don’t presume to tell me how this isn’t personal to me.  And it gets even more personal to me than even being the kid who was picked on by those who thought I was gay, and that I could have just as easily been there as anyone speaking from the internet on behalf of some imagined “community”.  It gets more personal because even though I have always been straight in practice, I suspect that is more due to my fear of male sexuality for reasons I will not even get into than for strict preference alone.  I feel attraction to people, not parts.  I have always felt safer with women and so the attraction has been deeper and is therefore the only attractions I have felt strong enough to act on, but I’d probably be pansexual if someone was ever able to make me feel safe enough to deepen that attraction who wasn’t a woman.  Sorry everyone I know, it is what it is.

So as you’re railing about how awful it is to be targeted because you do not fit a certain notion society has of who you are, please make sure you are not excluding those affected using the same prejudicial notions.

Featured Image By Ludovic Bertron from New York City, Usa [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Abomination?

Hello dear reader(s)!

Today I was bored because my tummy hurts (Would you like to attend a pity party?  Formal dress is required.) and none of you people (What do you mean by you people?!?!) were posting while I was online, or your posts weren’t showing up in my Reader.  As a result, I was perusing the er of the Twits, and I saw a hashbrown (shamelessly stolen from Kimmy Schmidt) that was, “#INeedStraightPrideBecause”  Ex-squeeze me?  Baking powder?  (shamelessly stolen from Wayne’s World)

I was scared to death that a hashtag like that would be trending in the US.  Morbid curiosity got the better of me and I looked at it.

What a relief!  The tag was DOMINATED by LGBTQ people and their allies mocking the living shit out of it.  Let me tell you something, mocking the shit out of something is hard enough to do, but to mock actual living shit out of something?  That’s David Blaine type wizardry there.  It was a fun and uplifting experience.

However, as with any good thing, there were people taking the hashtag seriously.  (It is still unclear to me if it was a joke or created by real homophobic people.)  And before you try telling me that “having pride in who you are does not mean that you hate others for being different, or are afraid of them” …just stop.  That is the same bullshit neo-Nazis say.  “I’m not white power, I’m white pride.”  Bullshit.

When I was an early teenager, or even older child, but around that same time, I didn’t “get” Pride either.  Not because I had anything against gay people (as that is all I knew about at the time, except for the “lesbians” in the porno tapes we secretly watched from the closet shelves of our friends’ parents), but because I didn’t understand how anyone could be proud of something they had nothing to do with.  I’ve never been proud of my race, or my gender, sexuality, or my nationality because that is all dumb fucking luck.

But then I had a couple of gay friends.  And for them, (I don’t mean for them to speak for every gay person), but for them, it was pride in being brave enough to be who they want in the face of incomprehensible hatred, violence, and legal discrimination.  Okay…duh!  What an eye opener.  My first year living in Seattle the first time, we went to Pride on Capitol Hill.  And do you know what?  It was a fucking blast!!!!!  It got a little scary once when being the barrier between some homophobic sociopaths and their targets, but it was fun.  No, I didn’t do any sex stuff, no, I didn’t get hit on, assaulted, molested, raped, or coerced into some fictional “Homosexual Agenda”.  I just saw a cool parade with people who were happy to be alive in a world where a lot of people would rather see them dead.

Let me address some of the tweets from people who took the hashtag seriously and were terribly outnumbered and out-thought.

(I’m writing this one out, because I am not 12 and don’t need to use the emoticons this person moron used.)  “Marriage is between one man and one woman to have children!”  Oh really?  Then anyone who is incapable of having children can’t marry?  Guess what fuckhead?  I am married, and I can’t have children, and couldn’t before I got married.  It would have required an expensive surgery and then the cancer came and eliminated my chance.  Are you going to tell me my marriage is invalid?  Do you know who else likely can’t have children?  All of the old, straight, white men who are trying to prevent equal rights under the law!

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.” – Leviticus 18:22  Okay, I don’t even know where to begin with this one, but…YOUR God may think that it is an abomination, but not everyone believes in YOUR VERSION of YOUR God.  What part of “Democratic Republic” do you not understand?  This is no fucking theocracy, as much as you wish it were.

But I’m not done with this one yet.

Screenshot 2015-06-10 at 7.03.59 PM

So what if it is an Abomination?  (This coming from the same book that says you can be stoned for playing with a football, or for wearing cotton and wool blends.  And if you come for my socks, you can have them when you rip them from my cold, neuropathy-ridden feet.)  You seriously live by this book?  Oh no wait you don’t, except when it gives you an excuse to hate people.

a·bom·i·na·tion
əˌbäməˈnāSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: abomination; plural noun: abominations
  1. a thing that causes disgust or hatred.

Okay, so basically your God is disgusted by two men sleeping with each other.  So fucking what?  Your God hates that.  Seems like a bit of an asshole then, but okay, you’re free to believe what you want.  If that is who you choose to worship then I wish you the best of luck getting into your boring-ass, stale, sterilized Heaven.  It is not saying that YOU should hate it or be disgusted when a man lies down with another man, it is saying your God is.  Have some fucking faith in your God to make the right decisions.

But wait, there’s more!

Abomination isn’t even the right translation for the word.  The word is toevah (and its plural, toevot) which means roughly “taboo”.  It is more explicitly, “something permitted to one group, and forbidden to another.”  In Deuteronomy, you can see the Israelites are instructed not to commit toevah because other nations do.

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 says it.  “When you come into the land that YHVH your God gives you, do not learn to do the toevot of those nations. Do not find among you one who passes his son or daughter through the fire; or a magician; or a fortune teller, charmer, or witch… because all who do these things are toevah to YHVH and because of these toevot YHVH your God is driving them out before you.”

So let God drive people out, if that is what he wants.  Hate it, find it disgusting, but leave it up to your God.

It baffles me how many “Christians” can follow some parts of their book to justify hatred, but ignore others.  Especially something from a book with many known incorrect translations, hand-copied by the literate powerful in the service of kings, and written by humans.  (Even if God was telling them what to write, human people penned it and human people make mistakes…or outright lie.)

Oh, except those pesky Ten Commandments that no “Christian” really seems to give a fuck about.  You know, the ones that were supposedly etched into stone by your God himself?

Although, if you give me 40 days on top of a mountain, I can chisel 10 or 20 things too.

Your hatred, and judgmental hypocrisy are an abomination too; and if these are the type of people your God lets into Heaven, I’ll pass.  Thanks anyway.