Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What are you proud of?

One of my facebook friends posted a picture of a small child holding the "God hates f@gs" signs in Washington today, with the monumental happenings there on same sex marriage, and because of that, I felt the need to reflect on something I wrote over two years ago. It was the summer of 2007, and I had gone to the Pride celebration in Columbus Ohio with my brother and his partner, both of whom bring me immense pride.

So please indulge me by revisiting my musings on Pride....

Pride weekend is a celebration of the diversity brought to our culture by individuals who are gay or lesbian, and the attempts to move toward ending prejudice based on sexual orientation. It is a way to acknowledge how far the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) community has come, and how far it has to go, toward having rights that are equal to their straight counterparts.

Regardless of one's personal feelings toward homosexuality, I see no need for the outpouring of hate. For people who are opposed to homosexuality on moral or religious grounds, I ask, are you sinless? I have heard people say that gay people deserve to go to hell simply because they are gay. First off, who gave you the right to condemn? Second of all, those that believe in Jesus usually believe that He dies for the sin of all, so that all may be saved. Can someone tell me in what Gospel it says Jesus died to save the righteous? It doesn't, He came to save sinners. Where in the Bible does it say Jesus saved only heterosexuals? By saying homosexuals should go to hell for being gay, should we not say that thieves should go to hell for being thieves? The saddest thing I saw all weekened was a man protesting at the parade. Now the man didn't bother me; what bothered me was that he brought his son, who looked to be all of 11, to protest as well. "Come on little Bobby, lets go learn how to be hate mongers and bigots, because that's what Jesus would do". That is seriously how these people think.

When hanging on the cross, suffering for all our sins, Jesus was joined by criminals. Criminals who were pardoned by Christ's death. Jesus taught us to not hate, so for anyone who hates homosexuals based on religious or moral grounds, your logic is faulty. The sin of your HATRED hurts Christ far more than the "sin" of being gay.

For those who feel that homosexuality is a sickness or mental illness, need I remind you that over 30 years ago the American Psychological Association deemed that it was not. So, just like the medieval community thinking those with schizophrenia were possessed by the devil, people today things that homosexuals are "sick".

People also think homosexuality it a result of childhood sexual abuse. Sorry, are you straight because an opposite sex adult molested you? No. Neither are they gay because a same sex adult molested them.

Gay people deserve the same basic human rights that straight people get. Why? Because they are HUMAN. Why should I be privileged to live free of fear of losing a job, being driven from town, and having no dignity, when my brother is not? Why can't the world just focus on love?

Maybe I need to speak up more, be more vigilant. But that is something I need to reconcile within myself. In the mean time, I will continue to speak my mind in whatever way I feel comfortable. At work, I have family photos on my desk. This includes a picture of my brother and his boyfriend. If people do not like it, they do not have to look. I will continue to go where ever I please, whether it is a gay establishment or a straight one. Why must me segment and compartmentalize the human race? White, black, gay, straight, rich, poor.....we are all fighting to distinguish "us" from "them", but don't you realize, as some point, we are all part of a "them" for some reason or another?

Pride weekend is about being proud of who you are and how you live your life. I have pride. I am proud of my brother, as well as my sister. I am proud of my friends, and parents. And most of all, I am proud of myself. So at the end of the day, when you look at how you lived your life that day, tell me, what is it about you, what is it you did, that makes you feel a healthy sense of PRIDE. What are you proud of?