Hi everyone 😉
Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. A worthy cause in our opinion 🙂 Check out the official site! –> http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/
Since this issue is close to our hearts, we would love to discuss it with you. Any comment on this post will be entered to win one of 5 e-copies of D.t. Peterson’s “The Cove”.
So we all know about the big fights for recognition. We know how people are discriminated against, suppressed, beaten, imprisoned or killed for their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is rather scary to think about, yet so important never to forget what is happening in the world and why we have to act. As a gay man myself, it has been amazing to meet so many allies who try to actively change the world into a better and more open-minded place. This is a fight on many fronts, but today I would like to talk about the ‘fight’ at home.
One of my friends recently told me a story and I hope she doesn’t mind if I share it here.
She lives in the deep south of the States and has encountered a lot of discrimination. In her home, however, discrimination has no place. Slowly with every person she meets she spreads a message of love and acceptance and gets people to question their narrow-minded views. Her husband was no exception.
When they met, he had many prejudices that he was taught by his parents and she has been working for many years to make him more open-minded and accepting. I’ve talked to him and he is a sweet and funny man and has promised her to love and accept their son, whomever he chose to someday love. Something she often reminds him of, because it is extremely important to her.
Recently her husband joked about their son always looking at pretty girls and her mother-in-law made a comment about the little guy getting off to a ‘right’ start. My friend could barely hold her tongue.
She told her husband just what she thought of the comment and he “thought I might have been overreacting because I was so mad and it was made in an off-handed comment sort of way. I told him that I never wanted our son to hear that, especially from his family. . . I told him I wanted our son raised ‘right’ and that ‘right’ is treating everyone equally, loving everyone equally. . . I don’t want him to ever hear a person in our family refer to being straight as the ‘right’ way. . . there is no right or wrong when it comes to loving to someone. I told him, I won’t bite my tongue the next time and I only held it because our boy was too young to understand it, but I won’t stand for it again”.
When she shared this with me to vent, it was that moment I realized she is a super hero.
In a way, the home front is the most important in this fight for equality and acceptance. No child is born hating others just because they have a different skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity or just because they are different in some way. Discrimination is taught! Taught by parents who pass on their own prejudices to their children, taught by so-called men and women of god who use their standing and power in their communities to spread hate and intolerance in the name of god, instead of spreading love and fighting against injustice, war and hate. It is taught by media, children in school or co-workers who treat others in the way they have been taught. A vicious cycle of hate and intolerance. Though, while you are only one person, you CAN make a difference.
The way you raise your children, instilling in them values, showing them a love that is unconditionally, teaching them acceptance, showing them hate and discrimination is wrong, showing them by example to stand up against injustice. The way you influence people you meet, whether you see them every day or have just a fleeting encounter. Keep an open mind and try to overcome your own prejudices. Other people fight their own war and you have no idea what they have lived through, you don’t know their stories, their battles. Everyone deserves respect! But if they act and speak in a hateful and intolerant way, don’t be afraid to stand up to them. Don’t let it go, because it is easier. Challenge their believes, make them think, show others that it is NOT okay to act or speak that way.
Words are not inconsequential! They can cut deeper than a knife and create wounds that slowly fester until they are infected. Think of all those who have been told all their lives that they are worth nothing! That they are wrong, that the world would be a better place without them. All those people, especially those kids who believed it. Who took their own lives, because the pain those words caused were unbearable to them. Stand up to injustice that happens around you, because others will hear you. If your words just change the mind of one person or give strength to someone who desperately needed someone to stand up for them, because they didn’t have any fight left in them to stand up for themselves – that is worth it. It is so very important.
I’m gay and it took me 20 years to really deal with and accept it. I was very lucky, I have friends and family who support me. Not a single person openly turned their backs on me and if anything it got me closer to many people. But the words I heard around me influenced me, even in my sheltered and mostly liberal environment.
When my mother made an off-hand comment about how weird it was to see two men kiss, that stuck with me. When classmates called each other faggots and teachers didn’t react, – that stuck with me. When men held hands and people snickered or were openly hostile, because of such an innocent sign of love and affection, – that stuck with me. When I want to hold the hand of my boyfriend in public, lean my head on his shoulder in the movie theater, kiss him – and we can’t do that, because the way people act and talk has made him afraid to express his love and affection, because as a lawyer he has to fear how people would react, – that affects me. When our politicians prohibit us the same adoption rights others have, because there is so much discrimination that it might affect the children instead of openly opposing discrimination, – that affects me. When I read how many kids are homeless, because their parents have kicked them out and they had nowhere to go, how many people die a little more each day, because of the way others cut them down every single day, when I see how many people have given up and taken their own lives – that breaks me.
So, I must agree. Words matter. My friend was not overreacting. She is my hero and I have met so many wonderful and open and strong and loving and accepting people in this community.
It is an incredible source of strength to know all these people who accept and love me for who I am, even if they might have never met me. Yet. Always remember that what you are doing matters.
The words you say and the way you act matters. You matter and you are changing this world into a better one every single day. Thank you.
You have no idea how much it touches me and just how very grateful I am to know you!!! ❤
!!! GIVEAWAY !!!
Thank you for reading my post! This issue is very close to my heart and I would love to hear your thoughts.
His debut novel is inspired by a very special and tender relationship he had. He wants to show readers that a man falling in love with another man is as normal as any other relationship. Just one of the many choices and paths life has to offer. It’s a reflection on his youth and the “What If“s of life and he would like to share his story with you. So much so that he has not only sponsored 5 copies of the book for 5 lucky winners, but also priced the book $0.67 for 314 pages, so everyone could afford to buy it and read the message of love and acceptance he wants to share.BUY “THE COVE” BY D.T. PETERSON @ AMAZON
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Love, Marc & The Rainbow Gold Review Team ❤ // ]]>