Friday, October 24, 2008

Talking to the Wrong Person

Yesterday, one of my fellow university students incurred my wrath when I learned that they had donated $200 to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. We had just walked out of the keynote address for University Pride week, and this person frequents the LGBT Resource Center where I volunteer. After they informed me of their donation, I asked them why they did that. They responded that it had been a busy week, and that many things were going on in their life, but one of their family friends had approached them about it and stated that it was needed because gay marriage is morally and ethically wrong. I asked them if they self-identified as homosexual, and they responded that they weren't sure at the moment. I then asked if they had gay or lesbian friends. They turned and looked at me, and said something to the effect of they considered me a friend. I then asked if they felt that they should have the right to be in a relationship with a person they cared about. They responded this would only be appropriate if the person were of the opposite sex.


I was enraged, livid and shocked. How could someone that so frequently interacts with the LGBT community do something so callous? I quickly went up to the LGBT Resource Center and began discussing the incident with the people that were there. I erred in that I probably should not have given the person's name, but I felt that since that person frequently visits the Center and that their donation made me feel uncomfortable with their presence in an area I thought was supposed to be a safe place for LGBT persons and their allies, I felt compelled to speak out and ask how I try to welcome that person back into the Center. I told at least 10 people, and although I should feel remorse for doing something like that, I felt justified by the fact that I no longer felt welcome in that space myself when that person was present.


Later in the day, this person approached me and told me how hurt they felt because they didn't feel welcome in the Center after that. Imagine that! They said that they had been ignorant of the issue, and didn't understand what kind of group their money was going toward. They said that school and work were really stressful, and their mind hadn't been in the right place at the time. They tried to make me feel guilty about my telling other people what they had done, when they offered no remorse for their actions, only a plethora of excuses. I know it's caustic of me, but if you don't understand an issue, learn about it. Don't donate based on the opinion of a single person. Gather your wits and intelligence and learn about the things that you are contributing to. Ignorance is no excuse for actions. It only exemplifies that maybe your grasp on life is a little loose.


I am going to the "Gay"-la dinner tonight to end the Pride Week celebration and am wondering about the response I am going to get. I feel a little alienated by some of the people that frequent the Center because of my strong reaction to this person's actions. Some people feel that I should have moderated my actions, and although I do feel that maybe I went a little overboard, I have had a number of other things going on with regards to this Proposition that have biased my outlook. I have problems sleeping at night because I am so worked up over what will happen in the 3 states with amendments against gay marriage this year. Regardless of outcome, I will be happy when this election is over!





Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To Those Opposed To “Gay Marriage”

So, this message goes out to all of those people who are avid proponents of Prop 8, and those that aren't sure where they stand. I want to focus on California and not Arizona or Florida right now because the burden of proof in California lies with those trying to take away an existing right.

First, this is a free country. You have no more of an ability to explain to me why you believe in God, than I do to explain to you why I'm gay. I can't prove to you that I can't change, but you can't prove to me that God exists. I let you worship freely, and you should let me live my life freely, period.

Secondly, there is no scientific proof that homosexual relationships destroy the family. "Traditional" families are a byproduct of the 1950's; when this country was first founded, women were basically owned by their husbands. Anyone want to go back to that? And as far as children go, there are only a small number of studies about the children of gay parents, but they show that those children are usually more well-adjusted than the children of straight parents; imagine that… The only reason why you should feel badly for children of gay parents is because of the way they are treated by kids whose parents teach them to hate gay people.

You can whine all you want about gay people changing America, but it is you who are behind the times. If you would like to hide in a cave because you feel the world is turning into idolatry and wickedness, go ahead. We don't need people to tear us down more than we already have ourselves. As a gay person living in a straight society, it took me years to accept myself; I am not willing to give that up because of some religious ideals that you hold dear, and I deem irrelevant to my life. We both have the right to our respective opinions, and normally I wouldn't harp on you all, but the fact remains that you are trying to take away my rights.

This is a difficult issue for some people, but what I don't understand is why some people want to interfere in the lives of gay people. We already exist, we already have children, please just let us live the way we choose. Do you hear a big ruckus about this in Massachusetts, The Netherlands, or Spain anymore? Spain is highly Catholic, and when it first passed, everyone was outraged. Then the rage died down and people realized it doesn't affect them. The people who are affected are the ones in the stories below.


Please remember, I am not asking you to endorse homosexuality, or to allow it into your church. We are asking for simple legal recognition, not access to temples, synagogues, churches, or mosques.

Please vote No on Prop 8 in California, Prop 102 in Arizona, and Prop 2 in Florida!