I am writing this in response to a blog that I have come across. It is written by Chris Rico and it’s his “Call to Action” about gay bashing and the need LGBT people to be included in hate crime legislation. He is trying to form a gathering place of sorts for those who have been the victim of an anti-gay attack. Once he has gathered a number of stories I believe that he intends to put them on his blog for all to read. Those who have been victims will have a place to not only share their stories, but also have a place to show others that hate crimes towards gays are real and are more commonplace than others care to admit. It’s called “We are One”, and I encourage you to check it out.
So after reading of Chris’ experience, I started thinking about the times in my life where I faced the unwarranted attacks of others just for being perceived as being gay. I am sure that there are many of us who can recall being teased, punched, kicked etc., in school just for being “different”. But somehow, from my experience those attacks were filled with more hate, viscousness and violence than others who were picked on. Although I alone knew the truth that indeed I was gay, all those attacks were because they thought I was gay and I shudder to think what would have happened had I admitted I was.
Although it has been about 30 years ago, I can still vividly recall the hate that was spewed by fellow classmates from elementary school and throughout my high school years. I honestly cannot recall a day that went by where I wasn’t called faggot, queer or homo and made to feel as if I was less than human. Fear of continued ostracism and possible violence, are some of the reasons why I and others like me, who experienced hate on a daily basis have chosen not to come out. We feel safe in our closets, and yearn for the day where we can proudly proclaim that we are gay without fear of violent repercussions.
I attended High School in the early to mid 70’s and back then there was absolutely no where we could turn for support. In many cases, we were not only emotionally and physically hurt by our peers, but those in authority either turned a blind eye some even blamed us for the hateful actions of others. There were no such things as GSA’s or other support groups and in many states you were a criminal just for being gay. Although things have changed, they have not changed enough. To this day, parents fight school boards over the rights of gay students to have a safe haven and they even fight attempts when diversity education is viewed as an attack against their religious beliefs. I guess they forgot the verse “Love one another as I have loved you…”
And to those who are blinded by their religious prejudices and believe that there is no need for added legal protections for LGBT people, and have turned this debate into an attack of them and their beliefs I say, FUCK YOU! I will not and cannot stand silently by an hear of another gay person attacked simply for being who they are. The religious right have to start putting their bibles aside and learn that the bible is not the document upon which our country and it’s laws are founded on. Rather, our Constitution is the guiding light that guarantees the right of EVERYONE to life in a society free from fear and to live peaceably along side every other American regardless of race, sex, religion, disability and SEXUAL ORIENTATION. There was a purpose why our founding fathers choose to separate church and state and this very debate is a perfect example why. The religious rights use of biblical phrases and beliefs goes against the Constitutional separation when those views are used to triumph over common sense and respect for fellow Americans. These same so-called religious people used the same arguments for slavery, woman’s equality, inter-racial marriage and every other cause that they disagreed with. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.
I firmly believe that our battle will be won by EDUCATING those around us that being gay is NOT a choice and the we all share the same basic human needs and deserve the same basic human rights, and that is to be loved and accepted for who we are and not what we are. And Chris’ small blog site is but one tool that we could use.