Monday, February 15, 2016

THE HATE AND LIES CONTINUE



As one of my Facebook readers said, a rare sign for those who are
prone to express such sentiments:
All of the words are spelled correctly


As I say in the epilogue of my memoir:
"Our sexuality, our gayness, is mostly invisible to others. Coming out and being out involves being visible—both when we look in the mirror and when others see us. Sometimes, in order to be visible to others, we have to be “in their face.”

Sometimes we need to tell our stories, each of us, story after story, after story, until they “get it.”
Because “they” are still trying to define “us,” tell us who they think we are, tell us that we are objectively disordered or immoral or sinful or worse.
Who are “they” and who do they think they are?

Unfortunately “they” are not only the ignorant and bigoted, but often otherwise intelligent and sometimes even well-meaning individuals. Why do “they” think they know more about our sexuality, or us, than we do? More to the point, why do they care?

Certainly “they” outnumber “us” and we’ve always been an easy target. Does their inability to save our souls or change us, or to limit our freedom somehow make them inadequate or fearful? What is in it for “them” that they so persist?

It amazes and frustrates me that our stories—the actual lived experience of gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender individuals—are so summarily ignored, discounted, and dismissed.

It baffles me that many vocal and influential individuals persist in holding to and disseminating absurd, erroneous, and irrelevant opinions about us.

This is unacceptable and can no longer be tolerated.

“They” can only make their own positions tenable by repeating questionable scriptures, fabricated “studies,” pseudo-science, and OUTRIGHT LIES —and repeating them over and over as they wholly disregard us and our voices.

6 comments:

Mitchell is Moving said...

That sign, to me, is not freedom of speech. I find it appalling that it's not immediately (and officially) removed.

Kathy said...

The bullying and labeling and defining someone's worth by how closely they match our own morals is an age-old blight against humanity.I have experienced both sexism and ageism and find any and all forms of harassment barbaric. Mitchell is right. That sign should be removed!

Love your blog (and Mitchell's)and have followed both for quite some time. You keep telling your story no matter how many times you are ignored, discounted, and dismissed!

Frank said...

Thanks, Kathy
Love Mitch's blog too.
It's nice to know people still read my blog...I was beginning to wonder

Russ Manley said...

Um, quite a thought-provoking post, Frank. Here are some things it brought to my mind:

1. Frank, you're my oldest and bestest truckbuddy, and I'm fond of you - but I'm here to remind you that the orthographically challenged are not confined to Texas. That was a cheap shot, yankee boy.

2. Neither are bigotry and ignorance the sole province of Texans. You know this perfectly well - homophobia exists all across this country, north, south, east, and west, in every nook and cranny of the cities, the suburbs, and the country. What, you never ran across any of it in Connecticut?

3. And to everyone: so you want to shut the owner of this sign up - "it must not be tolerated." Well, how exactly do all you righteous folks want to do that? Looks to me like the sign is on private property. Do you enlightened folks want to send the police out there and make him take the sign down? And if he refuses to do so, what exactly do you want the police to do with him? Take him to court and have a judge slap a big fine on him? How much? Or do you want him to go to jail instead? For how long, exactly? And who else do you good people want to muzzle and silence and intimidate? Putin and his cronies have been doing a really good job that way in Russia, for anyone who so much as tells someone they are gay - so you all want to do the SAME EXACT THING, only in reverse?

If so, how exactly are you any better morally than Putin and his ilk? To silence people who dare to say something, anything, that you don't like? Where does THAT end, exactly?

Now before you get your dander up, let me say that I have suffered more and worse than you know, or can easily imagine, from homophobia right here in Texas, so I consider that I am eminently qualified and entitled to speak on this subject. The cost has been grievously high. And yet - I would not for a minute consider throwing the police power of the state down to Bubba's place and squelching his freedom to speak his mind. He is wrong, of course, dead wrong - but which one of you will raise your hand and claim you have never been wrong about anything or anyone?

This illiberal, careless line of thinking is the thing that must "not be tolerated" in my opinion - though if you disagree, go right ahead and say so. It's your privilege.

It's also Bubba's, right or wrong. That is exactly what the Constitution guarantees all of us - NOT the freedom to say ONLY what one group likes.

And if you don't think so, your schooling has been very deficient in these matters, and I feel very sorry for you all. And I hope your one-sided idea of freedom of speech doesn't come back around to bite you, as it very well may.

Frank said...

Russ,
I agree, it was a cheap shot to say about Texans, even though I was quoting a reader on Facebook. I've amended the caption.

In my experience heterosexual New Englanders are less threatened by and more openly accepting of LGBT persons, same-sex relationships, marriage and families than most heterosexual southerners who may not always express their true feelings in polite company. But that is, perhaps, too broad a generalization, so, point taken.

As for the other comments, I published the views though I might not necessarily share them as stated.

The gist of my commentary was that I do think the lies and erroneous "opinions" should no longer be tolerated.

But I never said anything about legal action. By "no longer be tolerated" I mean that such falsehoods as those expressed by a variety of anti-LGBT groups should be called out, exposed as the lies that they are, and that those perpetrating those lies should be ostracized by every legitimate means, by the media, the journalists, the churches and religious leaders, our politicians and government. That these hurtful people and their "opinions" SHOULD NOT BE MET WITH SILENCE on the part of the larger, hopefully more enlightened society. But silence seems to be the default reaction.

When falsehoods and erroneous "opinions" lead to actions that directly hurt others physically or psychologically, or encourage violence towards individuals or groups, those spreading those falsehoods and "opinions" need to be held accountable for the consequences of their behavior and spreading lies and false "opinions".

Yes, they should no longer be tolerated.

Do I think it despicable for people to put up signs like this - yes.

Do I think it should be "against the law"? I don't know. But maybe someone should complain to the NRP.

And there are some legitimate areas of speech not protected under the Constitution: (from the First Amendment Center http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org)

"Which types of speech are not protected by the First Amendment?
Although different scholars view unprotected speech in different ways, there are basically nine categories:
Obscenity
Fighting words
Defamation (includes libel, slander)
Child pornography
Perjury
Blackmail
Incitement to imminent lawless action
True threats
Solicitations to commit crimes
Some experts also would add treason, if committed verbally, to that list. Plagiarism of copyrighted material is also not protected."

(and I wonder if "defamation" can be applied to an entire class of LGBT citizens)

When erroneous "opinions" are touted as "truth" and given the GOD stamp of approval by virtue of some biblical passage and applied to a whole class of people, many of whom may not hold to those particular religious beliefs or opinions, and given as a reason to act against that class of people - that is dangerous territory.

Thanks, Russ, for the comments and for being a blog-buddy.

Kathy said...

Russ, In no way do I propose that our freedom of speech should be taken away. My comment about the need for the sign to come down was an emotional gut reaction. The same feeling one would experience when seeing the KKK billboard in Harrison, Arkansas. Expressing contempt or ridicule in the form of signs, billboards and street demonstrations is designed to be "in your face" and reach the largest number of people possible. Opposing viewpoints are displayed in a way that incites others to retaliate in some like form.... and the wheels on the bus go round and round. It's all so absurd. But what do I know.I'm just a white, female, heterosexual baby-boomer who is fed up with the holier-than-thou attitude of one group against another.

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