Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day of Truth? or Day of Bigotry

Day of Truth. The truth is, they are affirming bigotry against LGBT Teens:

Statistics from the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network's School Climate Survey highlight the prevalence of such bullying and harassment:

* 91% of LGBTQ students frequently hear homophobic remarks in their schools.

* 80% report being verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation.

* 42% report being physically harassed, often with a weapon, because of their sexual orientation.

* 33% skipped school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety.

How much more hate can our children keep receiving from not only adults but their peers?

I want to repeat some of the findings from the report released last month by the Family Acceptance Project showing the harm many LGBT youth receive at home and the consequences of that rejection:

• Higher rates of family rejection during adolescence were significantly associated with poorer health outcomes for LGB young adults.
• LGB young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were

* 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide.
* 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs.
* 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.
(the figures are times more than their LGBT PEERS who experience little or no rejection)

• Latino males reported the highest number of negative family reactions to their sexual orientation in adolescence.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Full Human Rights and Shakespere for a new day...

The daily hypocrisy of the Anti-Gay Industry has ceased to shock me. It does however feed this feeling within me that right now is the time we all lay down our differences of opinion and claim our human rights that as American citizens, we already have.

Marriage is only one of those rights, as is employment, housing, medical/dental benefits, freedom from fear, freedom to love and the freedom to just be ourselves.

Each of us need to believe that these truths do indeed apply to us just as they apply to every human being; "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Is not marriage the pursuit of Happiness? Is not a job, a decent home and the knowledge that our persons will not be attacked simply for how we were created? Is it not also for our children's security and happiness that we wish our relationships to be legalized?

The Anti Gay Industry tries to belittle us by say we are (depending on the writer) 1.5%, 2%, 2.5% or 3% of the population to make us seem insignificant. In the United States of America it should not matter if we are .5% because all men are created equal and are endowed with certain unalienable rights.

We have the resources, the people and the voices, why on Pam's House Blend I have read some of the most reasoned, clear and beautiful posts laying out why we should have our full human rights. On any of these you can change the word LGBT or gay or transgendered to Jew or Black or Asian or Disabled and it would still make a profound statement for human rights. Because when you are talking about human rights and the need to claim them, it is universal.

What concept of full civil rights are parts of our family not understanding? How can we accept that any one of our family be thrown under the bus? Some have the opinion that if we get marriage first, it will make us seem less different. Some think the repeal of DOMA is the first step. Others want the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Some feel if we could just not have to worry about the "trans-folk" or confusing "bi's" we would get everything we ask for.

When one is talking about human rights we should not cut it up just to make it easier for the oppressors to swallow. What message are we sending? That they, maybe, just maybe have the right to keep on oppressing us as long as we are able to take what crumbs are offered?

And that brings me to Shakespeare and his statement on racism, if you change the word Jew to gay or lesbian or bi or transgendered, it is still a relevant and powerful cry for justice.

Edits in quotes mine....

"They" hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am "gay."

Hath not a "bi" eyes? hath not a "lesbian" hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a "heterosexual" is?

If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a "Transgender" wrong a "heterosexual", what is his humility? Revenge.

If a "heterosexual" wrong a "queer", what should his sufferance be by "heterosexual" example? Why, revenge.

The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

Merchant of Venice Act III Scene I

Oh, I know how things get done in politics, we compromise, we cajole and we plead. With the vitriol spewing from the far right and the Anti Gay increasing, we need to be coming together like no group before us. And realize that if/when Prop H8 is overturned it will only increase. We need to take a unified, forceful stand now, at this time. If there ever was a time for an oppressed group to demand full and complete equality with no one thrown under the bus, it is this time, here and now.

No more compromise, no more empty promises, simply FULL equality.

I think we need to let the Equality Summit, HRC, GLAAD, Join the Impact and all our allies know that this what needs to become the first, the only and the actual "Gay Agenda."

Cross posted at Pam's House Blend