Thursday, January 30, 2014

I hate the term "Straight Ally". It's segregationist which is anti-equality.

My type is a pale, freckled, redhead.   Drives me insane.  Is that all I am?  A ginger lover?

The LGBT world is wrought with experiences that most straight people do not have to deal with.  I'm not talking about bigotry, or beatings, because straight people deal with that too.   I'm talking about the social stigma of just making your attraction known to someone else of the same gender.   Straight people can do it, but it can be seen as wrong for gay people make their attractions known, and God forbid that a gay person makes their romantic intentions known.   There's also the disappointment from family members, as if somehow your hormones tingling at the same gender does them some sort of injustice.   There are just certain things that gay people understand about each other that straight people don't.   That same statement can be applied to LGBT, or each letter.  For that matter, it can also be applied to cowboys, D&D players, or even straight people where others just can't understand.

It is for this very reason that gay people tend to flock together.  This is good, and healthy.  I love it.  Gay people simply understand each other's gay issues better than straight people.   It's undisputed.   It's even heartbreaking when gay people do not seek out other gay people for comradery, such as gay Mormons, or Ex-Gay Christians.  I can only imagine the pain and suffering they go through.  It's even more sad, when they are homophobic.  But I digress on that topic.

I think the fallacy here is when being gay turns into an identity.   It's a sexuality.   Not that that's wrong by any stretch when someone who chooses to identify themselves by their sexuality.   And participating in a group dynamic is how society works.  Gay people stick together.  The term LGBT came about, and the rainbow initiative has been a wonderful success for equality.  The fight is far from over, but man is it beautiful to see.

So much success has been the gay pride initiative that many straight people have joined the fight.  This is great, grand and wonderful.  Straight people are taking a stand because they believe that equality is worth fighting for.  Human rights are worth fighting for.  Their compassion, sympathy, and empathy are joining the equality battlefield.  Parents are being encouraged to love their children for who they are.  Siblings are starting to not think less of their gay brothers and sisters.  Equality is coming about in greater numbers than old conservative homophobic endeavors.  People who believe in equal rights are starting to outnumber those who believe in "Traditional Marriage."

These straight people who fight alongside gay people are known as straight allies.   They are respected within the gay community, and are encouraged to keep fighting.   But the segregation is still there.   They are not LGBT, so how could they know?    There is still that line between LGBT, and Straight people.   The sad part is, I've seen a great many straight allies jump head first into the frey, and then get burned out by getting no support from the LGBT community.   They get thanked, and offered some kind words, but then ignored again.

After all, 'why participate in an initiative organized by a straight person? It's an LGBT issue, so straight people should be supporting the LGBT initiatives...'  

That's a feigned attitude that I see quite a bit, but no.  Nobody I know has actually said that out loud.    My point is that straight people can give to the rainbow fight something fierce.   They do.   But it's as if, they will never be full fledged members of the LGBT community simply because their sexuality isn't wired the same as an LGBT individual's.

So I ask again.   I'm attracted to redheads.  Is that all I am, a ginger lover?   Is my taste in music, work, value, hobbies, or anything else not part of who I am?   Is my sexuality all that matters?

I'll ask again for you.  Is your sexuality all that you are?   Is your humor, work, politics, hobbies, beliefs, or anything else not a factor?

Of course not.  Sexuality is part of our core, and essential to who we are as people, but it's a far cry from an identity.    It's just one factor among thousands, and kinda sad on how focused many people are on it.

As many of you have guessed thus far, I am a straight ally.  As such, I can also confirm that I have been the victim of homophobia on many occasions.   I was bullied in school for being gay.   I've lost couple of jobs for being gay/supportive of equality.   I've lost friends.  Coming from a conservative family, some have distanced themselves from me.  Many extended family members have completely written me off, but I never really knew them.  I've been a social pariah merely for waving that rainbow flag.

In contrast, I have also been able to meet a great many wonderful people, sexuality notwithstanding due to my efforts in the rainbow initiative.   Some gay, some straight, some transgender, and more.   The above paragraph pales in comparison to what I've seen, who I've met, and things I've experienced.   Also because I've waved that rainbow flag.  No regrets.

We're all human beings, and eventually, we will need to merge LGBT people and straight people into the same society.

I'm not talking about eliminating LGBT attributes like gay bars, gay pride parades, Pink News, or other things like that.  Those are still healthy, and as long as there are gay people, there will be a need for gay social strengthening.

However, I am proposing the merging of the two groups for the sake of equality.   A gay guy and a straight guy can still talk about Dr. Who together, and sexuality isn't even a factor.   YET, if sexuality continues to be the defining factor, that conversation may never take place.   Or are straight people only allowed to talk about Dr. Who with other straight people?  For that matter, are gay people only allowed to talk to gay people about Dr Who?

Being raised Mormon, I was a bit of a homophobe growing up.  My parents were strong advocates against homosexuality in any form.   I learned, I grew, I adapted, and came to the conclusion that the suppression of any group of people is wrong.   I threw away my pink triangles, and have worked to ask others to throw theirs away as well.   It's all about acceptance, not tolerance.   I don't want anyone to merely be tolerated.  I want them to be accepted, and loved.

I believe we're all human.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Why You Can't Take Everything You Read on the Interwebs at Face Value

       There are Magicians in all forms of life that will try to convince you of something that isn't true, or change the way you look at things for their gain.  This does not mean everyone lies, just that there are lies, and it's up to you to protect yourself.  Let's create one, shall we?

We all know "No Hope For The Human Race", and if you don't, then you might want to take a gander at their Facebook Page because it's hilarious!  This is a status message they shared yesterday, and at first glance you might not even think this is real.  How could you?  There are no faces, names, or even the number of comments.  Yes, I'm protecting the anonymity of strangers.  Well, if you questioned, you're coming along. Let's mess with this status update, and completely turn it into something else.  

      Just like the names and pictures, everything can be changed on this status message, and this isn't photoshop.  I personally like to use Google Chrome, and it's what I'll be using, so fire up the Chrome, and let's get started.  Or you can just enjoy the show if you like.  The first thing to note is that you're going to be editing a live web page so patience and care are key.  It's only cosmetic, but if you click on a link the site will go there, and you will lose everything.  

      This works with any page on the internet, and if you right click on something, then go to the bottom, and pick Inspect Element, a Developers bar will show up at the bottom with the exact line of code highlighted for the item you clicked on.  Now let's change the status to, let's see, a line from "Sound of Music".  That should make NHFTHR happy.  (In this line, you just have to double click between the span tags to get to the status)

      Here we are with NHFTHR quoting "The Sound of Music" which I very highly doubt they've ever done before.  

      Next, Let's use those comments to get a fictitious celebrity debate going.   And voila!   A piece of fiction that can pass for a real status and comment.  It is after all a screen shot, and uploaded with windows paint.  There are no watermarks of an Facebook status app generator.   It's a real as your own Facebook page.   

       None of these celebrities said any of this.  Neither did Derp or the Rev.   Yet, I could say they did.  Anyone can create anything digitally online, and make it look legit.  It happens in real life too.  So how do you protect yourself without turning into a cynic or a skeptic (Not that those are necessarily bad, but daunting.)  

       If anyone is trying to change your view of things, or to get you to do something; just ask yourself who it benefits.  Most things are OK, but if you question legitimacy, then never be afraid to ask for a source.  Never be afraid to look up a source to make sure it's accurate.   Especially if it fits your view, and you find it comfortable, because then you could be unwittingly spreading lies.   Be aware that it's not always upfront.  People could have a conversation around you, but not be talking to you directly.  It sounds like a light hearted conversation to passerby's, but clearly intended to change your frame of mind.  So back to the beginning; who does it benefit if you change your view?   

      It becomes increasingly difficult these days because there are parody and satirical websites that look real.  A whole bunch of fake things.  Rhetoric designed to inflame or blow out of proportion a certain issue or mindset.   

      And now that I have taught you how to create false things that look real, what are you going to do?   Will you send your crush a facebook message from her boyfriend about how he's looking to hook up with someone else?   Will you send a screenshot to set someone up to lose a court case?   Cyberbulling?   Will you make a screenshot of a facebook status message of your enemy wanting lewd sexual acts?    Or will you be a decent human being, and live with honesty and integrity both on and offline?    


     Here are clearer pictures if you find the other ones to blurry.

Image 1:    

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An In-Depth Response to "Mormons and Gays", and Why it Shouldn't Be Celebrated

I don't mean to disparage anyone's joy at seeing even a marginal change in church position here, I only mean to raise the caution flag on what they are doing. Because, in my point of view, it's not sincere at all. And I say that based on their history of such actions, most directly the parallels in their teaching and subsequent alterations in how they treated blacks.
The progression they followed then was outright bigotry to subtle bigotry to "compassionate" bigotry to sudden revelation and acceptance with a pretense that their past never happened. Right now, they are in stage three when it comes to homosexuals.
The idea that good people will be manipulated again by the church here disturbs me because it shows a mindset of continued loyalty and allegiance to an organization that not only has long ruined and destroyed good people's lives through bigotry without even mild apology or acknowledgment of wrongdoing, but is clearly not at all what it claims to be. I view the situation as similar to battered wife syndrome: I'd hate to see those who've long dealt with the negative effects of this organization's policies and teachings turn around and suddenly forgive their entire past just by the church claiming they've changed.
And even more than that, a careful reading of this site shows that it isn't even a change at all. It's merely a public relations alteration attempting to attribute their bigotry to "God" now instead of claiming it outright for themselves. "Gee, we'd like to change, but it's just God's law! We still love you and want your tithing, though!"
As long as religions unfortunately exist, it will be a good thing each time one of them casts off old bigotry and accepts new tolerance. What won't be a good thing is if people continue to grant them authority over their lives and loyalty simply by virtue of them eventually learning which way the wind has blown.
The church, and its leaders and many members, have a long, tragic past on this issue. The damage they have done to countless lives on even this issue alone is incalculable. So even those who encourage their change should not even begin to accept any overtures they might make if they are not first accompanied by a full recognition and apology for that past. Which, of course, by virtue of their theistic claims of authority, the church can not and will never do.
And that's not deserving of loyalty or support. It's deserving of revilement and disgust.
Even those who are prone to forgive the church on this issue, or even begin to forgive them, should consider the church's own stance on what is necessary to receive repentance:
  • Recognize
  • Remorse
  • Resolve
  • Restore
  • Relate (Confess)
Again, this is the LDS Church's own position. So where is the church to be found on this list? Nowhere. They aren't recognizing anything they've done wrong, they don't feel remorse for having done it, they are doing little to resolve it, and are doing nothing to restore what has been lost to those for whom that is still possible. And they certainly aren't confessing to any wrongdoing.
Instead, they are progressing their long path of attempting to pretend their past (sins) does not exist, and yet desire forgiveness (authority and continued loyalty) in spite of it. They even have the gall to claim to be the authority on encouraging love and acceptance, as though they have always been there, like a bully who turns to his friends who he encouraged to start the beating and now tells them to be nicer.
So again, that's not deserving of loyalty or support. It's deserving of revilement and disgust.
As I mentioned a comparison with the church's positions and attitudes on blacks with their positions and attitudes now, here is a comparison of some key points:
Interracial marriage - "I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a cafe where white people eat. He isn't just trying to ride on the same streetcar or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn't that he just desires to go to the same theater as the white people. From this, and other interviews I have read, it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. That is his objective and we must face it. We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, "First we pity, then endure, then embrace." ~Apostle Mark E. Petersen
Homosexual marriage - "In recent years in the United States and other countries, a movement has emerged to promote same-sex marriage as an inherent or constitutional right. This is not a small step, but a radical change...Those who favor homosexual marriage contend that “tolerance” demands that they be given the same right to marry as heterosexual couples...Tolerance as a gospel principle means love and forgiveness of one another, not “tolerating” transgression...Because this question strikes at the very heart of the family, because it is one of the great moral issues of our time, and because it has the potential for great impact upon the family, the Church is speaking out on this issue, and asking members to get involved." ~The Divine Institution of Marriage, LDS Press Release, 2008
Blacks - "The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord." ~First Presidency, 1949
Blacks - "The Church has no intention of changing its doctrine on the Negro. Throughout the history of the original Christian church, the Negro never held the priesthood. There’s really nothing we can do to change this. It’s a law of God." ~Apostle N. Eldon Tanner
Homosexuality - "From a public relations perspective it would be easier for the Church to simply accept homosexual behavior. That we cannot do, for God’s law is not ours to change." ~Mormons and Gays website
Blacks - "It is time disbelieving people repented and got in line and believed in a living, modern prophet. Forget everything that I have said, or what President [Spencer W. Kimball]…or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world." ~Apostle Bruce R. McConkie
Homosexuality - "Reconciling same-sex attraction with a religious life can present an especially trying dilemma. Anyone who lives in both worlds can attest to its difficulty. But with faith, love and perspective it can be done." ~Mormons and Gays website
Blacks - "There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness." ~Spencer W. Kimball, Dec. 1960 Improvement Era
Homosexuality - "We believe that with an eternal perspective, a person’s attraction to the same sex can be addressed and borne as a mortal test. It should not be viewed as a permanent condition." ~Mormons and Gays website

By: mocaptainmoroni

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

LGBT Drug Culture

Whether anyone acknowledges it or not, there is a big part of the LGBT community that is immersed in drugs and alcohol. Every time I go to a gay club, guaranteed I get hit up for drugs, specifically ecstasy. I don't do ecstasy, never have and don't intend to. At first it made me wonder if I look like a drug dealer. The answer to that is no, I don't. I probably look like the kind of girl that looks like she wants to have fun.

Everyone, and not just people in the LGBT community, often use drugs and alcohol as an escape. It's become so normal that people don't even think about it anymore. When someone says they want to go out and get trashed, few people will ever ask why, or tell their friends that maybe it isn't a good idea. Most people often just go with the flow and consequences be damned. I myself have gone out and gotten trashed and done things that the next day I realised wasn't something I was proud of. Yes, I have done the walk of shame. No one was ever watching, but I knew.

Some of us like the feeling, the thrill, being without inhibitions. We don't think we have a problem, although in reality the problem lies in the fact that some of us believe we can't have a good time without drugs and alcohol. As someone that can go out and not drink or use drugs, I am proof that you don't need to be wasted or even buzzed to have a good time. I look around the room and take not of how pissed or high people are and wonder if I looked that stupid when I was drinking and using. When everyone is trashed, no one really notices how trashed other people look. When sober, everyone doesn't look quite so cool. I guess that's how the term "beer goggles" came about.

For others of us, drugs and alcohol don't just affect us when we go out clubbing or to parties; it becomes and everyday thing in order to get through, more so if we are somewhat closeted, struggling with self acceptance or being discriminated against.

It might feel normal, but whether you are a weekend binge drinker/user or a daily one, it isn't healthy for one's mind or body. And it doesn't help when it is normalised by our culture and that for those of us that don't go out and get smashed or high, that we are made social outcasts.  Peer pressure on top of all the other reasons people drink or use can be incredibly hard to deal with. It kind of goes along with "If someone jumped off a bridge, would you jump off after them without looking?" Me, I'd at least look to see what was down there. 

If people want to use drugs and alcohol I am not against it. If people know the risks and are aware of the consequences, then the risk is theirs to take. I've been there, I've done that, and for me, I choose a different path these days where I don't need to drink or use in order to have a good time or get through the day. 

If you think that you or someone you know has a drug or alcohol problem, there are places you can seek out for help. AA and NA among them, and they are distributed in almost every country around the world, in abundance. 


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Police Officer's Love Boobs Too

The Protests in New York have spurred national Protests across the country.  This gives me hope that we are willing to rise up against the powers that be.  Random Thought, Since the Liberal Protesters are angry about the bailouts, and so are the Tea Partiers.  Perhaps everyone should stop ripping each other's throats out, and work together?  

That said, here is a fun loving picture of the NYPD in all it's glory.  ARREST THOSE BOOBS!!!  Now perhaps, I am not giving the NYPD enough credit as this is a still-shot.   For all I know those boobs could have been flopping around and biting people on the necks.  If so, Good Job.  

I'm also in LOVE with the tactical precision of these officers, and teamwork is definitely key here.  On the left we have an officer clearly taking control of the protesters Right boob which is obviously more dangerous than her free hand which has a pen in it.  Luckily, I haven't heard of an officer getting stabbed in the neck with a pen recently, so it was obviously the right call.  On the right, we can't see her arm so I believe the officer might have taken control of that arm, but definitely as we can see, her Left boob is completely arrested.  THANK Our lucky stars!  I thought there was going to be a boob rampage going on there.  

So what are the odds that a 2 police officers arresting the same attractive woman would each pay extra special attention to her boobs at the same time?  "Hey Bill,  What do you say we take the hot one in on the next rile up?  I'll bet we can even get some nipple action.."  "You got it."  

In all seriousness:  This is obviously a Sexual Assult.  There is nothing worse than a cop that uses his badge to force his own sexual desires upon others.   If this picture doesn't anger you, than you might need an apathy check.   If it does, I suggest we demand an investigation. 

If you have a phone, Please feel free to call and demand an investigation into the sexual assult of the protester in this picture.  Feel free to copy it and email it in.   Please feel free to share this request.   Most of us have vocal chords, so out of respect to the people who can't speak, Let's Use THEM!   For that matter, if you truly can't speak, Feel free to write a letter.  You're not excluded. 

Let's Give em Hell!!!
NYPD Switchboard: 1-646-610-5000 Central booking: +1 (212) 374-3921
Deputy Commissioner of Public Information: +1 (646) 610-6700

1st Precinct
Captain Edward J. WinskiCrime Statistics
16 Ericsson Place, New York, NY, 10013
(212) 334-0611

Precinct: (212) 334-0611
Community Affairs: (212) 334-0640
Crime Prevention: (212) 334-0603
Domestic Violence: (212) 334-0618
Youth Officer: (212) 334-0618
Auxiliary Coordinator: (212) 334-0640
Detective Squad: (212) 334-0635 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bullying Is A Crime

Most people in the LGBT community have suffered bullying whether as a teenager or as an adult. People don’t hit 21 and automatically grow up. And this week another of our community has been lost to suicide due to bullying, Jamey Rodemeyer, aged 14, from Buffalo NY (This was the first article I read). He isn’t the first this year to take his life and sadly he won’t be the last.

Bullying is exercising hatred, plain and simple.  Obtaining joy out of making someone else's life miserable is sadistic and petty. How does a person's sexuality or lifestyle intrude on the rights of others? Is being gay really that evil? Does being gay really take away from your life in any way, shape, or form? Obviously the answers to those questions are no. So why does being gay suddenly entitle some to act out on their hatred?  It does not. 

Yet it is this hatred, and evil acts to support hatred that makes it seem as if ending one's life might be better than actually living it. When life is so hard that someone is willing to end their own just to get some peace and quiet away from the torture and bigotry, then something is seriously wrong. So many things right now are trying to be done to end the bullying and suffering. Yet it is persisting.  

Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. 

The disgusting thing is that in the cases of schools and workplaces, people are aware that bullying goes on. Very often it isn't particularly subtle, with more than one person involved. Yet so few people are willing to do anything about it, from students and co-workers, to teachers and bosses. Some of us fear the repercussions of getting involved, telling ourselves if it's not happening to us, then it's not our problem. Some of us don't care for the simple fact that it's not happening to us. It is because of this attitude that needless deaths occur, whether through suicide or homicide (as I am sure no one has forgotten Columbine.) Both of these extreme actions are taken because no one is there to help a person up when they have been kicked down, instead choosing to stand idly by and do nothing. I don't condone either of these actions. They both destroy many people's lives.

People need to be made accountable for their actions, and understand the full ramifications of their actions, from the bullies to teachers and school boards, along with business establishments where bullying occurs.

We all have the power to end bullying, simply by standing up and saying "NO", even when we are not the oppressed. It is a tragedy that due to deaths like Jamey's that people make people stand up and notice the issues that plague many people, both young and old, everyday.

No matter the manner in which is is carried out BULLYING IS A CRIME. Just because it may not leave a physical mark doesn't mean it's okay or that it doesn't leave someone undamaged.

Say NO! to bullying.
Say NO! to hate.

If you are being bullied or know someone that is being bullied, talk to someone you trust, either a friend, parent, teacher, or anyone you know that will take the time to listen to you.

Also please check out our new resource page here, which we are still in the process of expanding.

Remember, you are not alone.

Note: Thank you to Greg Fisher for his contribution to this article.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Is My Son Gay App Email Action Call

I just got an email here in the GCAGHate box, and although it was addressed to me personally, I don't think they'll mind if I share it with you all. 

Dear Greg,

Q: Can the developers of the "Is My Son Gay?" Android app actually predict someone's sexual orientation in 20 questions?

A: No. But they are definitely making a quick buck spreading a slew of stereotypes about gay people.

Targeting mothers who are questioning whether their kid might be gay, the new Android application asks whether their son "is very careful when choosing outfits," or if he "likes football" rather than "musical comedies"1. The app goes even further to insinuate that getting a divorce can make your son gay.

It's time to stop recycling the same, tired stereotypes and encouraging gay paranoia just to make a buck. Apple, makers of the iPhone, have pulled ex-gay applications in the past2, and Google has yanked some for violating user agreements3, which also bans hate speech4. The Google team now says they are investigating the issue5, but if we can get to 10,000 signatures, we'll show the team at Google's Android Marketplace that this app has got to go now:

We can all laugh at some of the questions the app asks - "Is he a fan of divas (Madonna, Britney Spears)?" is at the top of our list.  But others go a step farther by reducing both gay and straight people to harmful stereotypes - like only gay people are timid or have complicated relationships with their fathers.  What's worse, the app implies that being gay means you're weird and that your parents did something wrong to make you that way.  Ugh.

We can't know whether this app is meant to be serious or just a joke, but circulating these ideas far and wide is dangerous.  If it's serious, the app is belittling and misleading.  If it's a joke, it's made at the expense of millions of kids trying to just be who they are - whether or not he "reads the sports page" or "takes a long time to do his hair".

Let's ask Google's Android Marketplace to stop cashing in on an application that takes cheap shots at LGBT youth, and brings out the worst in parents:

All the best and All Out,
Andre, Erika, Guillaume, Jeremy, Joseph, Nita, Oli, Prerna, Tile, Wesley and the rest of the team at All Out

1. Android app asks, 'Is my son gay?'
2. Apple Bans ‘Ex-Gay’ Christian App That Promised to ‘Cure’ Homosexuality
3. Google Pulls an Apple by Yanking 2 Android Market Apps
4. Android Market Developer Program Policies
5. L'application "mon fils est-il gay ?" suscite l'indignation [French link]

All Out is bringing people together in every corner of the planet and of every identity - lesbian, gay, straight, transgender and all that’s between and beyond - to build a world in which everyone can live freely and be embraced for who they are.
Our mailing address is:
Purpose Foundation
224 Centre St
New York, NY 10013
Copyright © 2011, All rights reserved.