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Author Topic: My piece on LGBTIQ Pride  (Read 979 times)

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Offline ADoS

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My piece on LGBTIQ Pride
« on: 31 March 2014, 09:18:36 AM »
As some of you may know, Ashley's Uncle Bob is a huge bigot. He told me not to wear my pride charm on my necklace when he or Ashley are around, because he says I'm "painting a target on" myself, and the wackos will try to shoot us. It's nonsense obviously, at least in Massachusetts, but we agreed, after the screaming match the other day, that I will keep my charm under my shirt when he is around, as long as he stops using his rhetoric about how gays and lesbians are fine, but bisexuals and pansexuals "can't make up their minds" and carry diseases and like to bring strange men home for sex, when I'm around. He's a slow learner so I'll cut him some slack if he forgets, but I will remind him, gently, that he's being rude if he brings it up.

I told my mother about this agreement, and she told me I should "stop pushing people's buttons" and that I should keep my sexual inclinations to myself. "I don't go around wearing a shirt that says 'Look at me, I'm straight and I'm proud of it!', do I?" I told her that's extremely different, but if she's as bigoted as Bob is I'm not surprised she'd say something like that. I said I didn't want to argue about it anymore, but first I sent her this piece (modified slightly to fix run-on sentences):


So you know, the biggest reason the LGBTIQ community is so open and proud is that we want to let others know it's okay. We grow up thinking we're broken, or sinful, and we have to keep secrets and try to "pass" (the LGBTIQ term for pretending to be straight and cis-gendered when we're not). The feelings of guilt and shame eat people alive. The suicide rates among LGBTIQ people are horrifying, so we seek to show others there's nothing wrong with them, in order to save their sanity and their lives. Wearing our charms and wristbands and talking about it publicly are powerful ways of showing them they're not alone. Even though I'm in a straight relationship, it doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't embrace and be proud of what I am. For the record, I know about ten other pansexuals besides myself, and we literally all found each other by accident. It's very common but very misunderstood, which is why I show my pride.

That's my piece, take it or leave it, but don't try to bully me, please.


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Re: My piece on LGBTIQ Pride
« Reply #1 on: 31 March 2014, 06:42:22 PM »
Soooo, I'm not entirely sure what the point of this thread is but...

CalRef has had anti-discrimination policies in place in the Code of Conduct since 2008. Since, at one point, 70% of our staff fell into an LGBTQ category, I don't think we've ever had a problem enforcing those rules either. But, you know, never in my experience here at the Refuge have I ever encountered or had to deal with discrimination for any broad demographic. Problems we've had in the past have primarily been due to a lack of understanding about what exactly is necessary to not offend someone if they've never been around such a diverse group.
As always, if anyone is being harassed report them to a mod or admin and we will kick their ass.

On LGBTQ iconography at large, I'm definitely on the more conservative side of things. But this is the same stance I take on religious or any other personal attribute: Don't shove it down someone's throat. Especially trying to emerge from a time of intolerance, don't tempt it. You didn't see people with pendants that said "Black and proud of it!" during the 60s after a long-fought battle to end segregation. Today, you would consider it inappropriate for someone to wear a shirt that said "I'm PROUD to be a CHRISTIAN." That's a personal choice and by phrasing it in that manner, you might indicate that everyone who is not a Christian is lesser. So why would an uncommon sexual orientation be any different? I will grant that finding out who is gay, etc. is not as easy as determining if they are black, but it's up to the person whether they want to use some kind of subtle identifier. The existence of those identifiers should be, in a perfect world, unremarkable.

The term for what "bullying" and hate speak is definitely needs some reexamination. If you have a pendant that says "I'm gay" for example, and then confront people about why they haven't praised you for it, if they don't show the kind of extreme support you anticipated, that is definitely not bullying. Whether or not they have a positive reaction or no reaction at all should not be of a concern to you anyway. In this particular case, your mother is right. You should keep your sexual inclinations to yourself. So should I. Because sexual orientation should not be a relevant trait except for the person you are trying to date. It's not something you should hide, but it's also not something you should just wave around unless you are trying to find a mate. Otherwise it gets annoying. It is an interesting trivial bit of information that, in a perfect world, should be akin to shoe size. It should not define you and it should not be the first thing people associate with you when they see you. You're a person after all.

Your uncle Bob may be bigoted for associating bi/pansexuals with disease and promiscuousness and that is unfortunate. There is also little possibility you will be able to convince him otherwise, so try and calm the situation down for as long as you are forced to live with him.

And remember. Not to demean you, but there are members in site who have had to live through vastly more harsh situations from their social environment about their orientation than "would you mind not wearing that charm?".

Offline Sudanna Susquehanna Saguenay

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Re: My piece on LGBTIQ Pride
« Reply #2 on: 31 March 2014, 06:52:17 PM »
You didn't see people with pendants that said "Black and proud of it!" during the 60s after a long-fought battle to end segregation.

The Black Panther Party or BPP (originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) was a black revolutionary socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982
Not I, said the fly.

Offline Jewels

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Re: My piece on LGBTIQ Pride
« Reply #3 on: 31 March 2014, 08:47:37 PM »
I can see merits in both stances. I would not consider it inappropriate to show pride in something you believe in, be it an LGBTIQ charm, a BPP button, an NRA jacket patch, or a religious symbol. People like to identify with groups, to be accepted. Nothing wrong with that.

But I also agree that turning it into an attention demanding "Hey you, look at me. I support the [XYZ]." is a recipe for dissension. Where ever there is a group with a certain belief, there is another group with an opposing belief. Publicly identifying with a certain group is an open invitation for other people to share their opinions on the matter whether they be positive or negative. Harassment for such identification should not exist, but it does.

I don't think that wearing a charm is out of the question. But if you don't want to hear uncle Bob's opinion, respect the fact that uncle Bob does not want to be reminded of yours. (Which it sounds like you are doing.) The 'don't push people's buttons' comment could also be said, 'don't give people a reason to share their negative opinions with you'. So it's all personal preference. How willing are you to put up with negative opinions for the benefit of the positive opinions your charm may attract? Once you answer that question, then you can act accordingly.


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