April 10, 2015

My Gay Opinion: Anti-Gay Bullshit & Lies Will Never Defeat Us

The text "gay rights are human rights" is super-imposed on a photograph of the LGBT rainbow flag that flies above the Castro district in San Francisco, California.

Anti-gay bigots will cross their fingers after they reload and take aim at our community, hoping to destroy our civil rights because they drank the kool aid, and haven’t bothered to investigate or read and comprehend that scripture does not support their point-of-view.


Republican state legislators have worked my last gay nerve, and I’m still pissed off about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana and Arkansas. I’m pissed because the legislation was unnecessary, and only introduced to provide legal cover to bigots who planned  on discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in their local communities.

I applaud the media for sticking with the story day after day. The media was right, and Governor Mike “I’m in a pickle” Pence (R-IN), was wrong. Watching “I’m in a pickle” Pence squirm during the George Stephanopoulos interview was very painful to watch. His press conference a couple days later was painful too, as I watched him do everything in his power to avoid uttering the word “GAY.”

I have to commend business leaders in both states for speaking out and taking a stand. Without the vocal support of highly visible corporations like Angie’s List, Apple, Salesforce.com, the NCAA, and that powerful retailer based in Benton, these intransigent GOP state legislatures would have maintained the status quo, while they looked for ways to further legitimize discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

What frustrates me the most is the fact that no one’s  religious freedom is diminished in any way, when a gay couple patronizes a local business. If a business exists to provide a service, our traditions and laws dictate that the service be provided to everyone.

In the media frenzy surrounding the RFRA legislation, people forgot that bigotry creates immeasurable damage, harm, anxiety and stress within our community. These negative consequences are the direct result of a conscious political effort to injure and diminish LGBT people.

Granted, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have endured criticism, verbal taunts, violence and threats of violence, hate, misunderstanding, and much more since time immemorial. That’s not going to change any time soon, but we have to try to elevate the discussion, and even scream at these idiots that their laws and language are particularly harmful to LGBTQI kids.

Hate groups in the United States raise millions of dollars every year to vilify and impair the psyche and soul of every gay, bi-sexual, or transgender individual they can. These misguided and self-serving organizations spread anti-gay propaganda to perpetuate an endless culture war, while not caring about the lives they destroy in the process. I wish we could somehow raise their awareness, though we all know they don't care and that it would be futile.

Teenagers are thrown out of their homes and onto the streets after “coming out” to their family. Ignorant parents force LGBT children to endure “reparative therapy,” in order to cure a kid’s “gayness,” despite the fact that the academic community (including scientists, doctors  and psychologists) identifies sexual orientation as inborn.

They refuse to acknowledge and embrace our sexual orientations as an immutable trait, which brings great harm, psychological abuse, and psychosocial damage, to thousands and thousands of victims, who are often haunted by this trauma for their entire life.

People like myself, and countless others,  speak out about these issues because we’ve been there. We experienced the name calling, endured the threats of bodily harm, survived the violence, heard the slanderous lies, and we’re still here fighting back.

By the way, after changes were made to the RFRA in Indiana and Arkansas, they didn’t address the fact that it’s still legal to fire any LGBT employee in both states, because of who we are and who we love.

Over the past few years we’ve largely been celebrating marriage equality victories in state legislatures, at the ballot box, and in courtrooms, all over the country. Sadly, these marriage equality victories have nothing to do with protecting our community from discrimination in employment or housing and public accommodation. You can get married in many states, but if you put a picture of your spouse on your desk, you could be fired. Go figure.

The text of the Sodomite Suppression Act that says “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”
Just last month a California lawyer paid $200 to the state in order to start collecting signatures for a ballot measure called the “Sodomite Suppression Act.”  His proposal states that “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” In other words, this licensed attorney wants to sanction the execution of LGBT Californians. That’s unbelievable to me.

It’s easy to dismiss and laugh at the “Sodomite Suppression Act,” because it’s crazy and unconstitutional. But it’s proposals like this that illustrate the need for anti-discrimination legislation on the local, state, and federal levels in every jurisdiction in the United States.

These hateful florists and bakers and pizza parlors who claim they are denying wedding services to gay couples because of religious beliefs, are ignorant and disingenuous. I’d love to ask these people what passage in scripture they’re basing their discrimination on, because the Bible doesn’t say one word about gay marriage! That’s why we have to continue to tell the truth and speak out, and stand up for injustice and inequality.

Over time we’ve  learned to understand and overcome the vitriolic bullshit and trauma we experienced as kids and young adults. Our armor got tougher, and we developed a thick skin, because our environment required that.

We know that more RFRA’s are coming our way, with more bullshit and lies. The anti-gay bigots will cross their fingers after they reload and take aim at our community, hoping to destroy our civil rights because they drank the kool aid, and haven’t bothered to investigate or read and comprehend that scripture does not support their point-of-view. Whether the grenades come from politics or religion, we’ve heard this off-key song and dance before, and the public-at-large has rejected their views. Let’s face it, these crazy people can’t and won’t accept facts or reality. We are human beings who want the equal rights that our Constitution articulates. And that's it.

Life experience has trained us to always be ready for another battle, and we know that their bullshit and lies won’t defeat us. With public opinion on our side, if you account for our partners, friends, neighbors, and family, we make up the majority with over 50% of the population supporting LGBT civil rights.

If we could get our allies to fight and stand with us in a more public way, we’d be going places that we dream about today. NO ONE can take away our dreams, and thank GOD for that.

Roy Steele
jiveinthe415.com
San Francisco, California

jiveinthe415.com          straight talk in a queer world.

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