¡We can no longer be a bunch of empty minds living in critical times refusing to recognize real lies!

Thursday, 19 April 2012


In our current political discourse, right-wing politicians continue to demonize the LGBT community in sad and desperate attempts to rally their base. While, happily, their efforts have not been as effective as in the past, any attempt to make gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people feel anything less than equal can lead to devastating consequences, as the ongoing string of youth suicides so painfully highlights.

Any preventable loss of dignity and human life must be stopped. The question is, "How?"

While prior efforts have focused on the issue of harassment, it is time for the LGBT community to take the dialogue one step further. When you are a teen, simply waiting for your next birthday can seem like an eternity. Telling our youth that life will indeed get better, some years into the future, is not enough. We must instead create a world in which there is no longer any shame in being gay. We must show that each and every one of us has something of value to contribute to this world, period.

The first step is creating discussion with the haters around where their anti-gay beliefs come from, and challenging those beliefs with facts. But we then need to take that dialogue even further and examine more closely what they hope that such convictions will ultimately achieve.

Typically, those who hold negativity toward those who are LGBT can be placed into two main camps: those who believe that being gay is unnatural, going against nature, or those who believe it goes against religious teaching.

With either group, the case can be made to counter such beliefs with facts. For example, those who believe that being gay is unnatural may be surprised to learn that homosexual activity has been observed in close to 1,500 species, and that such scientific certitudes should be spotlighted. For those who believe that homosexuality violates religious principles, pointing to texts such as the Bible as justification, and dialogue around translation issues, intent, and historical context, might be beneficial.
However, in both situations, while factual evidence might change some minds, most will still be unwilling to let go of long-held beliefs. My question to them then becomes, "What do you hope these beliefs will achieve?"

Most have never looked holistically at their views, nor tried to fit their beliefs into a larger framework. They were simply told by others that being gay is less than ideal, for whatever reason, and have not challenged that assumption.

If they truly believe that being gay is a sin or abnormal, what then? Does that mean they support the harassment of LGBT individuals? Do they hope to "convert" LGBT folks to heterosexuality, which no reputable medical or psychological association supports or validates, even going so far as to consider such "conversion therapies" potentially harmful? Do they want us to remain celibate and single, never experiencing love and affection? Do they wish LGBT people would simply disappear? If anything, they are creating an environment where gay youth feel that suicide is preferable to life.

But imagine, for a moment, that there were no LGBT people on the planet. Just what would this world look like?

Imagine the world without the Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo, a gay man. Imagine the world without that famous Mona Lisa smile, or the iconic painting of Jesus and his disciples at the Last Supper, both by Leonardo da Vinci, another man who was probably gay. Imagine the world without the music of The Nutcracker or Swan Lake, by Tchaikovsky, also gay. More recently, imagine the world without the music of Johnny MathisJoan ArmatradingElton John, Melissa EtheridgeGeorge Michael, or the Indigo Girls, among countless others.

Imagine the world without the plays of Edward AlbeeTennessee WilliamsPaula Vogel, or Stephen Sondheim. Imagine how literature would look without the writings of Virginia WoolfTruman CapoteAlice Walker, or Augusten Burroughs. Imagine sports without such legends as Martina NavratilovaGreg LouganisJohnny Weir, or Billie Jean King. Imagine the world without the comedic brilliance of Lily Tomlin, or Andy Warhol's groundbreaking Campbell's Soup Cans painting, or Roland Emmerich's smash hit movie Independence Day. Imagine Glee without Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer. Oh, wait -- you're right! There wouldn't even be a Glee without gay creator Ryan Murphy.

These, of course, are just a few of the LGBT individuals who have created lasting impressions on our society, and, indeed, the world. (A more complete list can be found here.) I've created aTwitter campaign using the hashtags #rethinkgay and #imaginetheworldwithout, hoping to challenge stereotypes and change hearts and minds. Join me, extend this conversation, and together we can eventually reach some of the haters.

Harvey Milk had it right, all those years ago. We need to tell our stories and make our presence known. As he said, back in 1978, "I hope that every professional gay will say 'enough,' come forward and tell everybody, wear a sign, let the world know. Maybe that will help."

Tell your stories. Live authentically. Show the world what our lives are like, and how our presence on this Earth is not merely to be valued, but is, in fact, essential.
Without us, the world may still continue to turn, but it would be a far grayer and less fun place.


  1. The vision of a world without any same gender loving people would mean a world without me. That, my blogger brother, is unimaginable. Whereas taken at face value that comment may appear egocentric, it is the worldview we all need to adopt in the ocean of homophobia in which we live. Only when we really appreciate and truly value ourselves can we stand before others and demand acceptance and respect for both who we are and as human beings.

  2. yes, LIVE AUTHENTICALLY and stop treating each other like garbage. That would be a great place for many of us to start.

    1. I often why it is SO hard for us to get there.

  3. I think the media and society needs to STOP making it OKAY for a politicians to OPENLY have an bigot attitude towards gays...and disguise it as an opinion. Knowing DAMN WELL if a politicians said anything of the nature that is offensive to BLACKS it would be career suicide. Politicians are saying things like "homosexuality is unnatural" and society is STILL electing them. They are dressing and sugar coating their homophobia..knowing damn well if they would DRESS UP racism it would STILL be a problem regardless of the fact that its sugarcoated.

    1. Very true, but it is getting there . Keep in mind that they did the same thing with racism 20 years ago. It's a process, and we are getting there.




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