When we look back at history, as far back as there has been recorded history, there has been oppression. It seems that everyone, somewhere in time was oppressed in some way. Look at your ancestors. There is a good chance that they were an oppressed people at some point in time. It is also highly likely that they were also in the role of oppressor at some point, as well.
I find this an inexplicable part of human history. People seem to feel an inherent need to put others beneath them in some way. Generally, it seems that this is done to give themselves some sense of superiority.
Religions have notoriously tried to oppress other religions and the people of those faiths. The Crusades are one example. There are COUNTLESS acts in history of one religious group persecuting others for believing things that they do not agree with. They seem driven by their god(s) to commit random acts of hate against those who would dare to think differently.
I’m not trying to start a “hate session” on religion today in any way. I do find myself completely baffled by the fact that people who often claim to be very religious or “God fearing” are often the perpetrators of some of the most vicious and heinous assaults on other people.
What is it about society and ‘civilization’ that drives people to judge each other so harshly? What makes these people take things a step further and go out of their way to try to show the world how they are right and others are wrong? It seems like some people make a life out of trying to oppress other people. What do they get out of this and what does it prove?
When murders, rapes, tortures, hate, lies and misinformation are spread in the name of one’s personal beliefs in order to oppress others it would seem to be the opposite of practicing any ‘true’ religion to me. “Because I believe that the bible says it is wrong” is just simply not a good enough excuse to abuse, victimize and oppress other people.
A true believer of any ‘faith’ would surely have to admit that their belief system is based upon certain basic tenants which include and are not limited to things such as ‘killing and murder are wrong’. I would also posit that most world religions also hold the philosophy of ‘do unto others as you would have done unto you’, though it may be worded in a thousand other ways.
Today, the murder of gays and lesbians has actually hit an all time high. We (gays and lesbians) are living in one of the most dangerous times in history for us. While we are enjoying more freedoms than we have ever had in many places in the world, our brethren around the world are suffering immensely. Even in the United States, where I should point out that we have not reached the status of ‘equal’ yet, we are seeing murders and hate crimes reaching levels that are truly troubling and frightening.
With change comes growing pains. With change also comes suffering. The old adage that ‘things must get worse before they get better’ often holds true. We are in a time of extreme change and unrest.
I’ve been ‘out’ for over 26 years now and the things I have seen change in those 26 years are truly amazing and wonderful. What I am seeing recently is troubling and maddening. While I realize it is part of the process, I’d like to point out to the GLBTQ community that we are truly at war here. Whether you realize it or not, we are fighting a battle for rights that has been ongoing for centuries. We stand on the verge of changing the world.
There are those who would have us go back into our closets and keep to ourselves. If it were up to these people, you’d never be able to talk about your partner publicly, much less hold hands on the street. These people will say that they don’t have a problem with it, they just don’t want it ‘in their face’. They don’t understand that they have been ‘in our face’ now for generations. We have the opportunity to educate, to talk and to stand our ground now as never before. It may be more important now than ever.
As wounded as I am each and every day when I log into FaceBook or watch the news and see that another gay teen has committed suicide, or that another gay person has been targeted in a hate crime and murdered or wounded horribly it only serves to make me more firm in my stand for my rights.
When I see the photos of homosexual men lynched in the streets of Middle Eastern countries, simply for being who they are, it only strengthens my resolve. I WILL have my equality. It WILL happen in my lifetime. Change IS coming and I will be the harbinger of it, along with others like me.
I don’t intend to respond with violence and I beseech you to do the same. Be calm, be peaceful and simply show your patience, persistence and resolve. KNOW that change is coming and it will. Talk to everyone, educate those who will listen, use every social networking tool that you have at your disposal, come out of your closets and be counted – for there is safety in numbers!
I challenge you to be a good citizen. I challenge you to be successful. Whatever you do, be the best at it. Let the world see you as a PERSON. Treat others with kindness and decency before you expect it for yourself. Let us not stoop to their levels. Carry yourself with grace and dignity.
We can show the entire world that we are human, we have dignity, we have pride and we are not going to settle for less than what anyone else has anymore. We do not choose who we are, anymore than any child chooses to be born in any particular country, of any particular color or into any particular religion.
Get up off the sofa and write your congressman today and tell them how you feel. Register to vote and do it! Support the president who supported you. Get involved, even if it is just posting on social medias. This is your chance and this is our time. We stand at the edge of the finish line. The closer we get, the harder they are fighting back – the reason the hate crimes are now higher than ever.
Don’t you see the writing on the wall? WE ARE WINNING THIS BATTLE! They know it. They are angry and those who aren’t glued together quite right are going to come unglued and do hateful things in retaliation. While it is horrible and unjust, it means we are making progress. It is a sad part of fighting for anything. Sometimes we have casualties.
Please, take a moment to remember all those that we have lost along the way. The victims lay along the path to equality and we must remember them, for they sacrificed so that we could go on. NEVER FORGET! The innocent teens that felt there was no life for them have taken their own lives and in doing so became martyrs to this cause. Don’t let them die in vain. Honor them by continuing to fight.
Take my hand and cross the line with me. Let’s finish this race together. I know it is a race that we can win – we already are.
Twitter – JesseMacGregorJones@MyButchWorld
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