Tag Archives: equality

Mental Illness Doesn’t Discriminate, but People Do

I just left a group I had recently joined, under the impression that people who were intent on erasing the stigma of mental illness would be, well, more open-minded. I am a somewhat naive person in some respects; I will admit that. Possibly because I’m hopeful. Possibly because I’m gullible, to an extent, and I want to believe the best of people. Especially ones trying to erase the shame associated with mental illness because, after all, it’s not something a person can help.

I was surprised, then, to find a posting after the shooting at the recruitment centers, describing the shooter as having an “extremist personality” and one of the women who’s daughter had bi-polar saying, “her daughter didn’t act that way.” I was furious. And very disappointed.

I responded that if the young man hadn’t been Muslim, this wouldn’t even be a topic of conversation, and apparently the idea of mental illness being a stigma was based on race and religion, not the reality of mental illness, which doesn’t tend to pay attention to those lines. It doesn’t discriminate. And as for the woman whose bi-polar daughter not acting that way, I said knowing one person with mental illness is knowing one person with mental illness. If we were all the same, one pill would magically cure all of us and yay, the world would be a happier place. But it doesn’t work that way. We are all individual chemical factories with unique brain chemistries and genetic predispositions. That’s why there are so many drugs out there that don’t work for so many different people, or cause paradoxical reactions (the complete opposite of what they’re intended to do).

I said I didn’t want to be associated with people claiming to want to erase the stigma of mental illness, selectively. What do they think society is doing to them? Exactly what they were doing and patting themselves on the back for. Oh yes, “Extremist Personality,” my therapist pointed out, isn’t in the DSM. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, which is what the United States uses to diagnose people. I should note the DSM-V has been highly criticized. Which doesn’t have anything to do with this. I asked how do they expect to change things when they are being so close-minded themselves?

But what do you do when the people claiming to try to make things better for people with mental illness, and I should add that at that point, it was only a few people who were agreeing with this anti-Muslim sentiment, hardly the whole group, are spouting the sort of nonsense that some people do against any person with mental illness, that keeps the stigma alive? I should have not left the group in a huff, I should have seen if what I said actually made a difference. I was hasty, but I doubt what I said made a difference. Because people’s beliefs are ingrained, and that’s the sad thing. “We don’t want our children with mental illness to be stigmatized, but if you happen to belong to a religious group we normally label as terrorists, don’t expect any sympathy?”

We need a lot more love, and a lot less hate.

p.s. I realized I should add an addendum here. I met some really great people in the group, and I hope they know who they are, because I still communicate with them, and I really admire them and what they are doing, so it isn’t as if the experience was a loss–hardly. I learned a lot about schizophrenia, as well, which I didn’t know much about. It was this one exchange that upset me.

A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System

Reblogged from takingthemaskoff.com

This is an excellent post on one scenario of how two people, simply due to the circumstances of their birth, end up on two separate paths. I know that sounds trite and like every other story, but please read this one

A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System.
A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System
November 30, 2014 125 Comments

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“You know in this hotel room they have food every day and I knock on the door. Every day they open tha door to let me see the party, let me see that they throwin’ salami, throwin’ food around telling me there’s no food. Every day. I’m standing outside tryin to sing my way in- “We are weak, please let us in. We’re weak, please let us in.” After about a week that song is gonna change to, “We’re hungry, we need some food.” After two, three weeks it’s like “Give me some of that food! I’m breakin down that door.” After a year it’s like, “I’m pickin’ the lock, comin’ through the door blastin.” It’s like, “I’m hungry”

– Tupac Shakur

It is my hope that we have a silent army building. The revolution will not be televised. But I see the replies I get, and it gives me hope.

I saw an article in the New York Times basically saying there would be less shootings if the mentally ill had less privacy and were more easily forced to be hospitalized. This is the New York Times! Who are the sick ones?

I’m going to tell a story. 2 stories, of 2 different people. They are both true stories. Then you can see how this all begins and becomes a problem. I’ll go back and forth between the stories until their paths meet.

Here’s Dusty, I don’t know, age 3 to 5. Happy kid, plenty of love. Just loves everyone and loves the world. He doesn’t see color, sex, religion. He has nokind of discrimination, all he sees is love.

Here’s the second story. This is my cousin Donald. The man he is with is my father. Donald also loves the world, he sees no race, sex, and discriminates against no one. He is a very loving and giving kid.

Dusty gets older. He still loves everyone and everything. However, Dusty grew up in a home that was infested with cockroaches, and had been condemned 2 to 3 times. There was about 7 or 8 kids living there, they had no food. Dusty was the kindest of the group. He got beaten by his brothers, picked on, and thrown around. He was told “You are a loser, give me your money, do my work.” He did not understand, he gave whatever he had to others.

When I met Dusty he was about 8 or 9 years old. He had 4 brothers and sisters, they all smoked pot, drank, and never went to school. Everyone walked around this place with almost no clothes. They had only 2 bedrooms. The house was full of smoke.

Cockroaches were all over. They had no shower, and a bathroom with only a curtain covering it. The old guys would come around drinking, smoking weed, and getting physical. The older kids were getting worse also.

There was something special about Dusty, his heart. He was born with an amazing heart. He loved everyone, and gave all he had. To tell you of this kids strength, words won’t do it justice. As a 9 year old, he was growing up in a house in which every adult was punching, smoking weed, drinking, and stealing. Also, the gangsters knew where the weed was. THE house, that’s where they were. But Dusty, at age 9, he refused to smoke weed or drink or do any of that. However, being sweet and sensitive, he was an easy target. He did not stop loving though, he still loved them all. He saw through it, through everything, even as a kid. So what happens when you are extra sensitive, caring, and loving? You get pushed down, forced to create a mask, his was the goofy guy. This is the same house where I met Joe. Dusty and Joe were cousins and best friends.

Here is Donald. He is my cousin. He was a great kid. His father was a doctor in a small town, he made lots and lots of money. That doesn’t make Donald bad, and he is not bad. In fact, he’s a wonderful human being. I know this story puts him in privileged category. But, that is not his fault, he is still a caring, kind, and considerate human being. His father, my uncle, was once in jail for stealing cars and grew up to be a doctor. The thing about Donald was, he was born gifted, and extremely smart. He was above the genius level. He may have skipped a grade, I can’t remember. He was and is not a bad person.

However, while Dusty was seeing what he saw, Donald was going on trips, and getting the best life had to offer. He worried for nothing, he could be a kId and thrive.

Thrive he did. He is a talented, smart, and funny guy that had charisma. He didn’t have to worry about gangsters, getting food, getting raped, or having mice and cockroaches sleep on him. He had a huge bedroom, went on vacations, had all he ever wanted. He had great parents. Now another thing I noticed about Donald was that when I went to spend 2 weeks with him when I was 12, was that in this small town everyone drank, and did drugs, at age 12. Which is common for a small town. They were 12 and flung this. All of his friends.

One time we went to his friends house, the kid was sleeping and the kid woke up, and lifted his pillow and there was jack daniels. They all smoked and drank, except Donald. His parents taught him this.

Dusty did it on strength of character. Donald friends said “man your dad is always getting thanked in the paper.” That was true, small town legend.

Donald’s pressure was to follow his father, and that is a different kind of pressure. One that is often not considered a problem, the gifted child.

However, that is just as hard as raising a troubled child. People don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. What they both had in common was they were gifted.

Dusty then ended up going away for a while after missing so much school. His brothers would go just enough to not get sent away. Dusty was the extra sensitive one, he didn’t care. Me and Dusty and Joe had a bond, we all loved each other and saw behind each other’s masks. One time, on the phone, Dusty had called his mom and said, “tell mike I lo, well never mind,” he wanted to tell me he loved me, but he was afraid. I stopped hanging out there.

That’s another story, this isn’t about me. Dusty eventually surrendered and started using drugs. Then, they had a guy from Arizona living at the drug house, his name was Carl. He had packages of drugs delivered to the house all the time. The police got involved, and a sting was set up. So the package is delivered, they all have Dusty answer because he is kind and wants to help. So he always does, and he did on this case as well.

Well, he signed, and he gets arrested, and now he has a felony. They knew it was not him, he gets interrogated, and interrogated. Does he give Carl up?, nope, never. This was when Dusty was 19. That’s his booking photo. He went to jail, then he just got off probation recently.

This is someone you may see in jail, or at the shelter, or with the dirty clothes. That’s what you see, but this is what you’re missing when you make that judgement. These are the kids that come into our neighborhood, come to school, to church. We say get them out, those dirty kids with no manners. We don’t want to look at them, it’s like clutter in our clean house. We don’t want to deal with it, we want to pretend it’s not there. Then we may have to do something. So we ignore them and label them and call them losers or dirtbags. That’s much easier, isn’t it?

But that is how we all are part of the problem and we ask are co responsible for the inequality. You see these kids, these people, and no action is am action. Silence is consent.

Here’s Donald at age 19. He had a child. Now that’s a disaster if he’s in Dusty’s situation. However, Donald had great supports in place. His mom and dad helped the teenagers adjust, made sure everything was taken care of.

Donald was able to go to school and while Dusty was in jail, Donald was excelling. He finished college in 3 years and went on to medical school and finished. He’s a doctor. Now again, he’s not bad, not a superstar yet, I don’t think.

He is now starting to isolate, he is on a different level than others and he gets told that alot. So he believes it, so does his wife. So now the good doctor moves and starts dominating the medical profession.

They told me his iq is 156. I’m sure they told him too. He then joined the army like his father and got lots of medals and accolades.

Which is not bad. This is simply to show how we start to label and separate.

Here is Dusty taking care of his dying mother. He gets out of jail, meets a girl, and they have kids. He didn’t know how to have a relationship, he is on his own with no college, no skills, no understanding of life. Just love.

Then you have Donald with his 500 thousand dollar house that got egged.

How do I know this? Well his wife posted on Facebook that someone egged their 500 thousand dollar house but she wasn’t worried because they had security cameras all over the house. You know, to keep the “bad criminals out.”

Like clutter, she didn’t want to see that.

I also saw her post once that she was very upset with the mayor in the town they live in because he allowed a Wal-Mart to be built by their house. Her quote was “who else has to look out their 500 thousand dollar house and see a Wal-Mart, someone needs to stop this guy, do not vote for him.”

See as the separation is almost complete. What did dusty do to be placed below donald?

Nothing. But we see them each walking down the street and we treat them differently. That’s how we all contribute.

Dusty getting older, he split with his kids mom. He suffers from depression, severe depression. He feels rejected all the time, he smokes weed to forget, to not be himself.

He talks about suicide all the time. He misses Joe more than anyone. His heart is broken. Dusty and Joe spent all their time together. They even moved 2 blocks down from me for 2 years. I would drive by and wave. Really? Yes. I was no better than Donald. Even worse, because I drive by, and we still talked from time to time, but I was trying to get my life together. I could have said hi.

The doctor and his family. Now this is not an attack in Donald at all. It is about how we create separation. He worked hard, he’s caring, and he is a good man. He just started to believe he was different and better. He got told lies.

Lies we all believe, like, you need this huge house, cars, medals, and everyone to see how awesome you are.

So he fell in the trap. Here we are, the “look at us” photo.

You know how the native americans defined mental illness? They said anyone who lives in excess of what they need is mentally ill.

The doctors wife at the ritz.

Dusty and his kid at the laundromat.

The doctor and his boat.

Dusty at the playground. Having fun.

The doctors daughter with one of her trophies, she had special tennis lessons, beauty pageants, and she going to Oxford college on scholarship.

Same thing as Donald, smart talented kid. No fault of her own, the cycle continues. She is being brainwashed like he was.

He had a mask on as well. Still does.

Dusty being a dad and loving. He never knew life would be so hard when all he wanted to do was love.

The doctor is now continuing to serve and get accolades. To bad it’s all a lie.

Now this part is not real, but an example of what would likely happen from what I’ve seen in my years being in both worlds……

Now what happens if Dusty walks into Dr. Donalds office? How in the world can the doctor understand what Dusty is saying. Dusty says “Life isn’t worth living, I need to smoke weed.”

The doctors response is usually, “He just doesn’t care, he doesn’t want to work, he wants disability.” The thought process I’ve seen a million times. All the time, it’s the rule, not the exception.

So, let’s say Dusty had attempted suicide 2 times, and keeps coming back. He has to in order to get benefits and to get housing for himself.

The doctor is frustrated, in his mind he’s trying hard. That’s what life is, you just don’t behave like that in his opinion. In his world, you get up, work hard, and get it done. He can’t understand why Dusty complains that no medications work, yet continues to use drugs, and goes to the hospital.

He thinks Dusty has children, and he’s not taking care of them, he’s a “Predator” or a “Manipulator” or “Gamey.”

This is when I hear things like, why do they get free healthcare and we don’t. Almost a resentment at the patients. This is something that I see daily. The caring staff keep their mouths shut in fear.

So now Dusty has to be forced to take meds. He doesn’t get it, we have to help him. So we will put him on meds, and we aren’t going to listen to his side effects stories. We are going to force injections if he doesn’t comply with orders.

He can’t take care of himself. We have to in the doctors opinions.

Oh and, let’s charge insurance about 1500 dollars a day to do this. If the drugs give him diabetes, that’s too bad because he needs to be safe.

Good job young doctor, you’re saving the world.

Now Dusty has not been without weed for years, so asking him to stop is asking him to feel all these feelings that he has never felt before. Forcing him to take his mask off without support. The feelings he had been told to block his whole life, the feelings that have made him an outsider and not accepted.

Then give him a med that makes him feel no better for at least 6 weeks. Then it might not be the right medication, so we may have to start all over.

He will have side effects like drooling, sedation, diarrhea, and tremors. That occurs right away. Plus feeling all these emotions. Then when he sleeps too much we say that he is lazy, or non compliant with his treatment.

So we force him out of bed, and we make him go to groups with someone explaining all these “skills” he needs to use. Then he can’t participate due to the meds, the side effects, being off drugs his brain had coffee to rely on, and now having to freak with all these suppressed emotions.

So he is said to be non interested. So we need to give him more medications.

Of course we do.

Now he’s angry. No one listens, he’s sensitive, but he has had enough. He explodes from this and other patient’s likely taking advantage of him, and staff telling him when he can shower, piss, and treat him like a criminal.

Because, we say, look at his record, he is a felon. No one asks why or what happened, and they won’t believe him anyways, he’s a “manipulator.”

True story…

We had a young man admitted to our place the other day. I’ll call him “kev.” Abused age 1 to 3. A ward off the state at age 3. Picture a 3 year old being abused and taken from home, then a 3 year old in a privileged home, they’re is no difference, why do we seem to think as adults that there is? He was in foster homes his whole life, sexually abused, and beaten.Then at age 19 he committed an armed robbery, and he was shot 3 times. Then he Went to max security prison for 7 years. In prison, he cuts himself enough to need surgery, he has been known to swallow glass, and toothbrushes requiring surgery.

The assessment by “the team.” Is that he is “smooth, and manipulative.” He swallowed these things to get to go to hospital, a trip out of jail.

This is dangerous to call him manipulative. If I think you are manipulative then everything you do I take as a con. If we instead think of him as this kid who has a desparate need for acceptance and love, you will treat him differently. Then he will react differently. Then he gets better treatment. Our staff are young, impressionable, and eager to learn about psychiatry since it is romanticized on the media at times.

However if you work in government, they need to save the taxpayers money, they don’t want us spending “their” money. We have to hire inexperienced staff, because they are cheaper. We train them by what they see. The cycle continues.

So why would someone like Dusty shoot his doctor? It’s not so black and white if you look deep enough.

What’s the difference between…

This 19 year old young dad.

And this…

This young dad? (This is Joe and Anthony from last post)

The answer is nothing. Until we divide them. When we divide, we create class, uppers and lowers. When really we are all connected.

It won’t end. It can’t. Until people start fighting back. The battle is not going to be easy, we won’t see the end. We won’t see the victory. That will come after we’re gone.

But there is going to be a fight, we know that there is going to be a fight because we are going to start it. We will lose some, as we lost Joe. We won’t stop. Love always wins. Always.

If I’ve made you mad, then I’ve done my job. Happy people don’t create change. You have to be angry, you must have discontent to create change. So be angry. Then do something about it.

If 1 person reading this gets 1 thing and does something, that’s perfect. The ripple effect will be huge.

Love you Dusty.

The end.

If you want to see this in video.
Here it is..10 minutes I think.

 

Realigning Priorities

This is based on my observation and perception. I have not done vast research as I normally would. It is something I mentioned in a post quite a while ago and then didn’t really think about keep calmuntil a couple of thoughts collided. The first was all the press given to bakeries refusing to make cakes for same sex weddings. The second was a visit to the Facebook page The Republican War on Women. Okay, wait, three. The third was watching Panti Noble’s Call at the Abbey Theatre and thinking about oppression. All right, a fourth as well; how much effort I have spent arguing for, writing letters for, advocating for, the LBGT community, and against Putin’s policies in Russia.

All of this bubbled around together a little for a while. I remembered reading an article about how more straight women allies advocate for DefendEquality_ShepardFaireygay men than some gay men do at times, and feeling a little ticked off about that at the time. Then another article simply asking, straight women have advocated for gay men for their rights, where are they in terms of advocating for our rights? Then I started to think about oppression, and what a huge deal has been made over the past congressional year over gay marriage, gay rights, gay people being refused service. I have written congresspeople about using this issue as a way to avoid other issues such as the economy, unemployment, the state of our schools. Yet I have been ignoring the one thing that is one of the most important things of all, to me. My rights to what happens to my body. Yes, that makes me feel oppressed, and it pisses me off, too. I’ve been so distracted fighting for the rights of other people, I haven’t been paying enough attention to my own: as states pass rights for same sex marriage, my rights to what I can and can’t do with my own body are being stripped away. How’s that for inequality for you?

While same sex couples argue over the right to have a bakery make a cake for them, women have finally gotten the right to buy the morning after pill without a prescription at a pharmacy. For those who don’t know, gay men included, this is a marvelous thing for women who, for any reason–condom failure, forgetting to use birth control, maybe even a rape they didn’t report, but for whatever reason that is none of that damn pharmacist’s business–want to take this pill because it pretty much, almost 99% guarantees you won’t get pregnant, that pharmacist, who is a practitioner of, one could say, a medical profession, can decide, if he or she wants, not to sell it to you because of their religious beliefs.

Now, I’m sorry, but when you balance a cake vs. a pill that could alter the course of a woman’s life by keeping her from getting pregnant, I’m with the woman. That woman could be me. It roe graphiccould also, unfortunately, be a woman who is lesbian. It could be a 16 year old girl. So go to another pharmacy, says the voice of the person who hasn’t had to go through the humiliation of having your sex life judged by some holier-than-thou professional. You think it’s just gay people who get their sex life judged? It’s not.

But let’s think about the incredible hypocrisy here for just a second. That pharmacist that won’t sell you a pill because you are killing a life GOPcrush(and honestly, if there’s anything there at the moment, its a few cells forming a blob) will be the same pro-lifer yelling at you for getting an abortion two months later because they wouldn’t sell you the pill. The pill that would have acted so soon after the fact there really wouldn’t have been time for anything to have happened “life-wise,” it would simply have kept you from getting pregnant in the first place, negating the whole need for an abortion.

The right to make sure that pharmacists always sell that pill is a little more important than a cake, I’m sorry. I will always fall on that side. Pro-lifers want women to have the children, but will they take them when they’re born? No. They cut the money for WIC to make sure the kids can eat right until they’re at least three. They cut the money for the programs to take care of the children so the mother can work. They don’t question whether the woman wants children, whether she’d make a good mother, whether there’s a father involved for their perfect idea of a little American family. They want to make the woman have the baby, and then push her into poverty because all they care about is that the baby lives, that’s all.

And what choice does the woman have in this, that’s being taken away state by state, by rich white men in suits who couldn’t find their way around a woman’s anatomy to save their lives?  woman-propertyAnd those are the married ones. None. Her body, apparently, doesn’t belong to her. Her reproductive system belongs to the State and then, BAM, after 50 apparently women no longer have health care needs.

What I want to know is, woman have been advocating for equal rights with fervor for the LGBT community. Are you advocating for us? Byprochoice this I mostly mean the generations younger than mine (the 1960s-1970s). Gay men around my age or older seem to have a different sense of responsibility. Again, just my observation. Yes, love is love, I believe that with all my heart. But equality is equality, and that means equal rights for everyone. Jesus God (did I forget a comma?) has no place in the hands of the religious self-righteous to force into the shape they want solely to interfere in the lives of groups they choose to harass because the RS-R are mean-spirited, their heads aren’t screwed on quite right, their shoes are two tight, and their hearts are…well, I’m sure their are hearts there somewhere. Anatomically they have to be.

My beliefs haven’t changed. It is simply that some things on their own are heinous, and still are. But when compared to other, more heinous things, they pale a little in comparison. The thing is, the HUGE thing is, is that it is the same people who are doing this; the same religious fanatics who want to call members of the LGBT community demons and pedophiles are the So you still think homosexuality is sinfulsame ones who want to call women who want control over what happens to them (what a concept) whores and sluts. For being such pious people, they really do have quite the vocabulary, don’t they? I think they’ve been reading a few too many of the hardcore Urban Paranormal Romances. When they start talking about Azagoth and his minions then we know we’re in trouble.

Just remember that others helped get the LGBT community where it is, and when you see yet another story about whether Jesus can tell a store owner whether or not he or she can discriminate in selling a wedding cake, or whatever it may be, think about the morning after pill and that pharmacists do the exact same thing, not because of sexual orientation, but simply because women happen to be the gender who gets pregnant, and other people think they have the right to control our lives because of that. And if you’re gay and think that doesn’t effect you, think again. Do you have a sister, a female friend, a female coworker, a mother? Yes, moms do still have sex. Sorry, as icky as it is to contemplate.

While states are being added to the map of same-sex marriage friendly, women are losing ground. It makes me angry. Angry that I wasn’t paying closer attention. Angry about the apathy in the groups I advocate for in political issues. Angry with friends who want to make their safe little comfort bubbles and meditate. Angry that this couldn’t have been done, in my opinion, the right way.  If a law had been passed making same-sex marriage legal in all states, across the board (which probably never would have happened, but still, I can dream in my ideal world–we are supposed to be the United States, after all), and the same for women’s rights–how much time, effort, and money have been spent on things that have no place in court? In Congress? These are basic human rights. I’m not rich, not male, don’t wear fancy suits or have the power to shut down the government because gods forbid everyone should have healthcare. I don’t really care what people think of it. It’s the first real attempt someone has made at universal healthcare, which is so f*cked up in this country anyway the whole system needs to rebuilt, but that’s a different, lengthy post.

And here’s another thought. Some people seem to be making LGBT friendly business directories. Why not start bakeries who specialize in wedding cakes for same sex weddings, and be the ones to show they can be the most mature. Don’t discriminate. Well, unless it’s obviously provocation. But you get the idea. The other bakeries will regret the business they’ll lose, and in some cases better than equal, a step above, is the only way to pull people up to your standards. Make the standards. Set the new bar. If other people won’t do it for you, do it for yourself, only better. I would buy a cake there, without a doubt.

A great name for a bakery would be Love is Love. Or, I suppose, if you wanted to thumb your nose a little, Not All Cakes are Equal. Seriously–do a search on cakes and fondant, add a few words of your choice and see what you come up with. I’ve never tried to make anything with fondant, but I think it must be the wonder of all wonders when it comes to cake making. Is there anything it can’t do? And look at some of the cake toppers–they are made with such love and care. Why have a second rate baker who doesn’t want to make a cake in the first place make one when there are people who can make things like those! One even includes the dogs! I like bakeries, and I’m getting off the subject–and there’s a whole portion of the population out there who have to have things gluten-free; if I had the talent, this is something I would seriously consider. All right. My getting goofy over cakes changes nothing about how I feel about this issue. There are alternatives to closed-minded, small people.

For women, this clamping down on rights is dangerous and possibly deadly, if women are forced to resort to back alley abortions: that’s what this means:

Back alley abortions www.worldchanging.com

Back alley abortions
http://www.worldchanging.com

Women should never have to resort to this again. If you have questions about it, look it up on Wiki; I’d rather not discuss it here.

But let’s try to help each other. There are too many important things going on for all of us. Human rights are equal rights. All of us are due some big changes.

tumblr_mz6vk65LWf1rqpa8po1_500images

marriage equality

I apologize sincerely for any errors. It’s been a long day and my eyes are tired.

Panti Noble’s Call at the Abbey Theatre

Reblogged from The Bilerco Project/YouTube

Fantastic. She says more in 11 minutes that I could in 11 posts, far more adeptly.

Equality

Social Equality & Cultural Understanding  www.oc.illinois.edu

Social Equality & Cultural Understanding
www.oc.illinois.edu

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Love is Love www.likecool.com

Love is Love
www.likecool.com

Marriage Equality - composite

Words of Love www.hongkiat.com Words of Love (By: Alice vel. Hazel)

Words of Love
www.hongkiat.com
Words of Love (By: Alice vel. Hazel)

Equality and Diversity Logo www.projectjohn.co.uk

Equality and Diversity Logo
www.projectjohn.co.uk

Rosie--Women's Equality www.nyclu.org

Rosie–Women’s Equality
www.nyclu.org

Equality in Action Love is Love

Equality in Action
Love is Love

First Post of 2014

“A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.”

–Groucho Marx

I hadn’t posted for a while before the end of the year. Personally, I felt I had said what I wanted to, needed to, and while it wasn’t necessarily the most cheerful thing in the world, I wanted to say it. Other things took over my life for a while. Dealing with other life changing things took over, leaving both blogs bereft for the remainder of the year.

It made me consider, what is the role of this blog in the first place? It started out to be a blog on writing and reviews. Other things crept in. I never thought I’d become so frustrated with politics and equal rights. With abuse of power. In this country, not elsewhere. Well, and elsewhere as well. What politicians choose to attack to divert attention away from whatever they’re trying to hide is astonishing. Something that hurts no one.

For example, a former Sheriff in Utah is going on a hunger strike in Utah until there is an uprising against same sex marriage, John M Becker of The Belerico Project comments:

When a former county sheriff thinks the law he used to work under is a higher authority than even state law there’s some serious misinterpretation of how the flow of power works.
I think this is a much more appropriate “Uprising:”

I’ve gone on and on about this, hundreds of people have. It’s no one’s business but the people involved whether or not they want to get married. Make it a Federal Law and quit this state by state ridiculousness. Just do it. Concentrate on the things that are really making the country fall apart, not the ones you’re pretending are to distract everyone. Get your priorities straight. It isn’t that equality for everyone isn’t important, because it is, and the sad truth is that it should have been a right years and years ago.

I like this, reblogged from the Give a Damn Campain, which sums up what I mean by my above statement:

Reblogged from Give a Damn Campaign

I don’t mean to end on an off note. I doubt anyone who reads or sees my blog are any of the people who need to see the above picture. I’m still, obviously, frustrated with the way things are going in politics, in the US and around the world.

Folks, being gay or lesbian or trans* isn’t something that can be cured. Could we make 2014 a year for really starting to believe that? After all, Amazon actually pulled a book on “turning your “confused” child straight.” Reparation therapy is child abuse. It doesn’t matter who does it, you, your church, a “program” you found listed in the back of God Today… Let me say that again. It is child abuse. You may think you have your child’s best interests at heart, but you don’t. You’re going to end up with a really screwed up adult who will most likely end up with depression and a higher likelihood of killing themselves than the average person with severe depression. If you think that’s a better alternative, get therapy. Now. Recognize that your child is still your child, still the same person, with the same sense of humor, love, and personality. Nothing is different except who they prefer to be with, that’s all. Your son or daughter is still a person who deserves the same dignity, rights, respect, consideration, and love they always hopefully had. Love is love, and that goes not only for whomever your child chooses to be with, but for the relationship between you and your child.

Thank you, Theo Fenraven, for reblogging these graphics where they’d be seen. I just thought I’d throw this in for a change of topic:HeatingAid_0

Poverty Levels in the United States

http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2014/01/05/poverty-map/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140106

 

People Don’t Want to Know, So They Don’t Look

I know this is not always the most fun blog to visit, that’s it’s not incredible popular, and that it can be downright depressing. I try to keep a mix of things, somedays just posting things that are funny or silly, to lighten the mood a little. I don’t want to depress everyone–I don’t think that’s my purpose in life.

However, there are things I believe in, that make up part of my values and morals, that I simply can’t ignore. Things I feel passionately about. I won’t post the article here, just a link and the picture that goes with it, which leads to another site. Sometimes you find things on other sites that are interesting as well that have nothing to do with the topic.

This is a very conflicting time in politics, where personal agendas seem to have overridden the whole point of the political process. Congress isn’t the personal playground of some specific representatives. That attitude has a trickle-down effect. Marginalized groups are becoming fractured and dissension is common.

The only way to accomplish anything is to stick together. Support each other. As a whole, we are much stronger. Look at it this way–it’s the difference between a toothpick and a battering ram:

Toothpick

Toothpick

Battering Ram

Battering Ram  (Note: Not to scale with toothpick)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article applies to one rights movement, it could apply to any. As another picture in the article states, all oppression is connected. This article is “7 LBGT Issues That Matter More Than Marriage” from BuzzFeed.

7 LGBT Issues That Matter More Than Marriage

7 LGBT Issues That Matter More Than Marriage

Click on Picture for Article

Nelson Mandela on Love and Hate

I was on a site where I’ve chosen other sites to follow, admiring a picture of two sloths (I relate quite well to sloths, I share some of their well known attributes), and these two were up for International Sloth Day. Who knew? If I keep it up, maybe someday there will be a day for me. I’ll see how many more animal attributes I can assimilate, because I think I’d have to be pretty unique, and I don’t plan on any surgery to add horns or fangs that spit poison–that’s taking it a bit too far. Then there was an adorable Red Panda. I love those. Then, there was a picture of Nelson Mandela:

Nelson Mandela

And I loved it–it was for United Nations Human Rights, #LGBT. So of course I read the comments, which are generally all supportive. But there is one woman’s who are just downright confusing.

1st post: Love comes softly

That could be taken in a variety of ways. It seems neutral, somewhat supportive.

2nd post: Many are filled with bitterness and hatred….so sad….I wish all the hatred would go away and those who delve off into hatred daily should follow

Again, this seems…interesting. Sort of generalized. The thing about statements like this, and my conflict about the Lily Allen song, F**K You, is that when you hate the haters, it makes you a hater, which makes you one of them, even if they might be worse, and you are justified in not liking them, but where to draw the line so you’re not a hater? I really like that song, but the chorus makes it difficult, because of the hater issue. But that’s neither here nor there. I talked to my boyfriend, and he agreed with me, so I’m not the only one with this issue concerning this song. I really like Lily Allen. This is not a bash Lily Allen post. It’s because I like the song and have thought about putting a link to it up, but haven’t because of that.

3rd post: I believe in equality, not an advocate for LGBT … Two men laying or two women or transgender, bisexuals…..adds to societal issues …. Confusion and bad influence ….. I don’t mistreat people but I don’t amen that choice life of living

Wait, wait, wait…WHAT?

Equality is equality, one does not get to choose whom to bestow it on. What gives us the right to make those decisions? As the author of these says in an earlier post, which doesn’t really make sense when read with this one, love comes softly. Exactly.

Love is love. What if I am lesbian? What if someone I love is gay? Should I give them less rights than I have? Treat them as my inferiors? Make sure they’re not getting equal treatment to what I am? What makes me better? Nothing. What makes us the same? Love. Compassion. Oh. And the fact we’re all human.

Confusion and bad influence? We have politicians for that. They’re a shining example for our children. They add to societal issues? How are the LGBT community contributing to poverty, rising crime rates, the breakdown of education and health care (which will hopefully start to get better), illiteracy rates, bullying in schools, teen drinking and pregnancy (I truly don’t think they’re contributing to the latter), lack of funding for public libraries, rising costs of higher education, therefore making it less accessible, inadequate services for people with disabilities, the lack of employment opportunities, the stagnant economy, unaffordable housing, the rise in diseases we thought had been eradicated, such as measles, polio, whooping cough, meningitis, the incredibly high cost of day care, which parents have no choice but to pay because they both have to work because they need the money? How? Because, wow, if they’ve done all that, they could take over the whole world, and next thing you know we’ll all be flying rainbow flags and will be feeling uncontrollable sexual urges toward the same sex. Good grief. And frogs will give you warts. Masturbation will either give you hairy palms or make you blind. Or give you hairy eyeballs. Plucking the petals off daisies will definitely determine your true love and the course of your life. Fairies will mess with you if you don’t turn your shoes the right way under the bed. I know someone who believes that and I will not say who–it is not me. I’ll just say sometimes my shoes have been realigned. Being gay, lesbian, trans, asexual–it’s not contagious, I swear. On a stack of Merriam-Websters and Chicago Manuals of Style.

No. Once again, look to our politicians, our businesses, and the ones who profit from this. There is no logic in your reasoning.

You may not mistreat the LGBT community with your actions, but you mistreat them with your attitudes and your words. Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Love is love.

Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.
Ellen DeGeneres

Maybe this seems like an overreaction, but remember, the 19th Amendment, prohibiting any United States citizen the denial of the right to vote on the basis of sex, was passed in 1920. Less than 100 years ago. And women are still having to fight for their rights. Should we give up the right to decide what happens to our own bodies because of some white haired men in congress? I think not.

Neither should the future of what happens in the lives of the LGBT community be decided by those same men. And women. Unless it’s giving them the same rights and equality that every person, regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, race, language, orientation, gender identity–I’m trying to include everyone but am afraid I’m forgetting someone. Every single human, how’s that? We all deserve equality. It shouldn’t even be a political issue.

And who is Congress to decide? They can’t even balance a budget.

I think people are going to get a lot of mileage out of that one.