Tag Archives: oppression

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.

 

The World Interpreted through Alice in Wonderland

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Consulting the Oracle

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First Meeting

Many Don’t Arrive

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A Meeting is Held

Alice is voted unanimously as Ambassador

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Waiting to meet the Red Queen

(With trepidation )

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A productive discussion did not seem in the cards

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And, in fact, became quite hostile.

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Things on the home front were not much better.

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With a heavy heart, Alice helped prepare her friends for battle with what little she could find.

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Alice listened to the Mock Turtle’s prophecies of the outcome of the war.

    4E9FC6FE-AC4F-4C99-AF28-2985270D3379.png Is the Mock Turtle going to be right?

Mr. Putin, speaker with two faces?

Mr. Netenyahu, regretful of civilian deaths?

 

Who will take responsibility for their actions?

Who will pretend to paint the roses red with the blood of the fallen?

 

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.

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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.

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

What about Straight Pride?

This came up in group I’m in and a member kindly posted this link:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/13/opinion/granderson-straight-pride/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

I looked at some of the comments following the article, which is always a dangerous thing, because that’s where all the interesting people start climbing out of the woodwork. I should mention the post before this one was one talking about “religious bigots raising their children to hate everyone, such as gays, and perpetuating their irrational christian beliefs.” Normally I stay out of religious arguments completely. I’m not religious. I come from a family (stopping at my parents) of Southern Baptists. I see the kind of “love” they preach. Love everyone unless they’re different. Love everyone who follows all our rules. Put on a good show in public, but in private it’s not so important. I truly don’t understand the comment below, and I don’t understand how someone could be so ignorant of the world around them. I find it hard to believe that anyone could make the statement in the second sentence and truly believe it–I think I can fairly safely say that it isn’t an accusation but a matter of fact that bible centered churches have and actively do preach hatred and the denial of rights toward individuals who are gay, and that many christian groups have taken a strong negative stance against gays and gay rights.

“What Christian organization are you speaking of? Because NO Jesus centered and Bible centered Church that I have attended has EVER preached hate or the denyl of rights. What it DOES teach is love and acceptance. I may not agree with their life choices but that doesn’t mean I hate them. What they choose to do has nothing to do with me. I may not agree but I still love. Just as Jesus did for me. The people who you are speaking of would be ignorant, hateful, and practice bigotry whether they were “Christians” or not. Just because they call themselves a Christian doesn’t make them one. I can call my self a Muslim but if I dont follow the teachings of the Koran and Muhammad I am not a Muslim.

Edit: I took out a section of this post in which I used a more extreme example of hate and violence to try to “win” this “argument” I apologize and retract the former. Homosexuals that experience hate and violence are no less important because some other groups may experience more.  Eric Truman 

My response:

“Have you taken a look around and read the news lately? Why is it the religious groups that believe that reparative therapy is possible? I’m afraid that there are more religious groups against equal rights for people who are LBGTQ than for them. 

For those of you who believe it’s a life choice, think again. People are born the way they are, already oriented the way they are. This makes them no less equal, no less worth loving, gives them no less right to chose who they want to love, than any of the rest of us. 

Who are the groups who are keeping them from having the rights they should already unquestioningly have? Religion, and the government. Two groups who should have no voice in a persons’ sexuality or who they love. 

Anyone who says that religious groups only teach love and acceptance are looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, and seeing what they want to see. 

God made everyone in his image, correct? Does God make mistakes? I don’t think so. Would a religious person agree to that? God made people who are straight, who are gay, who are lesbian, who are all gamuts of that spectrum. They are not aberrations. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them. They are perfect the way they are. 

Step out of your box and truly look at the world around you. Say hello to someone with a disability who uses a wheelchair. Use tolerance. Practice patience. Love. Treat others as you would want others to treat you.”

The thing that I think stands out most jarringly to me is the statement in the “Edit” section of Mr. Truman’s post–he mentions “winning” the “argument.” I’m not sure if he’s retracting that as well or if he still means it. Equality isn’t about winning an argument. This is a fight for rights, yes, but only because the rights which are duly owed haven’t already been given as they should have been.

While not religious, I still think the above postulation does make sense. I also believe that religious groups and politicians should mind their own business, once they’ve straightened out this mess and given equal rights, legally, to everyone who should have have. Not deserve to have them, although they do, but should have them as human beings just like anyone else. As a basic and fundamental right. We’re past the days (I thought) where children had to be protected under animal abuse laws because there were no laws protecting children from abuse. Aren’t we?

This country, in it’s attempts to escape oppression for freedom, has done a fine job emulating that oppression. Oppression against people of different races, beliefs, women, LBGTQ individuals, children, people with disabilities…

I went to my SO’s daughter’s 8th grade graduation last night. She had been attending a Charter School loosely based on Waldorf principles, which emphasis creativity, individuality, the ability to work together (they don’t adhere so strictly to the Waldorfian principles because, quite frankly, they were written over a hundred years ago and they haven’t changed with the times). These children, approximately twenty of them altogether, have grown up together. They’ve had the same teachers, the same classes. All of them gave short speeches. For those children who entered later on, in say, 5th grade like my SO’s daughter did, they were suspicious of the methods of the school and the curriculum because it was so radically different from those of a regular public school. (This school has a waiting list, we were lucky she got in). But these children gave the wisest, funniest, most heartfelt speeches. Some of them said they’d hated school until they went there. For some of them, it was their last chance school, they’d tried every school in the district and been unsuccessful. They all mentioned the school being like a family to them. These kids have it together, and are much more mature than I was when I was fourteen. They’ll need it, because now they’re going on to public high schools around the district, and she’s going to the biggest high school in Eugene, but is also a very good school. They have values and ethics some adults are lacking. Her mother is lesbian, with a partner who’s known her since she was 5, so she’s grown up used to differences. I’ve known her since she was 8. She has changed so much, and I know that she will be a kid who won’t bully other kids in high school. She’ll help them. It’s in her nature. I am incredibly proud of her and her tenacity for standing up for what she believes in. I hope there are more young adults like her, or who will follow her example, and help fight against bullying and prejudice. I’ve talked to her about it. She’s very receptive–unlike many fourteen-year-olds, you can have conversations with her about pretty heavy things.

So, in a way I suppose it will be a fight, although I think it’s sad that someone who isn’t gay thinks it’s something that needs to be won. To me, it’s not a matter of winning or losing, it’s a matter of long deserved reparation that should never have had to be asked for, and should never have been withheld–basic human rights.