Thursday, April 30, 2009

You Are Not Alone

Nice bigot folks always seem so concerned about the youth - but never seem to care a damn about the GLBT youth who get bullied, sidelined and forced into heterosexual pigeon holes - and show nothing but intolerance, complete disregard and blatant hostility for their wellbeing, inborn traits and sexuality. In fact some anti-GLBT groups have even publicly advocated bullying of GLBT youth to "encourage" them to "turn straight". Instead, today we see proof that this results in tragedy, such as the spate of recent juvenile suicides across the USA.

Through their short-sightedness, intolerence and incitement to hatred these nice people have even caused heterosexual teens to commit suicide out of the misery caused by bullies who mistakenly targeted them for being gay.

It would seem that making GLBT miserable enough to end their lives is part of their strategy to justify their claim that homosexuality "is a suicidal lifestyle". Clearly the value of a GLBT life is not as high as it should be. While there are crisis call centers and suicide help lines, there are few that will address GLBT issues, or counsel a distraught gay or trans teen without trying to refer them to a so-called "ex-gay" facility to "cure them of their affliction". The level of intolerance and religious based prejudice and even ignorance out there is simply too distressing for words.

When some schools challenge this system of hate by showing the youth that there are other people among them with needs both different and yet similar to their own, these people call it "indoctrination" or "recruiting" or "promoting the homosexual lifestyle" and "breeding confusion". They criticize the dissemination of knowledge and education about human sexuality as "causing the youth to question their own sexuality and 'turn gay'". Curiously, this warped line of thought is actually supported by people like Paul Cameron who is also known for suggesting that gay people are less likely to live beyond the age of 40, are more prone to certain diseases, that HIV is a primarily gay disease, and that gay people are predominently pedophiles. These people also try unsuccesfully to discredit the scientific evidence which shows that sexuality and gender identity are inborn traits - and try to assert that it is due to how a child is raised or "exposed" to gay people. Hence, they say knowledge is bad, ignorance is good.

Are they actually suggesting that questioning the world around us is bad for a growing intelligence? Some scientists they must be indeed.

When I was at school I was "forced" to learn books full of stuff and write a lot of essays about stuff I didnt like or agree with - or found confusing. What was most confusing to me was being part of the GLBT group in a school where homophobic and nasty jokes were the norm and bullies nailed me for being feminine for half my high school career.

How I wish when I was at school that people were as open minded and tolerant and decent enough to show me the same courtesy and consideration as the schools who today include alternate sexuality and gender identity in their sex education classes! I could have had a much happier childhood being loved for who I am and for being honest about it instead of living a lie just to be safe!

Those who oppose our human rights and incite hatred against GLBT people do not know the hurdles and challenges we face - and what is more they do not even care how hard it is for us - because they seek to make it even harder and then add insult to injury by sugar coating it with religious piety and political double-talk and dismiss everyone who doesnt fit their "ideal norms" as "perverts" and "threats to civilization" over sherry and giggles.

Trouble is, these folk are so blinded by their own hatred they do not know it's taste as we do. They don't even see it as hate anymore. They have been listening to their own lies so long that they actually believe them.

I was a very shy kid when I was at school - and only much later I realized there was no need to be shy. So if I could go back and do it all over, I would be more open about who I am. I would also ask 'why' a lot more often and also employ the phrase "prove it".

I also hated myself and what I was.

And the reason I hated myself? Well there were a few different ones - I was a teenager after all, but one of them was that I thought I was gay (when I was trans) - and then I hated myself for being trans too ;) I was very religious and my own nature conflicted with what I was taught to believe, and with what I was taught was right and what wasn't.

Then one day, years later and out of school, I eventually realized I wasn't as bad as I thought I was. That I was a good person, no matter what I thought others thought about me, and that even if people hated me for who they thought I was, it didn't mean that God hated me just because they said so.

I realized that the God I believed in had created me as I am, and that he loves me as I am.

Once you realize that, you start to realize that the people who insult you, try to isolate you and turn others against you and show such mind blowing ignorance and the arrogance to still somehow call themselves "Christians" are themselves the villains in this sad little tale called life.

I have seen there are many more followers of Christ (and even other faiths) who show tolerance and love to people like us than there are those who do the opposite. The trouble is the intolerant ones are just more vocal about their hate.

Interaction with others like us strengthens us and builds our support systems so that we can be more comfortable with who we are and also to help others come to terms with who they are. Education lifts the dark veil of ignorance and fear of the unknown.

By not interacting with others like us we are helping negative forces out there to isolate us - to separate us from the herd, making us easier to pick off on our own. And that is just what they want.

Whatever you do, know that you are not alone.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pink Eyes Are Watching You

Just a few days ago, post 2009 Elections, the president of the ANC made speeches encouraging unity in South Africa. Jacob Zuma is of course South Africa's future president who has skilfully evaded being brought to trial for nearly 800 charges of corruption and racketeering, made homophobic slurs in the media, offered talks to religious right wing parties on bothersome issues such as gay marriage and whose signature tune is "bring me my machine gun". (Nice guy - I can see why so many people voted for him.)

Now the question I and many GLBT people are asking is whether or not this "unity" also includes the same folk whose rights he seemed all to keen on selling out for a few extra votes less than a month ago?

After his address given at the Rhema cults venue, radical fundamentalist religious (and unavoidably anti-GLBT) political parties were virtually breaking the doors down trying to invite themselves in to do follow up electioneering of their own. It really was pitiful.

The papers in the run-up to the election were filled with a few strange sights, such as Zuma having preachers laying hands on him in some sort of blessing ritual. In fact, this man has recently made much ado about "morality" issues and the supposedly strong "religious roots" of the ANC. Then again, he also visited that last remaining vestage of institutionalized racism in SA - Orania - and reportedly handed out packets of biltong to potential supporters. And his campaign trail led him to address the ZCC, a local ethnic blend church. (One theory suggests this is where most of the ACDP voter support disappeared to.)

Now, was this just political posturing to win more votes, or is this man dead set on blurring - or even erasing - the line between church and state?

There were other surprises in the election - for example one reason I finished a bottle of bubbly in my private post election celebration was the ACDP's loss of HALF its voter support, despite its boasts of having grown steadily since its founding in 1994, and that it was going to get bigger this election - and that it was going to reward its supporters by taking away gay rights. Ah well, 1 out of 3 suits me just fine. But in all seriousness, these lovely humanitarians made some deadly mistakes in their campaign. For one, they hammered on 'morality' issues, which doesnt really sell very well because they come across (quite rightly) as little martinets and dictators.

Did they stand for morality? Sure - but the issue at hand is did they stand for the RIGHT morals? Let's examine this:

First I would like to point out that morality does not rest on a solely religious foundation. It stems from a basic understanding of right and wrong, and even on as simple a concept as 'treat others as you would like to be treated' - or if you will, 'live and let live' - or even fairplay.

That is exactly why people not considered religious can devote their lives to the pursuit of achieving peace and democracy, while some ostensibly religious (and supposedly 'moral') people follow the drive to commit assorted crimes against humanity and even genocide on the basis of so-called "religious morality" with the weak excuse of "it is God's will". How else would you explain the Crusades and the Inquisition? I certainly do not see the hand of a loving God in that - just the hand of greed, ambition, hatred and intolerance - certainly more of the Other Bloke than God?

Once again, let me point out that I am the last person to try and force my views down people's throats, or to take away the right of people to believe in whatever deity they choose to. As far as I am concerned, the more religious variety we have in SA the better. In fact, if somebody were to found a church based on the Harry Potter books I would probably applaud, were it not for the inevitible probability that somebody would call me a "muggle" and try to shove a wand up my *ss. But seriously, fortunately for us in this country, the Consitution guarrantees rights which allow people to believe what they like, or follow whatever faith they like and to live out their faith however they like - just as long as this does not injure or disadvantage others (which is exactly where the bigots seem to lose the plot). The state has to be free of religious bias in order for a multicultural society to function justly and fairly. Full stop.

This is not the Middle Ages where communities live in isolation, all Christian or all Muslim. We live amongst each other, and we even manage to talk to each other now and then without actually shouting. It seems to me some of these conservative groups long for the "old days" where there was always a clear "us" and "them" and you had to pick the right side or get burned at the stake.

Religious laws need to be kept out of government because they are invariably biased and self-serving of that one religion in that government, to the detriment of all other groups who differ from the one in power. This secular (meaning non religious, or of no religion) law does not discriminate against any religion, but makes all of them - and all citizens - equal before the law.

Some groups, notably religious fundamentalist groups, assert that secularism is 'anti-religion' and also specifically targeting their own faith, namely Christianity. They compare secularism to atheism, communism and all kinds of other "isms" and they oppose the exclusion of their religion's references and principles from state bodies and manifestos such as the Consitution. They claim that keeping them from attaining governing power over the rest of our multicultural society is an attack on their faith. How is that exactly?

I am certain these same groups would be super-quick to object were the phrase "In humble submission to almighty Allah" to be included in the Constitution - or if a Muslim politcal party won an election and started forcing men to grow beards and women to wear hijab. Then I am pretty sure they would long for the "good old days" under the protection of a secular government!

It would seem that these groups do not like the secular system of government because it makes them equal to other religions - and they are not content with being equal.

It is often the same groups - these same very tiny minority groups who infect and poison larger ones with their venom - who claim GLBT people are after "special" or "extra" rights by seeking laws protecting their humanity - rights which would simply bring us up to the same level of equality as everyone else, including them.

Pull the other one, it has bells on.

It is not GLBT people who are after special rights - but them.

These same small (and following the elections, even smaller) parties are now shuffling their feet and angrilly gnashing their teeth in the dark shadow of malcontent. How 'dare' the rest of the Christians in SA not have voted for them? How dare the people not "vote for God" - for surely they represent God in South Africa? In their dreams, maybe.

They have instead rejected the decision of the South African electorate in all but ignoring them, and are ardently making plans for a comeback the next election in 2014 - assuming they will survive the political climate following the elections. Same procedure as last year, James.

They are turning all criticism around into religious references and fanatically applied rhetoric. In all, their state of shock, bitterness and defiant determination to take power in government shows me something rather enlightening about them.

Fanaticism and desperation.

Now they are sitting there wondering where they went wrong - maybe it was the ANC's fault? No? Maybe it was the DA's fault for "spreading lies" about the ACDP? I know - let's blame it on the "homosexual agenda"! No? Anybody's fault but their own, as it suits them to believe.

But point out to them their flaws and faults and how clearly out of touch with reality they are, and you will receive a full barrage right down the line, all guns on all decks. Clearly somebody's masts don't go all the way to the topsail.

Instead of getting all puffed up and ready for a rematch, should they not rather consider the following: if God was in any way upset by the defeat of the ACDP or CDA - don't you think it odd that there was no "divine intervention" to secure their victory in the first place?

If I were religious I would call their failure a 'divine intervention'.

How about this one: either there is no God, or the God they claim to follow does not agree with them. (Hey, if they were following me, it would be a good reason to start running - very fast). As an agnostic I am open to both possibilities, but a little more partial to the latter.

No really, people - think about it:

Perhaps the reason your party failed is due to the hate and intolerance people saw in your policies? No matter how you wrap up bigotry, intolerance and gratuitous ignorance in religious rhetoric, it still remains that.

Even if you sew on buttons of fortitude and tassels of righteousness or even a few funky frills of beatitude, the lining is still rotten and reeks to high heaven of things people do not want on their consciences - and most especially not in government.

The truth is your policies focused on so called "moral" issues - and on taking away the rights of a significant portion of the voting electorate - as well as their friends, family and colleagues.

Your manifestos and policies made much ado about what you would do, but clearly not about HOW you were going to achieve such miracles, such as lowering the crime rate - without locking everybody away or simply reinstituting the death penalty to just kill whoever broke your laws and to rule by terror.

People do not want to be stripped of their freedoms in order to achieve pie-in-the-sky ideals. They just want to live their lives without Big Brother looming in the background waiting to pounce on them for the sake of their own stupid personal grudges.

And once again, there was the small fact - which I see as the deciding factor in the whole deal - that people are no longer interested in self-serving theocracies. Their time is over...religion belongs one side - and the state separate.

There were many who call themselves "true Christians" who voted for other parties instead of these little hate mongers - which means they need to get with the program as political parties and give the electorate what they want - which means no more hate or persecution of innocent people.

On several occasions we have made viable constructive suggestions to these parties - to offer viable religious alternatives to persecution and exclusion - cavalierly dismissed and ignored by CDA co-leader Colin Fibiger and others from the surprisingly more fanatical and hateful ACDC - I mean, P - leading me to believe that they will still not listen to reason or to good advice or sense.

I think it speaks volumes about the character of these parties that they choose to conveniently ignore whatever facts don't happen to suit them - and about their claims to be of God and for God.


Instead you people should be looking within to see where it stopped being about God and where it started being about YOU.

Prove me wrong.

You are self-serving - or you would serve your God by showing others his light instead of trying to force them to it. You are called to love, but your words and actions show anything but that. I remember something in the bible about "you shall know them by their fruit..."?

Be assured were the God who spoke the universe into existence to actually hate anyone, namely gay or trans people, he would sort them out on his own - God does not need grains of dust to fight holy wars for him.

Walk a path that will make you worthy of being called Christians, and those who consider themselves Christians may support you.

No loving God would sanction the rule of tyrants in his name. These election results are your answer.

Funny you cannot see that?

We pink folk will still be here come 2014. We're not going anywhere. We are through being apathetic and silent. Rest assured, GLBT eyes will be watching.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gun Crime And The Scourge Of Pink Dinosaurs

Last night I read a news article on Pinknews about some bright spark who has claimed in a press release that there is a direct link between the gay rights movement and gun crime.

Gay rights are responsible for gun crime?


Apparently this man, a certain Robert Peters - called a "morality campaigner" - is the president of Morality in Media, an organization founded in the early 1960's to "combat pornography". Apparently in its latest crusades it has tried to ban "Cosmopolitan" magazine from store shelves and started (yet another) frivilous 'wear-a-ribbon-for...' campaign against pornography. I'm sorry, but that is just sooo nineties. If this keeps up, bored conservative housewives will have different ribbons for every day of the week.

My, my - what a worthwhile calling, truly noble. Save the endangered "Moral-osaurus", people - it is dying out! Where can I buy a ticket? I want to watch. Get real, folks.

Apparently Peters claims that the recent decision of the Iowa Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage in the state is part of the "damage" inflicted on society which is leading to paedophilia and STDs, among others. Funny, I thought pedophilia was a separate issue from homosexuality, considering the recent scientific study which found it was primarily a heterosexual affliction. And are STD's not freely available to anybody, regardless of whether or not you are GLBT or heterosexual - or even have sex at all? HIV/AIDS doesn't care if youre gay straight, black, white, pink or purple with blue dots - or which party you vote for.

How interesting. Aside from all the Paul-Cameron-inspired tripe doing the rounds in right wing circles the past 30 odd years about GLBT people following "a suicidal lifestyle", "curable" homosexuality, gay "recruiting" and GLBT being a "threat to the family" and "civilization" - now they blame gun crime on gay people as well.

Well, I suppose some size-queens I know would say that depends on the definition of the word 'gun'.

Interestingly enough just last month anti-gay group Exodus took centerstage at an anti-gay rally in Uganda intended to incite yet more violent anti-gay hate, and a member of its board blamed the 1994 Rwandan genocide on gay people as well. How these people arrived at these puzzling conclusions is anybody's guess. Perhaps they attended the same bigotry and misinformation classes in college? Apparently we GLBT folk really do get around. Well, well.

Seems these people might just have reason to fear us after all? I mean, if gay people are packing enough to be responsible for gun crime as this rocket scientist claims, then people might have reason to wonder. Say all the queens go around carrying .38 Specials in their little man-bags and the butches swagger through town with shooting irons at their sides - or if I went shopping carrying a mini-gun (in pink to go with my outfit)? If it were a GLBT characteristic or even a gay stereotype if you will, to walk around intimidating people with fire-arms, we must really be dangerous folk! We all know this is far from the truth - about as far from it as these fantastic postulations are from sanity and truth.

If this was the case then surely leading gay-hating figures would be long extinct and the "culture war' as they call it (and blame on us for existing in the first place) would be long over?

But seriously, this genius must take the public for complete idiots if he thinks they will believe his ridiculous theory - trouble is, it is the idiots who are likely to! Wait till the rest of the religious right bodies hear of it and take it up - then, as they say in good old Afrikaans - 'the dolls will start dancing'. Trouble is, they will probably get it all wrong, just like all the other "scientific facts" they have distorted from the work of credible researchers or quoted directly from Paul Cameron to spread lies and hate aginst GLBT. But then, in America anything is possible.

After all, they have the Westboro Baptist Church over there, who chant at the funerals of GLBT people that "Matthew Shephard is in Hell" and call the British queen a 'whore' (and then complain that they have been prevented from entering the UK to protest gay rights). And don't forget that Rick Warren, the man largely responsible for mentoring the anti-gay hate movement in Uganda, was invited to speak at Obama's inauguration.

In the distant past all manner of things have been blamed on GLBT people - from droughts and other natural disasters to the collapse of civilizations. They haven't quite pinned the disappearance of Atlantis on us yet, but I'm sure it is only a matter of time. As others, I am reasonably sure it was a giant meteor that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, and not the GLBT rights movement.

Among the classic comments on this news article was the following which to my mind simply forms the ideal response to all this "moral" claptrap proliferating the relentless attack on GLBT rights and freedoms and dignity. It may also shed some light on that little question 'where will it all end?':

- Comment by Har Davids — April 21, 2009 @ 12:31 "I live in Holland, by quite a lot of Americans considered a very immoral country (drugs, same-sex marriage, euthanasia) and we haven't had that many mass murders lately. The last ones occurred during WW II, when we were occupied by people with strong convictions about wrong, right and how to deal with them."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Everybody Is An Agnostic - Even If They Don't Know It Yet

I have always wondered why people's IQ's drop the minute somebody takes out a book and claims: "God says..." and "God hates..."

I mean, HOW does ANYBODY know? How can anybody CLAIM to know? How can THEY claim to know? And yet they stake their own and other people's lives on this magical certainty... They judge and condemn other people (who generally are just minding their own business) out of some warm fuzzy feeling and go forth to beat them over the head with it like a weapon.

What it comes down to is this: Organized religion was and always will be about POWER and CONTROL.

In my time as a human rights activist have found it near impossible to engage persecutors without involving religion for the following reasons:

1) Most of the hate/persecution directed at GLBT comes from a religious perspective (ie, it is already a religious argument to begin with.)

2) Persecutors invariably resort to religious rhetoric to justify their hateful actions (and one cannot stand up to their attacks without having to counter their biblicly inspired hatred or intolerance or both.)

This proves my point - these people just use God as a justification for their persecution - and people too ignorant to know better simply agree and follow them.

The Bible is very vague in many areas - especially in matters of sexuality and gender. Let us take the subject of eunuchs as an example - modern interpretation of the word 'eunuch' is as the ancient equivalent of gay and transgender people. We know ancient Hebrew and Greek did not have an equivalent word for gay or homosexuality or transgender. In some areas the bible contradicts itself royally on eunuchs - condemning eunuchs to death for example in a few verses - while praising and affirming them in others. This incongruency leads to misinterpretation and also free interpretation, leading to persecution on shaky foundations. Selective reading is also one root of persection - as these people clearly do not have the whole picture. While we are on that subject, WHO DOES? Not even a priest or a minister can have all the answers or completely comprehend it all. I mean, you might as well ask them for the meaning of life, the universe and everything - and expect them to actually answer it with anything other than the symbolic equivalent of "42"!

The simple truth is, that THEY don't really know much about God either - they are just afraid to admit it.

Because of this simple realization, I can partly agree with the traditional Catholic concept that ordinary folk cannot and should not try to understand and interpret the Bible - because they inevitibly get it all wrong - just as they do. Even the pope screws up (very noticibly) on a regular basis and embarasses his entire legion of blindly loyal followers. However, the original 'Church fathers' (note PATRIARCHY) intended this for the purposes of control, with medieval folk not having been literate and also not being able to speak or read Latin - and thus incapable of arguing with the Church or resisting their control or their claim to it. This began about 200 years after the death of Christ, with the compilation of the hundred or more seperate books of the Bible we know today into one book. Many books were left out altogether, for a start - and thereafter this ONE BOOK was forced down on all known churches, giving rise to what was thereafter the Roman Catholic Church. The printing press was only invented in late medieval times, so most Bibles were copied by hand and thus quite rare.

Even when people first started trying to translate the bible into English they were persecuted by the Catholic Church - because while working with the original Hebrew and Greek texts, they discovered the inaccuracies, mistranslations and blatant changes in the Latin Vulgate. No wonder they were murdered to silence them. Since the Reformation we think things changed for the better - but this is not so. Even today there is a vocal movement to oppose the correction of the abundance of errors in translation and censorship prevalent in the modern Bible by "Protestant" church groups - particularly in the USA, where the majority of today's Bibles are produced. In some strange sense these groups view and champion the modern corrupted versions as the "true inerrant word of God" - and stifle attempts to market and distribute versions which reflect the correctness of the original texts. How weird is that? Perhaps this is because the newer versions condemn gay people and turn women into virtual slaves not even entitled to own property or act as independent entities - wheras the original versions DO NOT. Let me use this example to emphasize once again that organized religion is, was and always will be about CONTROL.

However, I feel that if you are religious, you should always learn as much as you can about what you are getting yourself into - and make sure you are not being conned into something - or out of something as the case may be.

This is one reason why religion must be kept out of the State - and especially out of the SA Constitution, because the moment we mix religion and politics, it affects everything from the legal system to civil rights - who makes laws and who is a criminal, who should have civil rights - and who should not.

Only a secular state with secular laws can give all people - and all their beliefs - equal protection and dignity. To my mind any relgion opposing this does not like the idea of being merely equal, but seeks to institute a theocracy.

Curiously enough, there are several parties in SA running for this next election who oppose secularism and by their own words and policies clearly intend on building their own religions into the Constitution and the State - and funny enough to also change a few key laws here and there in order to strip certain portions of the population of their civil rights and settle a few grudges in the process.

Nobody is stopping Christians, Jews or Muslims etc to believe what they like, to run their affairs as they see fit - but when one group decides to act against another it becomes a problem. How would these Christian fundamentalist folk like it if a Hindu or Muslim Party came to power and changed the law and constitution to suit themselves? I am sure they would object pretty darn quick if they put "In humble submission to almighty Allah" in the Consititution and instituted Muslim prayers at schools for their children and forced all men to grow beards and women to wear hijab? In fact I'm pretty sure they would long for the good old protections and guarantees of equality under a secular state!

I find it rather odd that some folk who attack people's sexuality often misquote and use scriptures out of their original context in order to do so - and then criticize other people for doing the exact opposite. (i.e. using them by placing them IN context to dispell misconceptions about certain matters.)

I find it curious that people can place a document written by unknown people thousands of years before their birth, changed and edited by many others to suit their own purposes, mistranslated and even censored in the distant past, which talks about a God they have never heard nor seen - above common sense, logic and compassion - and then also follow it blindly and literally word for word and use it as a tool to hate and persecute other people.

It is simply staggering.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Whatever Floats Your Ark

I read that the most banned book in the USA today is a children's book. Now what, I hear people wondering, could have parents in such a state? Is it nudity? Violence? No, nothing so mundane and ordinary I'm afraid. They have banned a beautifully illustrated children's book about two gay penguins who adopt an orphaned chick. Quite a sweet touching story, except that it teaches tolerance for diversity and that same gender couples are also families.

"Oh dear," said the bigots - "We can't have that - it could threaten the traditional family!"

The result? Most mainstream bookstores in the USA are now too nervous to display the books on their shelves in case James Dobson or one of his colleagues decides to hit them with a boycott and blame their fine stores for the moral decline of the American youth and destruction of 'the family' and civiliazation. Apparently many of these same stores still hold stock of this book - but they keep it out of sight and provide it only on request. They are playing it safe. I suppose in a country nearly as conservative as Nazi Germany back in the 1920's and 30's this is quite prudent. After all, the next steps to follow banning books is burning them - and after that, burning people.

Ironically here in South Africa we have a couple of real-life gay penguins of our own. At a zoo. There are females present, but these two love birds have been inseperable for more than six months now - and we all know penguins mate for life. They just made the news headlines over the weekend, along with a few gay ducks in China.

Whoa. Gay penguins? Gay ducks? Hmmm. Now if it occurs in nature, then how can it be "unnatural"? Now often, Bible thumping gay-haters will object and say that people are not "animals" (I'm sure my biology teacher would choke on his coffee at this point) and insist that human beings have "choice". Oh, so being gay is natural - but people should "choose" not to be gay? Why?

Aside from inadvertently and unintentionally admitting that sexual orientation and gender identity are inborn and 100% natural, these fine folks are arguing that people should for some unfathomable reason fight against it because some bearded bloke sitting in a desert half a world away and didn't even know the world is a sphere said so for cultural and political reasons applicable to his time three thousand years ago? Right - I can see why I should believe that.

I think together the documented cases of gay penguins, ducks, geese, monkeys, lions and the whole gay menagerie make an excellent statement about inborn sexuality and the nature vs nurture argument - and I think this is one of the two reasons the bigots oppose the education of children in matters of fact, truth, open-mindedness and tolerance:

1) Because ones sexuality (and gender identity) is NATURAL and INBORN
2) It proves them and their rhetoric WRONG.

Not only are they ignorant but they are gratuitiously ignorant - meaning they are grateful for being ignorant, intend to remain so - and to submerge their children in the same darkness.

Present them with facts and evidence and they turn their noses up at it saying 'just because it is natural doesn't make it right'. These same people claim to be educated, regardless of their field of employment, and yet they demonstrate the greatest level of ignorance while simultaneously claiming to know everything.

"I am educated" they sneer - "You are born either a man or a woman".

Shows what you know, doesn't it? Science has simply proved what we as GLBT have always known. Are they seriously claiming to already know everything? Perhaps they should ask for a refund?

"Homosexuality is a sin" - so they say. "It says so in the Bible", they insist. Perhaps it does - until you take into account the amount of consorship, editing and manipulation that dodgy document underwent over the past three millenia.

Science on the other hand presents fact, not speculation - that is the domain of religion.

But in any case, if it is a sin to be gay, so is eating pork, shellfish and wearing cloth woven from two materials. Will you go to hell for eating a nice juicy pork chop?


Why not?

But we will supposedly go to hell for being born GLBT or I, even if we are Christians or Christ followers?

I find such statements of utter ignorance and sheer intolerance and hate simply staggering.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Poor Taste In "Men"

Last year a transwoman in the US, 23 year old named Angie Zapata who had not yet completed her transition, was brutally and mercilessly beaten to death by a man she met and entertained at home. According to the police interviewed in a media article at the time, he suspected something was amiss because she hadn't allowed him to touch her genital area and because of some of the pictures in her apartment. When she admitted to him she was transgender and pre-op, this man picked up a fire extinguisher and bludgeoned her over her head with it. She awoke some time later while he was going through her things and he finished her off with the same weapon. Afterwards he left the scene in her vehicle. When arrested by the police he had the arrogance to say to the police that "I killed IT".

Let us put it into perspective. Angie Zapata - much loved by her friends and family as a warm and caring human being - a woman - is dead, brutally slain. Another individual - I shall not call him a "man" because a "man" does not behave like that - is on trial for his crime. And if there is justice in the USA - and I believe there still is - he will pay for his hate crime.

Some sycophant had the gall to post on the CNN blog site while following the trial of this murderous bastard that he agreed completely with the assailant and that the murderer was in fact the "true victim" and that he should recieve a reduced sentence and the family of the "he/she" and "other man" should pay for his counselling for the rest of his life!

I don't know about you folks out there - but to me as a transgender person I can see several things in such a post.

One - total ignorance about the victim. Angie Zapata was a transgender woman, or if you prefer, a transwoman. A transgender person prefers and should be treated with the same measure of respect and dignity as anyone else. A transgender person is not an "IT", nor is a transgender person a "he/she" - refer to us as the gender we present, thank you very much. In short, if we are still (or used to be) genitally male and present as female then refer to us as she, her, and by our gender appropriate name - not as 'he', 'him' and most certainly not "it" - and a high heel stilleto up the ass is an unpleasant experience for most "men".

How can anyone be so cold and cruel as to refer to a fellow human being as "it"? Is his "masculinity" so fragile that he had to kill her? No matter which way you cut it, his reaction was indefensible. I hope the judge and jury bear that in mind. He hit her repeatedly, then looted her apartment. Did he call an ambulance? No? But he did assault her again when he saw she was still alive. No temporary insanity there. Whoops.

Two - a deep seated hatred of the victim and transgender people. "I killed 'it'" he said. And he didnt attack her once, but twice. After the first attack it was not yet homicide - but after the first attack when he heard her moan and sit up he deliberately finished her off.

And then for a person to write things like that in a blog post... What about the complete lack of sympathy for the victim and the family of the victim? And to side with the perpertrator of the crime? I think that speaks for itself. Something is certainly deeply wrong with people like that.

The person who murdered Angie Zapata deserves to have his ass deep-fried - and the ignoramus who made the post on CNN should be hung from his nipples till he drops off.

The only thing Angie Zapata is guilty of in this case, is poor taste in males.

Trans people be warned - if you go on a blind date (or meet somebody in a club)
  • make sure you go places where there are plenty of witnesses.
  • make sure your parents or a friend has your number, knows where you are going and calls you during the date to make sure you are ok
  • meet the date at the venue and make your own travel arrangements.
  • If you need to disclose your trans status to your date make sure you do it there and give them time to absorb this;
  • before meeting them for another date - again in a safe location.
It is sad to say, but there are plenty of retards like that creature who murdered Angie in the world - and worse still, many who would applaud them for it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

GLBT Voter Apathy

Three people I know recently told me they aren't bothering to vote and don't bother with politics - and I have seen numerous others online say the same. Hearing things like that make my blood boil, not because I want people to support a party of my choice - but because they are so uninterested in their own affairs - in OUR affairs as gay and trans people in South Africa.

These same people are ones who often complain about homophobia in their workplaces, the hate in the media expressed against gay and trans people - and they often wonder aloud why "somebody" doesn't do anything about it.

They cannot see that even a non-vote is a vote for our enemies who campaign against us. They simply couldn't be bothered.

Granted, the majority of us seem to be realizing the need to add action to words and do something, but there are still some who choose to just sit on the sidelines. WHen political parties boast and brag how they are going to take away our equality and our rights after the 2009 election, they are not referring just to those gay and trans people who voted against them - they mean ALL of us. And yet they sit there in a dark corner with their heads buried in the sand hoping nobody will see them.

And then people at the front lines of GLBT advocacy who fight for our rights and equality, pause to sit and think WHY it is we actually take the trouble to put our jobs and even our lives at risk for the good of all of us.

I surely love irony - about as much as tetanus.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Is A Bigot?

What is a bigot, I have been asked. Well, what is a bigot? According to that treasure house of knowledge Wikipedia, "A bigot is a person who is intolerant of or takes offence to the opinions, lifestyles or identities differing from his or her own, and bigotry is the corresponding attitude or mindset. Bigot is often used as a pejorative term to describe a person who is obstinately devoted to prejudices, especially when these views are either challenged, or proven to be false or not universally applicable or acceptable.

The origin of the word bigot and bigoterie in English dates back to at least 1598, via Middle French, and started with the sense of "religious hypocrite" Forms of bigotry may have a related ideology or world views."

Gee, it looks like there have been bigots for quite a long time - and especially religious bigots.

Quite often bigots will argue that their hate speech is in fact "freedom of speech". Let us look at freedom of speech also then, from WIkipedia: "Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship or limitation. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to denote not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are closely related to, yet distinct from, the concept of freedom of thought. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on "hate speech"."

Right, so freedom of speech is considered to be de facto - up until the point where it reaches the boundary between freedom of speech and hate speech. What is hate speech? "Hate speech is a term for speech intended to degrade[citation needed] a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, ideology, social class, occupation, appearance (height, weight, hair color, etc.), mental capacity, and any other distinction that might be considered by some as a liability. The term covers written as well as oral communication and some forms of behaviors in a public setting[citation needed]. It is also sometimes called antilocution[citation needed] and is the first point on Allport's scale which measures prejudice in a society." Thanks again, Wikipedia.

Just to sum up, freedom of speech is the expression of ones thoughts or feelings - without in the process committing hate speech - which is harming or inciting harm to others - which is something BIGOTS do.

Clear enough? So bigots in general commit hate speech in the process of being bigots. In fact, that is one of the defining charateristics of bigots, I would say.

While we are at it, here is another relevant definition, also from WIkipedia - "Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group." (they haven't included "sexual orientation" or "gender identity" yet, but the same principle apples.

Genocide? That's right.

Have a look here:

Many striking similarities between the items on the list on that page and the way bigots make war on GLBT stand out among the very few points that have not yet occurred in SA - but which are already rampant and unchecked in places such as Uganda and Jamaica.

  • They divide communities into "us" and "them",
  • "One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases",
  • "Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda...",
  • "Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity...",
  • "It is "extermination" to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human",
  • "The perpetrators deny that they committed any crimes".
Equate the above with the disinformation, lies, propaganda, hate speech, hate crime (including violence), campaings to strip GLBT of equality and human rights and the anti-social activities of GLBT-hating groups and individuals as well as related events around the world (compare them with those of other countries) - and see the future. Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

And that, my friends - is a bigot.

Divide And Conquor

All arguments aside about whether being gay is a sin or not - what about those Christians who take it upon themselves to persecute gay people?

We could debate another year, and for another year people who call themselves Christians and who yet hate gay and trans people could reject all evidence to show gay and trans people are as natural as heterosexual people, as well as rejecting all reasonable religious alternatives to the choice some make to hate or to love us in the name of the same God we also love and who also loves us. But let us put that aside for a moment, and narrow it down to response.

How do you as Christians respond to other people?

By this I mean that you don't see crowds of people in the streets for example at religious rallies baying for the blood of gamblers, drunks and men caught cheating on their wives - crying "they are an abomination before God!" and holding signs that say "Gamblers Burn In Hell". You don't read about people calling themselves "Christian soldiers" while "drunk-bashing" or murdering obese people, do you?

You don't have campaigns by religious groups aimed at inciting hatred against alcoholics - and therefore campaigns by alcoholics to have hate crimes protection included in the Constitution - and then also religious campaigns to block aforementioned laws because they "infringe on freedom of religious expression"? While alcoholism is seen as a sin, it is also recognized as an illness, but that is another matter for another debate.

As some say "homosexuality is not a special sin" - sure, gay and trans people are not perfect, we have sin as all others do. For ALL have fallen short of the glory of God. But for some reason gay-hating groups single us out and make us "special". Why are these groups not targeting liars, gamblers, thieves, fraudsters, adulterers, pedophiles, and other 'sinners' as enthusiastically and in as organized, hateful and plainly vindictive a manner as gay people?

Drunken layabout fathers (or mothers) are not singled out as threats to the all-important (and largely fantastical) "family unit". People who preach hate against others and divide families by causing polarization around the "gay issue" are for some reason not called "threats to civilization". Why is that?

These groups target specifically gay people. They use us as a specific rallying cry to bring their groups together. We are being singled out as scapegoats and being blamed by religious personalities for all manner of ills, including even the bizarre claims by American ex-gay groups at the recent Uganda Homosexuality Conference such as "gay people caused the 1994 Rwanda genocide".

I think these comparisons provide stark revelations, don't you?

To me it means that while these groups may frown on their faults, those others are not hated - or at least not hated as much as we are.

Do you not see this as a disproportionate and unreasonable response? The hypocrisy? Does this not reveal something seriously wrong with the leadership and dogma of the religious bodies persecuting us?

It seems that trying to get a bigots head around this knotty problem is almost as complicated as doing algebra using Roman numerals - which in itself is nigh impossible.