Stonewall Riots: 43rd Anniversary

43 years ago today on June 28, 1969, The Stonewall Riots occurred in New York City. Many people in the nation, including the younger gay generation, are ignorant to the significance of this day in our nation’s history. While June has become National Pride Month, celebrated by parades and parties nationwide, Stonewall is often overlooked.

We simply cannot let that happen. Why is that?

Because without the riots at the Stonewall Inn, caused by gays and lesbians who had grown tired of being persecuted, we would not have the Gay Rights Movement we have today. Without those pioneers for equal treatment under the law, gay pride wouldn’t exist. Neither would same sex marriage or a president that has come out in support of gay marriage.

The progress we made started on the streets of New York City at Stonewall Inn, when the persecuted minority rose up and found its voice, and it is that voice that has carried us as far as we have come and will continue to carry us to full equality. Those voices gave birth to the parades, parties, and clubs we now take for granted because prior to Stonewall, those gatherings were illegal.

That’s what I tell my friends who ask me: I support gay rights, but I don’t understand the “need to parade.” Why do gay people feel compelled to line up in streets in provocative costumes and make spectacles of themselves?

The answer is quite simple–because we now can. Many people have no clue what it’s like to live your life in the dark, but homosexuals do. Now that we are no longer forced inside the dark closet of shame, we “parade” to tell the world that we are here, we are not going anywhere, and there’s nothing anyone can do about that. Ever. Again.

So, to those brave men and women who fought back at Stonewall, I applaud you, but more importantly I respect how you helped shape the nation from what it was to what it now is. We still have a way to go, but with the strength and the voice you gave us, we will get there.

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The New Homeless: Gay Kids Put Out Like Trash

As a parent, I find it difficult to believe that any parent could toss their child out of their home for any reason. But, unfortunately, that is what is happening to many gay youths who come out to their parents.

ThinkProgress reports that “There are approximately 1.6 million to 2.8 million homeless young people in the United States and a disproportionate number — 20 to 40 percent — are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender [and that] LGBT youth often run away from home because of family conflict.”

CBS4, a Miami news affiliate, did a story about the problem in their city.

Here’s the video.

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Based on the video, many parents who discard their children like “trash” also tell them that they “wish they were dead.” These are most likely the same groups of people who claim homosexuals are threatening traditional family values. I know of no gay parent who has ever discarded their child for being different. In fact, most gay parents, who adopt, take in children who have been cast off by their heterosexual parents.

Children, no matter what, deserve their parents’ unconditional love and support. To offer anything less is unacceptable, irresponsible, and pathetic.

 

The “Evil” Planned Parenthood Hooking Kids on Sex

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The American Life League, a pro-life group, created a video about the evils of Planned Parenthood. In the video, they compare Planned Parenthood to drug dealers getting children hooked, not on crack, but on sex! In what was supposed to be a serious video, the group instead created an unintentional parody.

While it’s true Planned Parenthood does teach about sex education and offers abortion as “one” of their services, they are not the evil entity the ALL makes them out to be. What they do is take a subject (sex) that for teens is often mysterious and, well, titillating and demystify it. Far too many teens have misinformation about sex learned from other uninformed teens because there are some parents who are uncomfortable broaching the subject. So instead of educating their children, those children are left to educate themselves and each other.

When I was young, I remember hearing stories about getting a girl pregnant by kissing her, or a girl friend (not a girlfriend) telling me that a girl gets pregnant when a boy pees on her. I was, like, gross!

Then there was the shame associated with masturbation and the myths of hairy palms and going blind. I remember constantly checking my hands for stubble and sighing with relief every time my ophthalmologist said I had 20/20 vision.

Planned Parenthood provides teens coming into sexual maturity with the facts about their bodies, sex, and contraceptives so that teens can make informed decisions regarding their own actions.

And while the ALL makes Planned Parenthood out to be evil, the information they lambast Planned Parenthood for providing is available on the Internet. Tech savvy teens have access to all this information–from porn sites to other sites with misinformation. What Planned Parenthood does, though, is organize the information for teens who are going to get it somehow. So why shouldn’t it be from an organization that simply wants to inform, not indoctrinate?

(story via Joemygod)

 

 

“Truth Is”: Anti-Bullying Music Video

I came across this video while surfing my usual blogsites of interest, and it was too good not to share.

Sixteen year old, Marcella Fruehan wrote this song because, as reported on Towleroad, she wanted “to express [her] feelings in support of anti-bullying. As a 16 year old I see a lot going on around me; especially with bullying and the effects that it has on those who are bullied and what lengths teens will go to to ‘get away from it all. I want you to know suicide is never the answer. Truth is…you are loved, you are not alone…you are never alone.”

It’s a good song and video. Take a look for yourself.

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FCKH8: Valentine’s Day for Homophobes

FCKH8 has released a new video in time for Valentine’s Day titled “Valentine’s Day for Homophobes,” which I’ve posted below. You may remember I posted about a previous video about the “Top 5 Reasons People Choose to be Gay.”

Well, the folks at FCKH8 are at it again. If you like, share, and/or tweet this video, they will donate up to $5,000 to fight gay discrimination and anti-bullying measures. So, watch the video and if you like it, share it and help donate to the cause.

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Assault Charges Dropped Against Sequoyah HS Principal

Charged against Sequoyah HS principal Maurice Moser in Tennessee have been dropped, as reported in Queerty.

You may remember my previous post about Moser, who assaulted a student for wearing a shirt in support of starting a GSA on his high school campus. Click here to read the post.

The presiding judge dismissed the case, and as of now, justification for why the case was dismissed has not been released. According to local affiliate WBIR, “An assault charge had also been filed against the student, but it was dropped when Moser agreed not to prosecute.”

I don’t know about you, but I smell a rat (or at least some behind closed doors deals). There were witnesses, relatives of the student and another teacher, who observed Moser’s behavior, yet the charges have been dropped and a threatened counter-suit by the principal against the student has also gone away.

Even though the students at Sequoyah HS have won the right to wear GSA shirts (which I posted about here), this doesn’t feel like a victory to me. I hope the ACLU is still watching this case.

 

In Michigan: “License to Bully” Bill Changed

Two weeks ago, I posted about the Michigan State Senate passing SB 137, which sanctioned bullying in schools on the basis of “sincerely held religious or moral conviction.” Click here to read that post.

“But thanks to media coverage and a great campaign by State Senator Gretchen Whitmer, a Republican lawmaker has agreed to remove the religious exemptions language from the final bill,” as reported on Queerty.

I’m pleased to hear this news and also happy that Rick Jones, the State Republican Senator who added the “religious or moral conviction” addendum agreed to “drop his amendment and vote for the House version after critics said the language could allow gay, Muslim or other minority students to face harassment,” as quoted from The Washington Post.

Jones also said that “had he foreseen the controversy, . . . he would have removed the problematic language.”

I’m grateful when a politician realizes his/her mistake and does what is right to rectify it. Although the State Republicans “only wanted to protect free speech,” they understood the damaging ramifications of the amendment.

This just goes to show us that when our elected officials get something wrong, it’s up to us to make our voices heard. When we do, we are able to affect change. That’s something we should always remember.

Michigan Senate Passes “License to Bully” Bill

In what can only be described as a cowardly political move, the Republican controlled Michigan Senate passed SB 137, which basically sanctions bullying.

ThinkProgress reports that the bill “not only neglects to protect students based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but creates a special exception for bullies who have a ‘sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.’”

Basically, a student in Michigan schools can be bullied if another student, teacher, or administrator has strong moral reasons for tormenting a child. You have got to be kidding me?!?!

Are there adults elected to office in Michigan? Do they really believe that anyone’s religious beliefs give them sanction to physically or emotionally assault another individual? How is this any different than the Taliban or a jihad? Yet those individuals are terrorists and a jihad is a terrorist attack!

But according to Republican senators in Michigan (which passed SB 137 in a 26-11 vote), assaulting a child in school based on “religious or moral conviction” is A-OK! I guess as long as those beliefs are Christian based then it’s alright.

Do these people understand that a group of students in Michigan can form a Holy Crusade and beat the crap out of some gay kid, which according to SB 137, would be perfectly within their right? Those students would never be held accountable for their actions because they were simply following their “moral” convictions.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer refused to take the bill’s passage lying down. In a passionate speech, she made the following statement:

So this might solve a political problem that Republicans have. but be clear: You are papering over the problem that is a reality faced by hundreds of kids in Michigan schools every day. In fact, not only does this not protect kids who are bullied, it further endangers them by legitimizing excuses for tormenting a student. And the saddest and sickest irony of this whole thing is that it’s called ‘Matt’s Safe School Law’. And after the way that you’ve gutted it, it wouldn’t have done a damn thing to save Matt!

This is worse than doing nothing! It’s a Republican license to bully.”

Here’s her full speech if you would like to hear her lambast the Republicans.

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Lady Gaga to Create Anti-Bullying Foundation

Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way” became an anthem for self-acceptance and loving one’s self despite adversity or prejudice. Her lyrics remind us all that we were all created by God, and that He made us exactly the people we were to be, no matter our race or sexual orientation.

Now, Lady Gaga is ready to take her anthem “Born This Way” to the next level, as reported by The Advocate. She will “launch her Born This Way Foundation” where she “will use the title of her hit pro-LGBT anthem and best-selling album as the name of the non-profit that will focus on youth empowerment and ‘issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development.’”

When asked about her hopes for the foundation, Lady Gaga said, “Together we [including her mother, Cynthia Germanotta] hope to establish a standard of Bravery and Kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment.”

These are the types of stories I love to see. When entertainers, politicians, or anyone else in the limelight uses their influence to truly make a difference, everyone benefits. Lady Gaga isn’t attacking religious fundamentalists or Republicans. She isn’t launching a smear campaign against those she disagrees with.

Instead, she is using her fame and her resources to make a difference, to give hope to those who feel abandoned.

My hats off to Lady Gaga and those like her. Such actions by people such as this are worth more than the venom that spews from any hate monger’s mouth. After all, hate and ignorance can’t stand against love and compassion for all.

Here’s the music video for “Born This Way” if you haven’t seen it or would like to see it again.

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