Symbolic Gestures

Candle vigils

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Facebook memes/ images (found this image on a friend’s wall)

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Lighting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

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So much commemoration. Some people say that symbolic gestures are useless. That they are not enough. Of course they aren’t enough on their own. But, I for one, have been touched by the gestures to (hopefully), bring a feeling of support to the LGBTQ+ community. In Orlando, I do believe we witnessed the absolute worst of homophobia and prejudice last weekend.

People are willing to show their support and be open about being against prejudice against the LGBTQ+ community. It is telling extremists that homophobia, bi – phobia, prejudice against asexual people, etc will not be tolerated; in our schools, in our workplace, in public venues, on – line, etc. And I take comfort in that. I really do.

In showing a zero tolerance to LGBTQ+ hate, I think we can let others who migrate to countries like the U.S or Australia, or who’s parents have migrated, that hate toward the LGBTQ+ community will not be tolerated. Period.

 

I saw a video that was posted on a blog before about the prejudice faced by asexuals in the LGBT community.

(Post continues after video)

Would have Elyssa Tappero posted this if it wasn’t for what happened in Orlando? Maybe. I don’t doubt it. But, regardless, the tragedy has sparked discussion that needs to continue. Homophobia, transphobia, bi – phobia, pan – phobia, a – phobia, etc needs to continue being stamped out.

 

Blogger John Pavlovitz wrote this post encouraging people to continue supporting LGBTQ+ people – to not stop after the news story dies down. And I share his plea.

Continue to support the LGBTQ+ people in your life. Be an soft place for young people to come to if they are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. Support your asexual friend/ family when they come out to you. Continue being vocal against all forms of prejudice and try and make it a daily practice. That, at least, will be one step forward.

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Orlando Gay Bar Massacre: Denying LGBTQ+ Their Humanity

The aftermath of the Orlando massacre where at least 50 people were gunned down in a gay bar will inevitably bring up two debates – America’s attitude to guns and Islam.

While I’m not denying either, let’s broaden the scope. This was allegedly sparked by the gunman, (who I won’t name. He doesn’t deserve it), seeing two gay people kissing.

In society, young LGBTQ+ couples often express fear about holding their partner’s hand in public. They fear being stared at, or worse. LGBTQ+ people are often dehumanised – being reduced to an ‘act’ or ‘lifestyle’, rather than a red – blooded human being who happens to not (just) love those of the opposite sex.

I was watching BBC/ ABC2 documentary ‘Gay in Pakistan’, where a British – born Muslim went to Pakistan to examine the attitudes toward the LGBT. Technically, homosexuality is criminalised in Pakistan, but, apparently, it’s rarely enforced and prosecuted. That doesn’t mean that LGBT+ are safe. Hate crimes do exist. One thing that stood out to me. Most Muslims (at least that were researched), who condemn homosexuality are ignorant to the science of sexuality. They reduce gay people to the ‘acts’ they supposedly do.

 

That is the problem and it is a problem that happens again, and again and again. Sexual orientation is not about what a person ‘does’. It’s about a nixture of sexual and (usually) romantic attraction (or lack of). It is not an ‘act’. It’s (for the most part), the way people experience love and connection to others.

 

I’m not asking for anyone to change their beliefs in regard to same – sex marriage or same – sex relationships. I want the LGBTQ+ debate to change to acknowledge that we are talking about PEOPLE. Not caricatures. Not stereotypes. Not porn characters, real people. Then, maybe whatchappened in Orlando will at least become rare.