What LGBT Pride means to me as an ally and as a human being:
It means we all have the same worth, we are all equal, and we all have the right to live a happy life.
I decided already many years ago to always speak up when hearing slurs from people around me, be it about race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. I make a point in never letting a slur pass me by without a comment, a protest, a discussion, a full on rage-filled thermo-nuclear war—which one it is going to be depends largely on the person in front of me. Because I can ride that horse just as fast as it can run. And I stand up for my friends.
A few days ago, I met a pitiful and rabid man in a social setting. This man was full of hatred. Hatred of the unknown, hatred of people, of women, of foreigners, and possessed a deep hatred for most everything in his life. (See why I used the term "pitiful" up there?) But instead of informing himself, of educating himself, of simply going out and learning, thus conquering this hatred, he had decided to simply concentrate on his hate of the whole gay community. I guess that felt easier for him. God knows it's exhausting to hate.
This man specifically had opinions about the Pride that is taking place in Milan at the end of the month of June (Milano Pride, 23-28 June, 2014, in case you are planning on going!) and was whining about the silliness of it all, and how "the terrible, terrible trans,"—as he called them—"will destroy the Italian youth." He moaned about, "Why do they have to walk around in demonstrations dressed like that? Why can't they just stay at home? You don't see US walking around having Prides for being straight."
Yeah, I couldn't very well let that one pass by, could I?
I took a couple of minutes of my time to educate him on several issues, and to set him straight on quite a few uses of terminology. It did not end well for the man in question. I am quite certain I did not sway his mind, but several other people at the table had interesting points of view after my rant, and it turned into a very nice evening of good discussions and eye-opening moments for some of them. No, not for him, he was mostly sitting there, seething.
Of course, no Italian man worth his salt is supposed to take an intellectual beating, in public, by a 6 ft blond Swedish woman, so his ego is probably still smarting today.
I'm not going to go into the whole He said then I said then she said-thing here, but the point is, we can all change and inspire people, or simply make somebody curious to know more. It takes so little, and those of us who are allies have so much work to do. There was truly a feeling of new insight around the table that night.
Just as the best men in my life have always stood up for me and my rights as a woman, I can stand up and defend the rights of my friends around me. It is what you DO, you stand up for your friends.
It takes so very little to open people's minds.
And what I cannot for the life of me understand is:
Why would it matter to that man who you might love?
Why would it matter to that man whether your genitals are both on the inside or both on the outside of your bodies? Or whether they are one on the inside and the other on the outside?
Why would it matter to that man what you do in full consent with your partner in your private bedroom?
Is not the important thing, in this life, that you have found somebody to love?
So, to wrap this post up, to me Pride means we all have a job to do to help our friends.
It also means that we all get to love whomever we choose to love, regardless of gender, religion, race, or sexual orientation. We get to love.
Because, you know what?
The opposite would mean hate. And that's one thing I am totally against, hate.
I am not a hater.
I am a lover.
©Art by AnnaLund/2014
Great post! I am a soldier in General Anna's army of love. I want to spread the message of love when I can and needed for I am a lover too.ReplyDelete
Yay! Thank you! My very first Comment EVER!Delete
Glad to have you, soldier!
Anna!!!! That was amazing!!! Thank you for being a vocal supporter. Not just for the LGBT Community, but everyone who is made to feel they don't matter. We, the World, are all better because of you! Love you dearly!!! **HUGE HUGS**ReplyDelete
Jase!!! Sweetness, you make my heart sing!Delete
Of course I am right there beside my friends! All of them.
I adore you, Jase, you are truly one of the good ones.
What an incredibly beautiful post, Anna. Of greatest import is your strength of mind and soul to educate and open the minds of others, to encourage discussion, to bring about change -- and to do so much hard work. "It takes so little, and those of us who are allies have so much work to do." My hat's off to you, beautiful lady. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Dearest Cody, thank you for your warm words of appreciation, they mean the world to me. And, yes, there is so much we *can* do—instead of sitting at home moaning about what bugs us, we can take action. If every person did what he or she CAN do, it would be a better world, indeed.Delete
I have learned this from a very wise author, one C Kennedy.
Thank you for commenting. Made my day!
<3 Anna <3Delete
Anna, I met you shortly after this was posted, so I'm commenting now. Thankee, thankee, thankee for being such a strong and vocal supporter of the LGBT community. I love you dearly and I am so glad that I call you friend!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you for being my friend.Delete
This adventure that is life, how magic it is! With good good people like you in it. ILY
Great post Anna, and I couldn't agree more. I've done a lot of talking during the months before we had our marriage equality referendum. I've no idea whether or not I managed to convince anyone but I do know I made one or two people think. Since it all has to start with people taking the time to think before making up their minds, I call those small victories. Like you I will always stand up to whatever injustice I come across. When enough of us fight for a just and equal world we'll get there, one convert at a time.ReplyDelete
I don't think we can ever convince anyone, only invite. Invite to a new way of seeing things.Delete
And if our vision is higher than their horizon, perhaps we can inspire them.
To love. To understand. <3