Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tolerance is the new black

Michael Sam. Ellen Page. It happens at least once a year. Some prominent celebrity comes "out of the closet."

Instead of examining our personal feelings on the announcements themselves, let's instead examine why they felt the need to be in there in the first place.

Valid fears including (though not limited to) losing their livelihood, their families and -- the most terrifying -- their lives.

Why they are not "closeted" is to escape judgment. That is going to happen regardless of the world being aware of their sexual orientation. 

The fact is, the moral majority will always be swift to point out how wrong we all are in our daily choices: clothing, drinking/eating habits, how we entertain ourselves, what our professions are, whether we are appropriately single or divorced or married. 

What our sexual habits are, gay, straight whatever, are always going to be under the microscope. In the "majority's" opinion, we'd all be having sex solely for repopulation's sake.

They are in the closet because, as a society, we either actively encourage or -- through our silence -- passively allow the public shaming of our GLBT community. Every one of my friends who read the Ellen or Michael story and thought, but did not post or say aloud, "Yeah, so what? Who cares anymore?" you need to start asserting to everyone you know how much you support our gay friends and family.

It is simply no longer acceptable to rest on the sidelines and expect society to "accept" the gay community, because it won't. Society needs to be challenged, to be told, what direction to go when the overwhelming voice is tradition-laden nonsense drowning out good sense.

It's time for all of is with a logical, reasonable minds to start using our voices, to start insisting on tolerance.  No one is asking conservatives to accept the gay community. We can't possibly expect it. 

However, what we can expect and *insist* upon is tolerance. Have a racist, bigoted old gramps? Tell him to kindly keep his thoughts to himself, and remind him that no one of your generation agrees with his outdated, unnecessary views. Don't continue to brush it off as "gramps just comes from a different time ..."

This "silly old fool doesn't know better," logic is a very dangerous lesson to teach future generations. We must always, as people and a society, challenge ourselves to adapt and progress, to -- GASP -- evolve.

The progression is here. It is no longer time to keep laughing off these jackals who insist our gay citizens are somehow lesser than the rest of us because their outdated views and personal morality on life, love and family differ than what common sense and many, many modern families have far proven otherwise.

Ellen, Michael and so many more in the world suffer silently. They live in shame and guilt trying to hide their true selves.

They have absolutely nothing for which to be ashamed. They are being who they were born to be, the same as the rest of us. 

Let's stop trying to convince ourselves as a society of otherwise and embrace that one simple truth.

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