Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Evolution of Tolerance #LGBTQI #HAHAT





Welcome to the annual Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia! 


For those new to the hop, it's our online celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (May 17th)!

Click the image to return to
HAHAT homepage


This week is all about tolerance and respect. We're going to have a little fun and give away pretties, but we're also going to have some interesting and informative posts about the LGBTQI community. I hope you're looking forward to it as much as I am. I can't wait to hear what the other 130 bloggers have to say!

For me, IDAHT is about tolerance. The more I hear about the tug of war between conservative values and LGBTQI rights the more I realize many of us are not very good at it. The closest the conservatives come is to say they don't mind that we're gay, lesbian, queer, trans*, bi, etc. as long as we don't talk about it and don't kiss each other in public. Funny, but that doesn't really sound like tolerance. I think it's closer to grudging acceptance of our existance. 

And then there's us...

When we talk about tolerance in the LGBTQI community it's always with an "us" against "them" perspective. The identity of "them" changes from one situation to the next but is usually inspired by some bit of ignorant nonsense in the form of blatant bullying. They say something hateful. We call them on it. They make excuses or offer a weak apology and we move on to the next ignoramus with a microphone. In the worst cases it also involves physical violence and sometimes even murder. 

What about within the community? On the outside there's a pretty little rainbow facade that shows us as one big, happy family united by a common cause. We like to pretend it's real but the truth is it's about as accurate as the whinging over gay-marriage's potential to bring about the fall of humanity. What we really have is a bit of a mess. So what is our responsibility to be tolerant of each other? 

Let's be honest. There is just as much discrimination and elitism within our community as there is outside it. We aren't always very supportive of each other and as long as we continue to pretend that certain letters in the LGBTQI acronym are more important than others we will have a hard time convincing the straight community that we deserve acceptance or even tolerance. 

In just the last two weeks I've heard gay and lesbian vloggers on YouTube broadcast terrible things that according to their video history are typical statements and nobody calls them on it. We don't let outsiders get away with telling a gay teen that their sexuality is 'just a phase' so why do we allow LGBTQI vloggers to say that same thing to bisexuals? We jump all over sports stars and public figures for using "gay" as a euphemism for "bad" or "stupid" but we do it on our own videos on a regular basis. 

The most disgusting phrase I have heard thus far in the battle for equality didn't come from an ultra-conservative politician. It came from within our own community. "Gold standard lesbian(gay)" is the most callous thing I have ever heard anyone say and it came from one of us. The idea that some lesbians and gays have more right to the title than others is ridiculous...not to mention childish. This isn't a contest. 

No, we're not all the same. We have taken many different roads to get where we are but this little oasis should be the one place we can go for support and respect regardless of our differences. Many of us no longer have a family on which to depend. This is supposed to be the replacement but we're not always very good with unconditional acceptance. 

No one should have to justify their sexuality. It is what it is and we of all people should be willing to accept it at face value. Lesbian is lesbian and gay is gay regardless of their past. Bisexual is not a straight/gay hybrid. It's bisexual and their being in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex is not betraying the gay community. Trans* is not just a different form of gay or lesbian. They are their own section of the rainbow so diverse they're actually a double rainbow. 

I'm not saying we should all be besties. We come from different places with different personalities and it's not realistic to expect that we'll all get along, but if nothing else we can understand what it's like to be an outcast in our own community. We all belong here and it's heartbreaking to be told otherwise by the one group you thought you could count on for support.

We can't do much about the way the straight community treats us other than continuing to educate them and be patient with their clinging to the old ways. However, there is a lot we can do for each other inside our rainbow community. I hope you'll join me while you're hopping this week and take some time to gain a better understanding of a section of the LGBTQI rainbow you don't already know much about. Facebook made it pretty clear when they opened up their gender options to include 52 possible labels that we're a very diverse community and we all have a lot to learn. 



Now...on to the fun part!


Win a water bottle just in time for Pride season!

0.6L Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Enter by signing up for my newsletter here. It also comes with a bonus! Everyone on the newsletter mailing list is automatically eligible for my weekly $5 gift card giveaway.
One entry per email address.
International entrants welcome.
Winner will be notified by email at the end of the hop.



Keep hopping...

30 comments:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful post and for taking part in the hop to spread awareness.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I'm looking forward to a great week!

      Delete
  2. DP,
    don't include me in the giveaway, as I'm one of the organizers. I just wanted to say I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Sharp, insightful, and pulling no punches. I fecking loved every second of reading it.
    Don't get me wrong. I hate that the things you're talking about exist. Oppression by those who have been oppressed is one of my shiny red HOT buttons. But damn, do I ever love how you freaking called it like you see it.
    *stands to feet and begins to clap*
    Perhaps if we're very lucky, you give us an encore post during this hop.
    ~~Cherie Noel~~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cherie! I'm in the same boat where the hot button goes. There are days where I shake my head just as much over our dirty laundry as I do the nutball conservatives. We have a looooooong way to go.

      Delete
  3. Wow, DP. I love your post. When you're not a direct part of the gay/lesbian community you don't hear so much about double standards and elitism within it (although I've heard some). Your post has been very revealing. I do know that bisexual people often face discrimination from both sides. I asked the director of the Icelandic LGBT community center how things stood with bisexuals in Iceland and he said that they're treated fairly justly, but there are still some gays and lesbians who think that the bi people are just people who are halfway out of the closet. What's more is that the gays and lesbians who have that view are mostly of the older generation. Last year, a separate organization was created for bisexual individuals (there's a separate one for transgender people as well) and it'll be interesting to see how it goes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great news that Iceland bisexuals have their own group, Erica! I think they need it. Like you said, they get hit with discrimination on both sides because both sides like to put people in boxes and the bisexuals refuse to stay in the box! They're very free spirits that way. =)

      Delete
  4. I love this post! I first identified as bisexual when I came out 21 years ago, but I've since come to using queer, as bisexual is just inadequate for my reality and doesn't include trans*people. I've actually received more judgment from within the LGBT community than the straight community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Joelle! I love the term "queer". It gives people the freedom to admit they're unique. I adopted it, myself. It's much easier than giving a whole speech about why I'm not exactly this and not exactly that. =) It's a shame you had such a bad experience with the LGBT community. I've heard quite a few people say the same thing you did. As it turns out we're not any better with tolerance than anyone else. :\

      Delete
  5. Hi DP thanks so much for posting. I am already subscribed to your newsletter :-)
    wendynjason04@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I enjoyed your post, but want to say that straight is not separate, but also part of the rainbow. ALL of us are. :) Some of us are, unfortunately, bigots...but we aren't separate. I am proud to be part of one big rainbow of humanity and I'm straight. Here's to moving toward support of all gender/sexual preferences! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point, Caddy. We have a lot of straight allies out there and we wouldn't be where we are without you guys! =) I looking forward to the day when we conquer the sexuality issue and put it back in perspective so we can return to judging each other based solely on our choice in sports teams!

      Delete
  7. In so enjoyed your post, D.P.
    "No one should have to justify their sexuality."
    Couldn't agree more.
    I also agree with Caddy: straights shoudn't have to justify their sexuality either. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks so much for helping. I believe you should everyone for who they are.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Debby. Thanks for hopping!

      Delete
  9. You are so right. I have met so many amazing people, but now and again I hear things from within the community that shock me. I am really glad, though, that we all can come together for great causes like this and read words that can get us to think and inspire us! Thank you <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so true! We are fortunate to have some amazing people in our midst. Some of the LGBTQI teens I've met give me confidence that as a community we'll be okay in the end. We just have a few things to figure out first. Thanks for hopping along! =)

      Delete
  10. Thanks for taking part of the blog. lena.grey.iam@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. "No one should have to justify their sexuality." - says it all

    leetee2007@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Loved your blog post. Subscribing to your newsletter too.

    ladyunwritten[AT]gmail[DOT]com (subscribed using a different email of mine)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks so much for being a part of the hop! I subscribed to your newsletter also!
    raynman1979(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think this is the first Hop post I've seen that deals with homophobia and biphobia within the LGBT community. I agree, that's an important aspect to consider to during this awareness week. Thanks for that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figure as long as we're telling everyone to clean up their act we might as well do a little spring cleaning of our own. =) Thanks for hopping along, Andy!

      Delete
  15. This is my favorite hop. Thanks for participating :)

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for the great post.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

    ReplyDelete