Hello peeps and hoppers.
I am here to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart. Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and I am part of the Hop Against Homophobia. Click the links on the names to check out their websites.
“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” ~ C.S. Lewis
I thought of this post during a conversation with my friend Vicktor Alexander about the Bible. I know. I can hear the mass groan from here. hee hee It was a good conversation though.
I know that my title probably shocked some of you. Although, most of you are readers, so this may not work ...smarty pants that you are. I am going to set up a scenario for you. I do have a point, so hang in there with me.
Ready? Here we go...
Walking by a wooden church on Main Street, I glance over at the door as I pass. Two men are standing there, looking agitated and somewhat angry. I frown and slow to a stop as my curiosity gets the better of me.
"Let's go, William. We need to leave." The smaller of the two men, pulls on the other's arm, trying to drag him away.
"Who brought that thing here, Thomas? It shouldn't be here." The larger man sneers, looking through the door at an object I cannot see. He seems more upset by the moment.
Confusion clouds the smaller man's face. "What? The fag?"
"Yeah," his friend grunts. "It shouldn't be here. They're bad."
The younger man rolls his eyes. "Let's just go, William."
"No, I need to snuff out that fag first." He states, while striding purposefully toward his prey.
Now, if you were walking by and heard this, what would you think?
If it were me, I would think that some bigoted jerks were going to hurt someone because they were homophobic.
What if I told you that this scene happened in the U.K., and the time period was in the 1950's? What if I also told you, that even today, the word "fag" is used some places instead of the word "cigarette."
If you exchange those two words, the meaning behind that scenario changes dramatically. William was actually extremely upset, because someone left a burning cigarette in a wooden church.
This is one reason why, as a Progressive Christian, I cannot find it in me to take the Bible word for word. First, it has been translated numerous times into many different languages, and people are not perfect, no matter what they think. Also, things change, language included. There are many words out there that do not mean the same thing they did in the past. Unless we know the specific meanings in that time period, along with the culture and social structure, there is no way we can understand the full meaning. Lastly, perception, social standing, culture and background change so much about how things are interpreted. If I have PTSD because I was physically abused growing up, someone who yells and speaks with their hands would freak me out. Whether or not they meant to.
Society has changed so much in the last few hundred years it's astounding. Some things haven't changed much though. Such as our human reaction to fear.
"The more things change, the more things stay the same. ' ~ Alphonse Karr
The Webster's dictionary defines phobia as....
: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something
: an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation.
And what do people do when they are afraid of something? They destroy it. They hurt it before it can hurt them. A great example of this is the witch trials.
"Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." ~ Sir Winston Churchill
If something is different, weird or odd, it must be bad. If it is bad, it can hurt us. So we must control it and hurt it first. There are so many examples of this in the past, that we would be here all day if I tried to lay them out.
I think the reason that we are making steps with gay marriage, and the QUILTBAG community is becoming more open and accepted, is actually very simple. People are starting to realize that it's okay. They are losing some of the fear. Their neighbor, whom they always liked, is gay. A favorite cousin is gay. Their child, a loved one, even their parent, comes out of the closet. They are starting to come to the realization that it isn't a disease. They are not going to catch it and it's not going to hurt them.
But if you think the struggle is over and we can get lax, you are wrong. My parents, whom I love with all my heart and who are good people, were worried because my son was going to stay with my gay friend for a few days during spring break. They were afraid for my son. They were worried that my friend, because he is gay, could act out and become a pedophile.
Some of you may say, "What? They are bigots." I say no...they were afraid. They have never tried to stop me from being friends with or from writing about homosexual men. But that fear is still there. There is still so much they don't understand and they don't know, that it causes them to be afraid. The more they learn, the more they see, the more they meet my friends and realize that they are good people... the more their minds are changed. They lose that fear, and in turn, become more open to everyone.
It's not over. It will be a long time before it is, but by people making a stand, things are changing. We need to keep talking, keep showing people that things are okay. Homosexual and Transgender people are not the boogieman.
They are just people, who want to love and be loved. Like the rest of us.
So for my part of this blog hop, I am going to offer an ebook version of My Lord's Judgment and a $20 gift card to Amazon. Please comment below for a chance to win. This contest will go until May 27th. On the 28th I will post the winner here, and on Facebook, so check back to see if you've won.
Also, be sure to check out the rest of the blog posts below to see what else you can win, and to learn more about Homophobia and Transphobia. We can all make a difference, no matter how big or small.
Hugs and Spanks