Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and the Con Bigots

It's International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. A day to remember the millions of LGBT people in the world who are being oppressed, hurt, and even murdered for the "crime" of being who they are.

A day to remember that even in Canada, the hatred that kills is still a problem.

For how can I forget that it almost killed me? 

That I had to fight my way through high school.

And that if the crazy bigot with the knife hadn't been intercepted on the street where I lived a few years ago, I might be dead for the "crime" of blogging against bullying and religious homophobia.

How can I forget that I live in a city where Rob Ford is still Mayor?

A brutish racist, sexist, and homophobic Con bigot if ever there was one...

Who whether he's sober or stoned out out of his mind, is always showing how much he hates gay people. In a city full of LGBT people fleeing the prejudice of other places.

How can I forget that the ghastly Tim Hudak, who would be the Premier of the province I live in, refused to condemn Ford's latest foul eruption? 

You know this loser...

Who during the last election allowed his Cons to distribute this grotesquely misleading, and totally disgusting pamphlet...

And when asked to explain himself actually defended that foul flyer. 

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader is standing by a campaign flyer labelled homophobic and misleading that was distributed in a key election battleground outside Toronto over the weekend.

And used the occasion to further smear the Liberals...

When asked specifically if he stood behind the flyers, Hudak replied: "Of course. And I wonder if Dalton McGuinty's going to stand by his plan to actually bring in these changes [for children as young as] six years old."

Fuel the flames of homophobia.

The flyer also claims the school board document contains a reference to "cross-dressing for six-year-olds," although no such wording can be found anywhere in the document.

And attack those who were trying to protect bullied LGBT children. Even though studies show they are disproportionately targeted in our schools, and are FOUR times more likely to be driven to commit suicide.

And of course how can I forget that I live in a country where the monstrous Con Stephen Harper is Prime Minister? 

Who has voted against every LGBT rights bill that ever came before Parliament...

Has done nothing to help bullied children, except produce a so-called cyberbullying bill which is just a front for yet another attempt to spy on us.

And to please his rabid religious base, has never lifted a finger to fight homophobia.

I mean how would YOU feel if you were gay in Canada eh?

And can you imagine how these young Canadians feel about living in the shadow of that insane bigotry?

And the good news? They couldn't kill me, and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

The bigot Cons of this world just made themselves an enemy who will never give up fighting them until the glorious day they are defeated.

I've got the Maple Leaf flag tattooed on one arm, and the rainbow flag of freedom on the other.

I'm still blogging about religious homophobia, and still standing up for the rights of the bullied in schools, workplaces, and senior homes.

I'd still go through a brick wall to get to a bully.

And this is still my message...

Speak up for the rights of LGBT people all over the world. 

Fight the hatred that kills.

Defeat these filthy bigots...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers


e.a.f. said...

Yes, it is important for the GLTB community to go out and vote in any election and vote often. The Cons and their ilk will not permit any one in the LGTB community to live their lives, as their own. Find a party you can be comfortable with and vote with them. Remember, everybody is part of the environment. its what makes us what we are, so if you don't like the "other" major parties, go have a look at the Greens.

As the saying goes, we either all hang together or we all hang separately.

Simon said...

hi e.a.f.... I was going to say something like this:

we either all hang together or we all hang separately.

Or nobody is free until ALL are free.

What I do know is that of my friends who are political activists none are as dedicated to overthrowing
the Harper regime as the gay ones. They burn with an intensity even I can't match. As I said in my post what doesn't kill you makes you stronger...

Scotian said...

While I have issues with you in other areas of politics, on this one we are of one mind. My first boyfriend did die because of his orientation, when he could no longer convince himself he was bi and truly gay he swallowed cyanide because his father had indoctrinated him in the mindset that a "man is not a man if he doesn't want to fuck pussy" (sorry about the crudity, but this is a quote I heard him say many many times, and it was why my love killed himself). Now my love could accept playing both sides of the fence so long as he could still do the women first, but as his teens came to an end he discovered he no longer could respond to women in bed anymore, just males, and it drove him to kill himself just before he would have turned 20. That was over a quarter century ago now, yet he still lives on in my mind and heart to this day, he was a very important love of my life, and to see someone as strong as he was end up that way because of his familial and societal programming, well it still burns to this day for me.

Not to mention all the bullying I experienced growing up, although I have to be fair, I got a lot of it from the gay side of the street too in my teens and twenties, because I refused to come out gay. I was bisexual, I knew I was bi, and I refused to have anyone else tell me what my orientation had to be, and for it I got crapped on as a traitor to the cause (this was back when the AIDS backlash effect which ACT-UP was formed out of was in the early stages, so there was something driving it), so our own hands aren't exactly clean. That being said though by comparison to the homophobic bigots out there who literally think we are unclean and deserve exile at the minimum than being as we are, or worse see us as affronts to GOD (I always love how we must be such affronts, yet GOD also made everyone and everything the way that he felt they should be, the inherent contradiction never seems to bother such) which means we are not even human let alone deserving of any respect including up to our lives themselves even still in this country saddens me beyond words.

You are more of a political animal on this issue than I, my experiences in my 20s within the gay rights movement left me with a very sour taste for that aspect of political activism for myself, but I will always stand up for basic human rights wherever they need to be fought for, even here. I am glad there are those like yourself to make up for those like me that alas cannot bring themselves to be as activist as you clearly are, and at least those like yourself now recognize the entirety of the alternative sexual realities as opposed to just one's own, which was a major problem back in the 80s from my experience. It always drove me nuts to hear a gay man tell me that of course he knows that he is gay, but that I couldn't know I was bi, the inherent logical fallacy there was one of the things that most irked me in my youth.

So thanks from one of the older openly bi men out here for what you do, while we may disagree on some aspects of our political beliefs and views on this we are as one. Thank you for doing what you do, I only go so far in my life to not hide what I am, I don't go out of my way to proclaim it though like I once did, in large part for the reasons I listed, but also in part because of age and the fact I have a spouse who is also bi but a more shy/reserved personality who dislikes being at the center of conflicts, and I need to keep her exposure in mind too.

Anyways, thanks again Simon for this.


Anonymous said...

Simon,you and all of your friends are loved in my world!

e.a.f., you nail it, left and right. And say, what I'm unable to express.

Simon said...

hi Scotian...thank you for sharing your story, and I'm so sorry you suffered such a loss. It's so tragic and so sad and so infuriating all at the same time. Homophobia hurts and kills people in so many horrible ways. It's so cruel, so unnecessary, so insane. But I salute you for your strength in surviving such a tragedy, and going on to be among other things such a respected member of our Canadian blogging community. As I said in my post, what doesn't kill you can make you stronger and in your case it obviously did. Well done. And of course, in the name of your beloved friend and all the other victims of that senseless hatred, the struggle continues...

Simon said...

hi liberalandlloving....thank you and we love you !!!! You know almost all of my gay friends have been scarred in one way or another by homophobia, but none of them ever complain about it, they are all thoroughly decent, and I'm proud of them all...

Scotian said...

Thanks Simon, you know though what the hardest part in some ways for me about his death was? Being at the burial, having his family asking me if I could explain why he did this (I had known him since we were both 5, we were less than 6 weeks apart in age, we literally grew up together, and as far as the family knew I was his oldest and closest friend, needless to say they did not know about the lovers part) and saying I did not, despite knowing exactly why he would have done it. I just could not bring myself to fling it into his father's face when he was so obviously grieving (understand, his family did love him a great deal, that they did not understand him was not because they did not love him, but because they did not truly perceive him, so many of my generation and older always had to hide what we were growing up because those in our lives had never been exposed to it as anything other than an unsavoury source, I was very different in that respect, my God-father was gay and my folks knew that when he was named such, so I was one of the rare ones of my generation raised without worry about how my parents would react to my orientation, my love alas did not have the same, he was like most in that regard), it struck me as a cruel act to do sol, so I refused.

If it were to have happened in the modern age, I may well have decided to tell him that it was his own programming that was the root cause, but this was back in the late 80s in Nova Scotia, and the changes that we have seen for those of us in the alternate sexual orientation community were still for the most part far in the future. The idea of telling truly grieving family that they wee the ones that drove their son to kill himself without even knowing they were doing it was simply beyond my ability to do at the time, especially when I knew that either way was going to have a harsh result. Either they refused to believe me and thought I was being a right bastard to them and to their son, or they did believe me and either shredded themselves far worse or chose to blame him for hiding what he was and making it his own fault so as to run away from their own pain or some other variant on that theme.

To this day I wonder whether I did the right thing, some days I think yes, other days I think not, for there really are good and valid arguments to both sides of that call to my way of thinking. It still haunts me to an extent, and I expect it will to the day I die.

One of my personal motivations for caring so much about people being seen and treated as individuals on a level societal playing field is because of this, not the only one there are others from both before and after this event. This one though helps provide extra emotional fuel at times when it feels like I am beating my head against a brick wall, like I did trying to warn people about Harper since the late 90s onwards. I don't care what a person is, what I care about is what a person does, for me it is the actions taken/not taken that truly define a person and their character for me, not their race, creed, gender, orientation, etc,and I wish that were the prevailing way the world worked, for I suspect things would be a lot less pain filled if it were for so many, and not just those of use in the alternate orientation community.


Simon said...

hi Scotian...Thanks again for another moving comment. I would very gently suggest that you don't torment yourself about what you said or didn't say to your friend's family. You didn't have to say anything, they should have known, and if there is any guilt to be borne they should bear it. I'm sure you told your friend that you loved him before he died, and that's all that counts. Carry that thought with you until the end of your life. As I said in this post homophobia hurts everyone, and when it involves families it can be particularly painful. I read the other day about a 10-year-old kid in Toronto who was told by his parents "if you're gay get out." And I can never forget what happened to a friend who lost his lover in a tragic accident. Only to have his family come to his house, strip it of his belongings, and drive off in their car, while he lay there mourning. I still can't believe anyone could be so cruel. But his story and your story only motivate me to keep fighting that insane hatred as hard as I can. And you should keep your head high, be proud of who you are, you don't have to apologize to anyone for anything. And the best way to honour the memory of your beloved friend is to remember him with a smile, and be as happy as you can. For they shall not claim us all, and laughter is an act of defiance...