Can somebody tell me: Are we all in this human-race-to-wherever thing together or not?
Why the hell do we even still talk about "tolerance" when it comes to minority groups (even that term bothers me because we're all in the same big group, in my mind)? Shouldn't we be so far beyond not just tolerance, but acceptance, that we don't even have to think about it anymore?
But no. Many people still love to demean the outsider, persecute the loner, mock someone who is different in some way.
As you probably know, there has been a spate of gay suicides in the U.S. in the past few weeks. Why? WHY? These were all young people. Bullied at school or college. How does this happen?
Here's my guess: It happens largely because we let it happen. We block gay marriages, we're still loopy over gays in the military, we often don't show understanding when our own kids tell us they're gay, and we have a society of stereotypes that makes coming out an incredibly stressful, mountainous event for gays. And it's...2010.
And we don't talk to our kids about these things and teach them blind acceptance of others.
We can split atoms and put a squillion songs into a plastic gizmo not much bigger than a match book, but that's not progress. We can't even look after each other. This is why we have so much to learn from the more compassionate "primitive" cultures. (There's a hoot: We call them primitive.)
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Act humanely. Be accepting. Read about these recent tragedies. Change your thinking if necessary. Talk to your kids. Lobby the politicians to pass kind, accepting laws -- including gay marriage. Hell, you work it out! Get on the Net and sniff around. Make some noise to the media and Congress. Make a bloody effort!
If it's kids doing the bullying, ask yourself: Where are they getting their thinking from? Probably from the phony version of society perpetuated by a consumerism-fueled media showing images of the hot heteros we all should be. And throwing in the token caricature of a gay person here and there.
As adults, it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to fill young people's heads with good ideas. Ideas of compassion, love, unity, progress, creativity.
If we are going to change the world for the better, we are going to have start at square one. Square one is this: We're all human beings, we're all in this together, and if you can't accept diversity on the team then you'll get the future you deserve.
I dare say I grew up in a world that was about as macho as it gets. But time has taught me that there's nothing more manly than doing the right thing. Standing up and being counted, whether it's popular or not. And showing love and compassion.
Check this out: The 5 Things You Need to Know About Gay Teen Suicide
DON'T GET ME STARTED ON RELIGION VS. GAYS
I'm a spiritual man. But if you believe in a god who says gays are a scourge, well that isn't any "heaven" I want to go to. That's the kind of god that would bitch that you're lucky to be there with him/her, get drunk and beat some women or kids, and take heavyweight campaign donations so he can stay in power. Whatever happened to "God is Love"?
TEEN GAYS: YOU CAN GET HELP!
Call The Trevor Project, 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the country, toll free. They can be reached at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386). You can learn about this invaluable organization at The Trevor Project.
THOSE WHO DIED RECENTLY
We should know their names:
Asher Brown and Seth Walsh -- 13 years old
Billy Lucas -- 15
Tyler Clementi [pictured] -- 18
Raymond Chase -- 19
May they be at peace... finally,
FOOTNOTE: I invite you to also take a look at my blog entry of Saturday, June 5, 2010:
NEWS FLASH: MCDONALD'S IS PROUD TO LET GAYS EAT ITS CRAPPY FOOD and the one I wrote on July 17, 2010, NO TIME FOR BULLIES