Let’s Talk Opinion: in conversation with Project O
Question 6: If you could share an opinion on a single international incident or topic that you either feel strongly about or that might not be known to the rest of the world what would it be? You have our attention.
It’s very difficult to narrow down to one, but, I feel most strongly about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights. In just the past several months a transgender teenager in Jamaica was murdered by an angry mob when he arrived at a party wearing women’s clothing; a Russian man was brutally beaten, had his clothes set on fire, his anus was slashed open and filled with bottles and his attack ended when a 20 kg stone was thrown onto his head; In Washington DC, my nation’s capital, two women attacked a drag performer, who was a gay man, by biting him on the thigh, and yanked him around by his hair while a bystander videoed the crime and encouraged the fight. I wish these were rare instances, but unfortunately as more cities and countries embrace equality rights for those who are LGBT, more acts of violence are occurring. Homosexual acts are illegal in 76 countries and there are still 5 countries in which the penalty is death.
I feel strongly about this, and hope that the efforts of all communities will result ultimately in effective equality. The stories you shared are horrific. I simply can’t believe that this still happens in this day and age. Truly, deeply saddened that this is the case.
There was a somewhat hostile reply to one of my Project O comments in which I challenged a contributor’s use of the phrase “…even though I don’t agree with homosexuality.” Mandy, incidentally was writing this in the context of a church gathering where she spoke out on behalf of someone from the gay community, so I felt very warmed by her actions. But the phrase still irked me, so I decided to write Be happy. Be gay! in the hope that an exchange might ensue.
I didn’t get a reply from Mandy. Instead, another blogger decided to put me in my place. I gather she deemed my comment to be an attack on Christians. Well. I have to say, that even though I am an atheist, I do not make it my business to attack anyone, and – as a former Christian myself – I have sympathy with those who strive to keep their faith in an increasingly secular world. I am curious to know what you think of the exchange, particularly on the issue of homosexuality, if you would be so kind as to read it: God @TheTweetOfGod Sigh… maybe Nietzsche was right.
In support of the gay community – through what I write and through everyday personal interactions with others – I hope to promote healthier attitudes towards those whose sexual inclination differs from what is deemed to be the “norm”. My favourite haunt in London is Soho. There is nothing that I enjoy more than going on a gay-pub/bar/club-crawl with my best friend and his boyfriend. This has given me the opportunity to meet many wonderful people: gay, transgender, lesbian and bisexual. I feel grateful for the warmth with which they accepted me into their fold, and for the stories they have chosen to share with me. It’s opened my eyes to the obstacles they encounter, and gave me a better understanding of what they have to overcome in their everyday lives. Inspiring people.
This motivated me to be more vocal about difficult issues, defend the community and my own stance on gay rights whenever challenged.
Thank you for your post. Insightful.
P.S.: On a lighter note… #BenedictCumberbatch goes Brokeback Sherlock, one for the boys.
Let’sTalk Opinion posts engage with issues that are important to other bloggers, connecting with others on matters close to their heart. If you like a topic and would like to contribute, please feel free to add to the comment box, reblog, share, email or message me on Twitter @shardsofsilence.
Or if you happen to be a fellow Hogwartsian send me a letter by owl.
Please excuse me for being so dumb, Vic, but I’m trying to understand Project O….?
Bradley, I am so with you on this one. When I came out at 18 years old (in 1981), it was still illegal to be a practising homosexual under the age of 21 in Scotland. Only less than a handful of years earlier, it was illegal to be gay at all, no matter the age. At the time, I worked for a very charismatic Church and the judgemental attitudes from narrow-minded people were what fuelled me forward in being so public about my sexuality.
I was only 19 when I met my first partner of 9 years. At the time, he was 26 and, until I turned 21, we both harboured a fear of prosecution.
I now live in London. While attitudes are better than Scotland, there is still room for loads of improvements.
I tend to believe that people who have issues about other people’s sexuality have issues about their own, especially these gay-bashing scum. Christians have their issues that supposedly come from the Bible, but they tend to forget the essence of Jesus teachings; to love, forgive and do not Judge. Jesus didn’t say, “judge in my name”, but categorically, “do not judge”. It baffles me so much that many followers of Jesus actually go out their way to practice the opposite. That is not an attack on Christians, but a simple fact that I wish some would consider.
Lol…Project O is PROJECT OPINION, Vicki I’m sure will fill you in.
I’m a Christian and I feel shame for so many of my brethren…Trust me, they know they do not represent the Father in their foolishness of hate and judging.
Please be free and bold to always draw our attention to our flaws and failure, it’s for our benefit. No offense taken.
Thank you, Dot, I appreciate that! Oh and now project O is making a little more sense now!
Thank you for sharing your story, Cat.
As Dotta indicated Project O was Project Opinion run by OpinionatedMan on HarshReality during the month of September 2013. Over 150 bloggers participated. The q&a had 9 questions if memory serves me right. Question 6 offered participants a platform to share an opinion about something they felt strongly about.
In a way, Let’s Talk Opinion continues the spirit of Project O. It was a good undertaking and sparked up many a debate. There’s a link to Bradley’s full post for Project O just under his answer and before my reply. Feel free to check it out. And once on OM’s site you’ll be able to get hold of all other articles if you would like to read through.
To return to your comment, I often remind those who separate religion from homosexuality that many LGBT people are religious too; there are no clear cut distinctions in this respect. Thank you for including this in your reply. It’s a pertinent issue. – and yes, the world would be a better place if we loved a little more and judged a little less.
PS: Strange to think that we may very well have met in passing 🙂 Small world. Thank you.
Thank you, Vic
I had a friend tell me that this phase will pass when referring to my gay friend. I was shocked to hear that from a well educated person. What more can we expect from people who are deep into their age old beliefs?
Still shocked by the continued ignorance every time I hear a story like yours. It is not a matter of “having” but a matter of “being”. We are who we are. And it’s all good as long as we respect one another. Sorry for the slightly ranty tone of this, KG. Just… a little perplexed I suppose.
If only we can see a person as a human first and not let our prejudices cloud our decisions or opinions things can be way smoother for all. There are lot more severe matters in the world that need our attention than someones sexual preferences. I held myself during my comment but then couldnt resist the reply rant 🙂
🙂 I’m glad of it. Thank you, KG.
And thank you for your comment. It draws attention to another important aspect of LGBT struggles.
Vicki, this one made me cry back in PO days, reading Brads story now, brings tears to my eyes.
I’m a Christian, but first, I’m a child of GOD.
We all are. Christians call God the ALMIGHTY, ALL KNOWING,INFINITE, and I could go on. My Father is all of that and even more, he is LOVE.
As Almighty, nothing is above his strength, as ALL KNOWING, he is wisdom itself. As INFINITE, he has no end, and as LOVE, where can hate be?
I know he made us all and in my understanding, he makes no mistakes. This covers the religious stance many hide behind when perpetuating hatred towards their fellow man.
Now lets go to my small reasoning as a somewhat intelligent woman :),lol
I feel pity towards small minded and ignorant people and I personally could not care for their opinions and attitude towards Gay/Lesbians,Trans gender and Bisexual people. What I do care about is the law.
If we are to believe every citizen is entitled to same rules governing a country or place, then my desire is for the law to be impartial and consistent.
Personal opinions should be kept at home, I’m not interested in changing anyone’s views, they will get there if they are meant to eventually.
What interests me is that equal opportunities, rights and benefits be for ALL CITIZENS;Also that persecuting and punishing those who break these laws be paramount and carried out justly.
To end, I want to just add that it’s incredible how some people do not see beyond these physical differences. We live in a world where so many horrific injustices have been done to varying groups at one time or the other; and when these where happening, our mentality agreed with wholeheartedly.
Years on now, a lot of these horrors are no more, at least general consensus has condemned and abhorred them. In these times, sexual orientation issues dominates the news along with so many others. I just wonder what our world would deem as right and acceptable in another twenty to thirty years.
We are a working progress,the human that is. Our potential is limitless and we sell ourselves short with these mediocre stances and characteristics we hold on to, for many, all in the name of morals, God and whatever our little voices tell us.
Dear Dotta, thank you so much for your comment. You are proof, if I ever needed any, of the fact that to be religious does not preclude being open minded and inclusive. I’ve always known this, and held it to be true, but it is wonderful to have it confirmed yet again by words that are as warm as they are just, as full of love and consideration as they are forward looking. Thank you. And yes, Bradley’s story moved me to tears too. Appalling what harm people can inflict on others, and for what? To prove what? I think their actions are driven by fear as much as they are driven by hatred. Fear of what they might see if they took a good look at themselves, and a deep self-loathing that they attack in the other – the one they do not understand because they would not take the trouble to learn.
Thank you, Vic, for bringing this back up. As a gay man, I love to find new gay allies. Wonderful responses from everyone above. I’ll never understand why anyone would protest regarding who I fall in love with. It boggles the mind. Rather than rambling on, I’m posting here a quote from the late Paul Newman:
“I’m a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being… by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant.”
Once again, thank you. I hope you don’t mind me reblogging this.
Thank you so much for commenting. Your story was so moving that I thought it deserved additional thought. And of course, feel free to reblog it – we’ll keep the conversation going.
Love the Paul Newman quote. Quite right too.
It reminded me of what a very good friend of mine once said:
“I don’t want for people to say ‘Oh. You’re gay? How interesting.’ I don’t want for them to care. I want for it to be as noticeable in conversation as when I tell them I like fries.”
I couldn’t fully understand what he was trying to tell me.
My mind went straight to the obvious at first: but being gay is not the same as liking fries. It’s not a food choice or lifestyle choice.
But then I thought about it for a little longer and I realised that what he was trying to say was that the best thing for LGBT would be for it to stop being seen as different from the “norm,” and become part of what is seen as the norm. That is the kind of “invisibility” he desired.
No one comes up to me and says “Oh. You’re white? How interesting.” Took me a while, but I got there in the end.
Thanks again. Be well. 🙂
Reblogged this on How Is Bradley? and commented:
I’m reposting this from a blog by vicbriggs. The opening comment (Question #6) was my answer to a project entitled Project O (Project Opinion) which was
Reblogged this on How Is Bradley? and commented:
I’m reposting this from vicbrigg’s blog. The opening comment I made (Question #6) was from a questionnaire I participated in, along with 150 other bloggers, called Project O (Project Opinion). Thank you Vic for your excellent response to my comments. You’ve made me an even bigger fan.
This reminds me a lot of the quote, “When the power of love overcomes the love of the power, the world will know peace.” You would think in our time and society, where most people you meet will be well-educated and have learned compassion would also know the differences of right and wrong. It sickens me how there will always be a certain hierarchy of when it comes to dominating someone because we live in such a world where someone always has to be better than the other. And something like difference in sexuality, “seems” reasonable enough to target and “make right.” Absolutely cruel.
Thank you, love o’clock. Completely agree. It is cruel. Unnecessarily so.
Dotta said it so beautifully, but it’s worth repeating, and I must say it in my own words. I, too, call myself a Christian, and we are not all like that. I am a Christian who follows the words of Jesus, who is a disciple of Jesus. I do not follow religious law made up by fundamentalist religious folk who do not love, who do not include, and who do no understand that it was Jesus intent and purpose to love and heal and unite all humanity under one God, the God who created us all.
Wonderfully put, Susan, thank you. 🙂
It is so much better when it is love that takes primacy, no matter what beliefs or sets of truth we subscribe to.
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