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Response to Skidmore (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 12:21 PM

25. So do I. That took courage in this climate of condemnation and cold, harsh judgmentalism.

And the lack of compassion that is systemic throughout the other side of the aisle. Hell, they LAUGH at it. Remember when cheney did that? Turned up his pig snout and scoffed at the very ridiculous comedy idea of "empathy." (And my sincere apologies to pigs everywhere.)

Let's take a lesson from the fight that the LGBT community has had to wage through the years - to get where they are now.

Let's look at what one of the main undercurrents that led to a softening of the attitudes toward marriage equality.

It began to dawn on various members of Joe and Jane Q Public that - "SHIT! I KNOW somebody who's gay! SHIT! And - um - er - gee, um - I like that person. They're so nice. Their (GULP!) KIDS play with mine and they're wonderful. I've trusted my kids at their house and everything was fine - they all had a wonderful time, totally safe, great fun, we were all there having a great time!"

Or - "OMG - I'm working with a GAY guy??? He's GAY??? But ... but ... but ... gee, he's so nice! He's the kindest soul in the office. I really like him. He covered for me one day when I got that phone call and had to race home... Saw him in church the other day... But he's such a nice guy... so generous, helps out extra all the time, (GULP!) he's GAY???? Gee.... ... ... "


THIS, I think, is the key. People out there in the "heartland" or wherever it is - suddenly discover, one fine day, that they know someone who's gay. And it probably dawns on them at some point that that person, neighbor, fellow parent, coworker, relative, whoever, is NOT some weirdo or demon or I-don't-even-know-what these people might have in their misinformed brains about who gay people are. And I think there probably comes a moment when such an individual realizes that the other person is NOT gonna bite their heads off. And that the other person loves God as much as they do. And that the other person puts their pants on one-leg-at-a-time just like they do themselves. And that the other person is a good neighbor who is kind, generous, and respectful, and maybe is the first person they call if they think there's a prowler or something.

IT COMES FROM FAMILIARITY. Which teaches them with their own eyes and ears and personal experience that...

That other person DOES NOT have devil horns coming out of their heads.
That other person, they discover, DOES NOT worship Satan.
That other person, they realize, DOES NOT conform to the horror stories their favorite hate-radio host goes on and on about.
That other person, they discover, DOES NOT FIT with what they've been taught or scared into believing.
That other person, they realize, IS NOT some godless monster.
That other person lives next door, or down the street, or works down the hall from them, or they see each other at PTA meetings. AND NOTHING EVER GOES WRONG.
That the bullshit they're being fed about gays does not fit what they themselves see and hear and know and recognize personally, and therefore really can't apply here. *

* And then, some of them are bound to make the next leap - "well, if that bullshit doesn't apply here (with this person I just found out was gay), could it be that maybe it doesn't apply to others either?"

There comes a point where the established understanding doesn't fit anymore. It doesn't work anymore. It doesn't seem to apply in this case - - - and maybe others as well?

I think THAT, more than anything else, has caused the slow but steady change in attitudes about the gay community, one individual at a time. I think the familiarity, the personal knowledge of what actually is true rather than wild horror stories that are just a bunch of bunk and NOT provable or sustainable in real time, in the real world, in the real neighborhood, in the real school, the real shopping center, the real office, the real church.

There used to be across-the-board shaming of the whole idea of "gay." You didn't discuss it, you didn't mention it if one of your relative was "one of THOSE." You didn't bring it up in "polite company." It was something to be ashamed of and hidden.

But then, you start realizing that all these nice people, whom you know, whom you trust, whom you live next-door to, whom you see at the local Starbucks all the time or at the parents' meetings at school or wherever... you start realizing that there is NOTHING wrong with these nice people, and they're just what they seem to be: nice people. What you see is what you get. They're just nice people. Normal and friendly and kind and intelligent and good neighbors and helpers and all those other things you regard as good.

The problem for the choice side is that not enough women who've had abortions have "come out." Nobody knows anybody who had an abortion, and from the shit that's heaped upon the whole idea of abortion leads you to think these women are whores, harridans, monsters, godless murderers and perverts and devil-worshippers with horns coming out of their heads, yeah, that's GOTTA be it! Besides, limbaugh says so. And ted cruz's father says so. And mitch mcconnell says so. And henry hyde said so. And ex-governor bob "vaginal probe" mcdonnell said so! Well, I bet they all knew women who'd had abortions but were too ashamed to come forward and talk about it. AND PUT A HUMAN FACE ON IT.

Which means - there's NOTHING to hate, there, or condemn there, after all.

That's exactly what the gay community has done, and rightly so. THEY PUT A HUMAN FACE ON BEING GAY. A gay person is NOT a monster. As that Joan Osborne song lyric goes -
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us?
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make His way home?

Substitute the word "gay" for "God" and it's the same thing. The same reality.

And women who've had abortions need to come forward, and PUT A HUMAN FACE ON THIS ISSUE. Because THEY are "one of us," TOO.

Aw shit - sorry this is so long...

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Arrow 61 replies Author Time Post
Skidmore Mar 2015 OP
mercuryblues Mar 2015 #1
Wella Mar 2015 #5
-none Mar 2015 #10
Wella Mar 2015 #11
CountAllVotes Mar 2015 #27
uppityperson Mar 2015 #33
-none Mar 2015 #43
pnwmom Mar 2015 #40
Skidmore Mar 2015 #7
LineLineLineReply So do I. That took courage in this climate of condemnation and cold, harsh judgmentalism.
calimary Mar 2015 #25
haele Mar 2015 #45
calimary Mar 2015 #49
heaven05 Mar 2015 #54
raven mad Mar 2015 #50
murielm99 Mar 2015 #46
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2015 #2
Skidmore Mar 2015 #6
bvf Mar 2015 #29
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The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2015 #30
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