An Observation

I was raised Christian. I fell away from Christianity in my early teens. I’ve experimented with several religions… Christianity, Wicca, LaVeyan Satanism, secular humanism… But there’s one religion that I keep coming back to: Buddhism.

I consider myself a Buddhist, and I practice many Buddhist principles and such in my life.

Despite being of a “heretic” religion (in the eyes of Christianity) and being gay, one of my favorite bands is still the Christian band, Skillet.

Their music speaks to me unlike any other band’s. Shinedown is the only other band that comes close to how Skillet makes me feel inside.

I know a lot of their songs are talking about God, but I can easily apply them to my life without having to use the Christian meaning. Hooray for awesome song writing that allows the music to be open to interpretation.

Just thought I’d post this… I’m in a dark spot right now, and Skillet is helping me cope :3

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I Will Leave the United States, and Hope You Will, too

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I was just reading a post on one of the blogs I follow (New Civil Rights Movement) and realized that if I am to stay in America, I do indeed have to ask “What does my country do for me?”

The way it stands, my country CAN offer me full marriage rights. My country CAN offer me full housing and employment protections.

However, I need a country that WILL.

If the US doesn’t start treating the LGBT community right, I’ll have no choice but to move to Canada–where they DO treat us right.

I encourage you to do the same.

Homosexuality is Unnatural… And so are the Internet, Clothes, Cell Phones, Cars, Pharmaceuticals…

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A lot of people who try to argue that being gay is bad often resort to saying that it is unnatural.

If being unnatural is a bad thing, then I guess we should all stop using the following:

Internet
Cars
Pharmaceuticals
Television
Computers
Corrective Glasses/Contacts
Cell Phones
Clothes
Buildings
Air Conditioning
Music
Guns
Shoes
Condoms
Soap
Schools
Cameras

The list could go on forever.

Just because something may or may not be “natural,” (being gay IS natural, by the way) does not necessarily make it a bad thing.

The unAmerican (straight) Family Association is at it Again

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The First Amendment was written neither to guarantee freedom of religion to Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus nor to protect their free exercise of religion. It wasn’t written about them one way or another. It was written for one specific purpose: to protect free exercise of the Christian religion. We must be clear: the First Amendment does not prohibit the free exercise of alternative religions, but neither doe it guarantee it. It simply does not address the issue at all.

Really, Bryan Fischer? REALLY?

Let’s take a look at the text of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Hmm… No mention of ANY specific religion. In fact, it says that Congress can’t make ANY law establishing ANY religion or prohibiting the free exercise of ANY religion.

All I have to say to Mr. Fischer’s comment is this:

*facepalm*

I am a Bad Person

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I am a college student. I am one of two openly gay people that I know of at my school. The other is a lesbian who prefers to dress like a man.

The other day, I overheard a group of girls talking about her. One of the girls said, “Is that a chick or a dude?”

Another replied, “That’s a chick trying to be a dude.”

I don’t remember the rest of the conversation, but I do know several other homophobic remarks were made.

I know I’m only human; and I know that humans make mistakes. But I hate myself for what I did when I heard those girls talking about the other girl.

I did nothing.

Here I am, an activist for equality, yet I failed to take a stand against the very homophobia I want to see stop.

My personal motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I have failed.

Hitler: a Christian Martyr

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Several–and by “several,” I mean “all”–anti-gay politicians claim that they are anti-gay because the bible “clearly states that marriage is between a man and a woman.”. I hope my message reaches their ears, for it is the same message that the LGBT movement has been saying since the beginning:

The United States of America was founded on the principle of the separation of church and state. Therefore, you cannot use the bible to legislate hatred and bigotry in this country. You say that children knowing about homosexuality will somehow make them gay. Will children knowing about Hitler make them Nazis? Knowledge is power. The more you know about an issue, the more you understand which side you should be on. Learning about Hitler makes kids understand that it is not okay to hate someone because of their religion or cultural background. Learning about homosexuality would teach kids that it’s not okay to hate someone for anything that isn’t a choice. Many students never learn that Hitler killed millions of gays and lesbians, too. The Jews were forced to wear gold stars. The gays were forced to wear pink triangles (lesbians wore black triangles). If you forget about the genocide that Hitler committed against the Jewish people, he would be a martyr for the Christian cause. He did what the bible says to do–kill gays.

I hope that by reading this you realize that no matter how different someone may be, that person is your equal and deserves to be treated as such.

The Harmful Effects of Homophobia

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Homophobia is such an abstract concept. It rears its ugly head in many forms. From the hate crimes that took the lives of many LGBT including Harvey Milk and Matthew Shepard to the so-called “innocent” school yard bullying that led to the suicide of many LGBT youth, homophobia is everywhere. You see it on TV when LGBT people are used as the punchlines of jokes. You hear it at church when your pastor tells you that we are born of the devil or are choosing some “alternative lifestyle.” You even express it yourself when you voice your opinion about the people and events in your life.

That’s right. I’m talking about saying “That’s so gay.”

Not every LGBT person is going to agree with me, and that’s okay. But whenever I hear someone say “That’s so gay,” it only reinforces certain insecurities that I have about myself; it makes me feel like all I’ll ever be is the punchline of a joke.

Please, the next time you hear someone say “That’s so gay,” remind them that we are people, too, and we deserve to get treated like everyone else. And don’t take “I didn’t mean ‘gay’ as in ‘homosexual,’ I meant it as in ‘stupid,'” for an answer. Using the label we give ourselves to express distaste with anything only perpetuates the hate. It makes people feel like it’s okay to put gays down–to make us second-class citizens.

It’s time to start respecting your fellow human beings.

My Letter to John Kasich

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For those who are interested, here is the letter that I am sending to my state’s Governor.  I sincerely hope I get a response.

 

Dear Governor Kasich:

I am writing to ask for your support in the ongoing fight for equality for the people of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.  I do not know where you stand on this issue; however, I believe that in matters of civil rights there should be no room for discussion.  Though I hope to aid in bringing equality to the LGBT community on a national—even global—level, I feel it is necessary to start at the state and local level.

I am sure you are aware that the State of Ohio has adopted a policy equivalent to that of the federal Defense of Marriage Act into its constitution.  This provision limits the definition of civil marriage to between one man and one woman.  I know there are many religious justifications for laws such as DOMA, but in the United States it is illegal under the first amendment for a governing body to show favor to one religion over another.  It is clear that any law whose only logical backing is religion is therefore unconstitutional.

Similarly, many states have enacted laws that remove protections in housing and employment from members of the LGBT community.  As a gay man, it is heartbreaking to look at a job application and see the words “Equal Opportunity Employer” and not see “sexual orientation” listed under the qualities that the company does not discriminate against.

Until laws such as these are repealed, I and others like me will never be equal.  Until they are repealed, the LGBT community will be seen as inferior—as second-class.  Just as the African American people fought for their rights to go to the same schools as everyone else, to work the same jobs as everyone else, to use the same facilities as everyone else, even to marry whomever they choose, I will fight.  The LGBT community will fight.  And we will stand proud; we will stand strong.  Or, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harvey Milk before us, we will die trying.

Thank you for your time.  I hope you will support the LGBT community in our cause.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Greg ********

A Not-So-Traditional Family

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What is a family? Dictionary.com defines “Family” as

A basic social unit consisting of parents and their children considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.

Notice there is no mention of the gender of either parent.  This makes it clear that two men or two women can in fact make families together.  That is why I want to dedicate this post to Jay and Bryan Leffew.

The Leffews are a same-sex couple who were married in California during the brief period that California allowed for same-sex marriages.  When Prop 8 became the hottest issue in the country, the Leffews started blogging/vlogging to show that gay families are no different than straight families.

I encourage you to read Bryan’s blog and to watch the Leffew’s videos on YouTube.  You just might learn something.

Harvey Milk: The MLK of the Gay Rights Movement

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Many say that the LGBT community needs a leader as vocal, as powerful, and as dedicated as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the African American community.  These people are right; we do need a leader.  What many don’t realize, however, is that there has already been a martyr for our cause.  Harvey Milk was a gay man who, after spending several years fighting for equal rights for the LGBT community, was assassinated by a man who hated gays.

Harvey Milk should be seen as an inspiration for the whole LGBT community.  We must not let his death have been for nothing.  We must pull together; we must be strong against the homophobia that plagues America.  To be completely honest, we must fight for equality or, like Harvey Milk before us, die trying.

If you would like to know more about Harvey Milk, I encourage you to buy or rent the 2008 documentary Milk.  In fact, the title of this blog, “Civil Rights, Civil War,” comes from the documentary.

Civil rights or civil war? Gay rights now!