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Oct 15 2010

Move Friday: Joel Burns says it gets better

Last week’s edition of Movie Friday was a sort of tongue-in-cheek joke about the ridiculousness anti-gay propaganda. In my zeal to mock those who would promote such a ludicrously false message, I glossed over the fact that those kinds of things are serious. There are actually people who honestly believe that gay people are abominations in the eyes of YahwAlladdha, or even divorced from religion that they deserve to be mocked, bullied, tormented, tortured, and even killed. The milder form of this idiocy comes in the form of invoking “natural law” as some kind of justification for labeling homosexuality as a “sin” – or saying that gays and lesbians are “going against nature”.

If you’re reading this on a computer, you’re going against nature. If you’re clothed while doing it, you’re going against nature twice. If you’re indoors, you’re going against nature. Basically every activity you’ve done today aside from eating and pooping is a violation of “natural law”. The three examples listed above are things that no species in nature does, save homo sapiens. Interestingly, homosexual sexual activity is not unique to our species, but again the use of facts is of limited use when confronting ideologically-based bigotry.

There has been a great deal of recent attention paid to the rash of suicides committed by gay kids as the result of bullying. Of course, this phenomenon is not new, it’s just a statistical cluster that is grabbing people’s interest. Religious groups of various affiliations have been falling all over themselves to try and claim that they had nothing to do with it. Because, you see, Jesus is about loving the sinner, but hating the sin. Here’s the problem with that assertion: defining someone’s existence as a sin is hate. Plain and simple – you call being gay a sin, that’s a statement of hate. The predictable response to that argument is that being gay isn’t a sin, only engaging in gay actions. Basically, the solution is to just stop being so damn gay. An absolutely ridiculous position that forces people to deny who they are, and suppress what actually does come naturally to them.

I could go on like this for a long time, but this is Movie Friday, and you came here to see a video, so here it is:

Dan Savage, a popular queer columnist created this video and the associated campaign to tell gay kids that while life might be unbelievably tough, things get better. As you get older, you will be able to leave behind the small minds and idiocy of your family, or your school, or your church, or your community and find some solace and acceptance.

Predictably, this campaign has caught on like wildfire and people have recorded their own videos in solidarity. I found this one particularly moving, from city councilman Joel Burns from Fort Worth, TX:

What’s interesting about both of these stories is that although complaints were made to the appropriate places, nothing was done to stop the bullying. Basically, if you act gay, then you’re the legitimate target of violence. That’s how hate works. People may not actively seek out and beat up gay kids, but they contribute to a culture that tolerates those who do. These religious groups who said that it wasn’t their fault are missing the whole point – you grant implicit license to those who commit atrocities by preaching the nonsense that fuels the hate.

Anyway, this will have to be the subject of a subsequent post (or many), as it is already toooooo loooooong. Enjoy the videos.

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