Who wants to help me change the world?

From ancient stories of slavery to the modern day struggles of the disenfranchised to the uncivilized civilizations to oppressive nations. What was once the job of historians, passing down via oral tradition, the stories of our ancestors has become an easy find for those who simply seek our past. We’ve learned the arguments of each era for and against each movement for progress. In each instance it’s been only a matter of time before the creative minority finally reached one milestone or another toward re-enfranchisement, toward acceptance and toward dignity.

Recorded history shows that we’ve forever been a world of struggle born out of differences, both physical and ideological, between us. The struggle itself has been one of power. It’s a veritable game of “king of the mountain”, and we all, to some extent play into this game.

We see this struggle in nature, and we all recognize it. The powerful dominant of the species is constantly challenged and whether he/she wins or looses will determine the course of history within the group.

In the human world, it’s never a one on one fight, it turns itself into the majority taking from the minority that which it rightfully deserves. When the minority rises up to take what is theirs by birth right, the majority begins to fight back. Unfortunately, the majority keeps the upper hand until members within the majority eventually find compassion.

Most of my blog and facebook posts are geared toward my particular struggle even though, on the ground, I fight for many causes. As Martin Luther King Jr said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. I live that phrase every breathing moment. I’m fighting to the rights of everyone, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), yes… that is my personal struggle but that is not everyone. There is injustice EVERYWHERE.

The leaps and bounds made, for instance, by the non white heterosexual protestant male sector of our society is great however, there are still major injustices.

Women and black Americans still make 20% less than average and get promoted 20% less than the rest of the population. Our politicians are still trying to tell women what they can and can not do with their bodies and our transgendered brothers and sisters are still met with injustice at every single turn.

I fight because I believe that this can change. I believe that we have within us the power and therefore, the responsibility, to make the world better than it has ever been. We start in our own communities. We start by talking to our neighbors about issues that effect us. We start by attending town hall meetings and making our issues part of the discussion. We start by educating the rest of the world where they are lacking understanding.

We can change this world… we must change this world.

From the mountain tops to the valleys, from the marshlands to the dry lands, from the cold tundras to the hot deserts, from the big cities to the corn fields of Iowa and from sea to shining sea, we must stand up as one unified voice and denounce any and every injustice, we must stand up for our brothers and sisters and for ourselves. We must yell from every corner of the Earth loud enough to crumble the walls that they have placed in front of us “I am somebody and I deserve full equality, right here and right now”

We can change this world, we must change this world… We WILL change this world!

Posted in Humanity | 4 Comments

Marriage equality, it may be too late!

Here in Texas, I’ve been personally doing everything that I can to ensure that I am pushing for equality. I follow local, state and national politics and I call my representatives, email them and everything else that I can do to get them to support or introduce legislation that will further the cause of legal equality.

In my quest, I work toward understanding what it is that those who are against equality are not understanding. Let’s face it, we can’t just stand on corners yelling “Equality now” and expect for the ears that our message land on to translate that to mean all of the things that we mean when we say it.

The general public probably thinks that we simply want to put wedding rings on our fingers and walk around waving it in their faces. Obviously, we can already do that if we want. It’s not like there’s a law against buying a ring and wearing it. In my opinion, if people knew what they were truly voting for when they cast their votes, they’d more often vote in favor of equality.

As often as I’ve written to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Senator John Cornyn and received their form letters in return, I’ve given up on anything less than phone calls with them. The replies I get from both of them when I talk about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are absolutely indicative of a pure lack of understanding on their part. Both of them mirror the history of how the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community has “attacked” marriage and families. Their language constantly uses the terms “assault on families” and “attack on marriage” as if allowing us to partake in in marriage directly effects their own family’s legal rights and protections.

I think that most people who would read me understand enough that these senators themselves (and others throughout the country) are the ones who are manning attacks and assaults on the LGBT community. They are imposing restrictions on our access to legal protection while enjoying their own freedoms unhindered.

In the state of Texas alone, there are 17,444 children that are being raised by same-sex couples. Our legal system treats these families as if it were a single parent household giving little to no ability for the second parent to use the law to protect that family unit.

It’s a complicated scenario for even the LGBT community to fully understand, let alone someone who doesn’t have a stake in equality but, I’ll break it down with some examples.

My friend John was married and had a son from that relationship. When he and his wife divorced the courts granted him custody of his son. A few years later John met Mark and they eventually fell in love. 10 years later and John’s son is 15 and loves Mark and thinks of Mark as his dad as well. This family unit is tight nit very much like the family I grew up in except for the gender makeups.

Mark and John have bought a house together in a nice neighborhood in Austin. Unfortunately, the way the law works only John is able to be listed as the owner of the house because they are not married. Even though they both take care of child and house, any amount of money that is put into the house from Mark’s income must be claimed on John’s income as receipt of rent which the government keeps a percentage of. This is money that their family already was taxed for from Mark’s income tax from his paycheck.

Literally, this is food taken out of their son’s mouth.

This isn’t the only example of these types of injustices but it goes to show how exactly denying marriage equality is effects children who’s parents are same-sex while benefiting families that are made up of the heterosexual construct.

Even more horrifying is the legal fees involved with drawing up wills and powers of attorney so that, in John’s absence, Mark has the ability to take their child to doctors, enroll him in schools and other items that come natural to a married family. It takes thousands of dollars to accomplish this and they still aren’t fully protected from family members who may contest wills should John pass away unexpectedly.

In Austin, there are an estimated 945 same-sex couples that are raising children, in Houston 2,458 and in San Antonio 1,180.
These are a lot of families suffering simply because the adults in these families are not allowed to get married.

To the title of my post today, “it may be too late”: some of these families have already gotten to the point where it no longer matters. By the time they are finally able to get married the damage to their family has already been done.

This is why, I am asking everyone who is reading this to simply show up tomorrow and support these families.

There are marches, vigils and mass commitment ceremonies going on in Austin, San Antonio and Houston that you can get involved in. Respond that you are going and INVITE all of your friends to show support as well.

If you are not in Texas, no worries, there are events all over the USA!

Posted in DOMA, equality, LGBT, Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How are YOU feeling right now, at this very moment?

For those of us who use twitter, we’ve heard quite often the “What are you doing” explanation of the popular social networking site. Many of us have used the service to promote a business, a campaign or just to organize a meet up with friends. Michael Anthony is taking this high tech idea, stripping away the character limit and bringing it back to low-tech with a new campaign called “The Write Now Campaign“.

He asks one simple question; “How are you feeling…right now, at this very moment”?
And with this question, he plans to put a dent in the plague of bullying related suicide of our youth.

In my opinion, this is a fresh and amazing concept which will hopefully raise awareness for the problems that are affecting our leaders of tomorrow. Of course, there is a focus on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) related bullying issues as that is the focus of the upcoming movie “For Billy: The Movie” which this project is inspired by.

Posted in LGBT, suicide | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

National Prayer Breakfast and why LGBT community should care

Our country has had an interesting tradition. Though there is a separation of church and state, many of our leaders within the country have a faith and practice it. Some, of course, more than others. While I personally hold no stock in any deities, I think it’s awesome that we can feel free to believe and practice as we wish. Of course, it should go without saying that we can practice as we wish so long as it does not restrict the rights of others.

Every year, our leaders get together for a National Prayer Breakfast. Of course, all religions are represented. On the surface, this sounds like a wonderful thing (especially to religious individuals) but what many do not know is the underlying insidious reason for this gathering. It is sponsored by a group that we have come to know as “The Family“.

If you’ve been following politics and especially if you’re a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or otherwise Queer (LGBTQ) community you have probably heard of this group. For many of you, the simple mention of this cult of political puppet masters sends shivers down the spine. If it doesn’t, it should. Over the last several months we have found that this group is most certainly responsible for Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” bill. Even more so than that one article actually shows. They have had a sure hand, not only in inspiring it but, in writing it.

Further, this group pushes several anti-gay messages right here in the United States. In fact, almost every anit-gay organization with “family” in it’s title is either backed or inspire by organizations who are backed by “The Family”. Backing organizations like the “National Organization for Marriage” and the “Family Research Council” which are known hate groups, ranked right up there with the KKK.

The problem with all of this? Our national leaders are gathering together on Thursday at an event started by and sponsored by an organization that backs hate groups. It’s not an innocent “Oh I didn’t know they backed hate groups” situation here. They already know it. Barack Obama knows it and is still planning on attending.

It is not acceptable any more than it would be acceptable for our leaders to gather at a KKK pancake breakfast. These organizations want to murder us. The only reason they don’t is because they don’t want to get their hands dirty. This isn’t just paranoia or conspiracy theory. The evidence is right there for us all to see. Somehow, they go unpunished for these crimes against humanity.

If our president and our leaders do not boycott this event, they are telling the world that it’s okay to hate gays, kill us, disenfranchise us and imprison us all things that “The Family” has made happen in various countries, including our own.

As Americans, we need to stand up against this!
If our president wants to start his own Prayer Breakfast that is absolutely fine by me but it needs to be done without the hate group that is funding the execution of LGBT people.

UPDATE: Someone asked me “Did you seriously just write a piece comparing NOM to the KKK?”

Yes, I did and for several really good reasons. The Southern Poverty Law Center is tracking NOM just like they are the KKK for being a hate group. The KKK is still alive and well today in America. Their tactics are not the same as they were in the 60’s. Meaning, they aren’t burning crosses in yards and lynching people but, their propaganda is still the same. The KKK is a whitesupremacist group as well as a heterosupremacist group. NOM is a heterosupremacist group. This is not that difficult to understand is it?

Hate is hate and any group that hates people for what they are rather than who they are is in fact comparable to the KKK.

Posted in equality, Humanity, LGBT, Politics, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

URGENT HELP NEEDED: Help save Brenda Namigadde

URGENT HELP NEEDED: Help save Brenda Namigadde – sign the petition! In less than 10 hours a young woman who fled to the UK to escape persecution and almost certain death nearly 8 years ago is slated to be extradited back to Uganda.

In case you were not aware of what has been going on in Uganda, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and other wise Queer (LGBTQ) persons are being put on hit lists. Currently, it is a crime to simply be LGBTQ in Uganda. There are politicians seeking to add the death penalty to the list of punishments for that “offense” but as it’s not currently law, citizens are taking the matter into their own hands.

Just this past week the head of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMU) leader David Kato was bludgeoned to death in his own home with a hammer after having had his picture in a news paper with the title “hang them” as one of Uganda’s top 100 homosexuals.

We are asking that you simply sign the petition to save Brenda and share it like crazy throughout your social media networks.

If you are on twitter, please be sure to include Brenda Namigadde’s name. We would like to get her last name to trend as well if that is at all possible.
Thank you all for all that you do!

Until next time, I’m out!

UPDATE: The BBC has released an interview with Brenda Namigadde as she expresses her fears of going back to Uganda after the death of another activist.

UPDATE: So far over 35,000 people have signed the petition!

Posted in bigotry, equality, Humanity, LGBT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kill the gays, it’s our family value.

People dismiss me when I use terms like heterosupremacist and theocrat. Somehow, the average person thinks that I’m just using these terms to fuel a fire. To clarify, just as there are white supremacists, there is a rising faction of heterosupremacists in America. There is also a rising faction of the Christian Reich who wish to reform America into a theocracy. I don’t quite understand how any Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer person can sit and watch the evidence around us and not be infuriated enough to do something about it. For that matter, I don’t understand how any human who believes in a free society of equal opportunity can sit quietly while all of this goes on around us.

I choked back the tears last night after reading about David Kato – Ugandan Gay Activist Murdered In Cold Blood. I thought about it most of the night and had some pretty vivid nightmares of my own while tossing and turning. By the time I started driving to work this morning, I was unable to hold back the swell of tears that had been bottled since last night. Anger, fear and then outrage as I collected my thoughts.

Not for this particular murder but for what I see happening in Uganda at the hands of theocrats in America. Time wrote, a little over a year ago Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill: Inspired by the U.S. Since then, we’ve learned and seen much more. We aren’t talking about circumstantial evidence that loosely ties American Evangelicals to Uganda. We aren’t talking about the simple term “evangelism” either.

Evangelical is a Christian doctrine held by a sect of Christianity. It is a particular sect of the Charismatic movement but there are others that fall into this doctrine. Some call themselves “Non Denominational”. They believe in raising “warriors for Christ” and grooming them to become political figure heads. They send their children off to Jesus Camp. The leaders of these groups talking to children and saying that warlocks like “Harry Potter would be PUT TO DEATH”. Further talking about “The Army of God”.

To be clear, this is not to say that ALL non denominational groups are part of this movement either, nor are all Christians. They do however, help to fuel the fire of rhetoric if they attend and give money to churches and organizations that work against equality in our society.

We just had this huge argument regarding violent rhetoric in the media. If you read my posts here, you know that I put no blame on media for the actions of individuals, even as much as I dislike certain media outlets and personalities. These however are children actually being indoctrinated to believe that they are part of a fearless army that has been called by God to install his kingdom on Earth.

That is what the Evangelic movement is about. Again I say, not evangelism but the specific Evangelic movement. This isn’t a recent movement either. I was part of it and was talked into going to a camp just like this when I was a kid in the mid 80’s. There I was told how special I was that God chose me to do something amazing. A phrase they made sure that each kid was told many times over throughout. What kid doesn’t like to feel special?

I digressed a little bit, so that you understood some of the history and terminology but back on track now. There is no mistake to be made that there is a solid connection between the Evangelical movement and what is going on both in America and in Uganda. Let’s look at what has been going on right here over the past few years alone. In the name of Jesus, same-sex couples in California were denied their right to the benefits and responsibilities of marriage. The same has happened in states all over the country. Texas, where I live, is what has been dubbed a “Super DOMA“state.

Worse, we have Rev. Tom Brown in El Paso, TX who wants to deny LGBT city employees and their families the benefits given to heterosexual employees. This, under the guise of an organization called El Pasoans for Family Values. Oh, did I forget to mention? Tom Brown is an Evangelical Charismatic?

Not only are they teaching hatred toward the LGBT community but, the Evangelicals decided it was a great idea to go and teach the same over in Uganda. The creator of Uganda’s Kill The Gays Bill used a book written by an American Evangelical writer to justify this bill. The real question, the unanswered one is, did American Evangelicals actually help him to create the bill itself? My gut feeling is, that’s highly likely. Having been a part of this movement in my early days.

Look around us at what is happening here. We laugh about the things that some of our politicians are saying. We think “they couldn’t be that ignorant”. The problem is, they are. There is a huge portion of our society that actually believes that America is a Christian nation and that as a Christian nation, our laws should reflect the Bible. There are LGBT people being bullied, beaten and killed on a regular basis, right here in America. Yet, we have LGBT people right here who, when asked to rise up and help do something about it laugh in our faces.

When are we going to wake up and realize that this is not a conspiracy theory. If these Evangelicals get their way, they will bring their own version of a Kill the gays bill to the floor under the guise of protecting family values. It’s time to act before it is too late.

Until next time, I’m out.

Posted in bigotry, equality, hate crimes, LGBT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Arthur Miller, The Crucible, Civil Rights and the Gay Agenda

Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller author of "The Crucible"

I think now that the great thing is not so much the formulation of an answer for myself, for the theater, or the play-but rather the most accurate possible statement of the problem. ~ Arthur Miller

Today marks the 58th anniversary of the day that Arthur Miller’s “Crucible” premiered in New York City. I’ve read this play probably 9 or 10 times in my life and seen various productions of it throughout my life. It happens to be one of my favorite pieces for so many reasons. No reason more clearly spoken than the above quote from Miller himself.

Perhaps, of American satirists, he is the greatest (at least in my opinion). As many of you are well aware, this play was written to point out the social injustices of McCarthyism. During that time, anyone who suspected of communism was investigated, black-listed and even jailed if they had even circumstantial evidence that you might be a communist.

How interesting it is that this social commentary is as relevant today as it was in Miller’s day.

There is this constant battle of good vs. evil in our country. The common mantra being “God is good”. Obviously, it stands to reason, that everything that is not God, is evil. So it was during those days in Salem that, those who were accused of witchcraft were viewed as evil. Women were tortured and killed for witchcraft not because they were witches but, because they were suspected of being witches. What was it really? One person in Salem didn’t like another and accused her of witchcraft. From there the hysteria grew.

We find in the play, as we do with more historical works, that villagers would compile out right lies. Witches will come for your children, they will cause infertility and abort your babies with incantations.

We saw similar arguments during the “Red Scares”. Communists are out to get you, they will convert, rape and murder your children.

Again during the Civil Rights movement, we saw the same tactics. Black men will rape, beat and murder your white children and women.

It’s amazing isn’t it? In our society, historically, anything that a Christian or many Christians couldn’t understand was evil. Even now, the argument over whether or not evolution is a real process is met with the ignorant “That can’t be possible” which translates, in my mind to, “I don’t understand it so it can’t exist”.

Today in America, we have a huge struggle emerging. As a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community I can tell you, history is in fact repeating itself.

It’s been said (even today) time and again that we are out to recruit children. This makes logical sense to them because, if you’re same-sex you can not reproduce, therefore we would die out if we didn’t recruit. This is as stupid as saying that mules have to recruit other mules because they can’t reproduce or infertile people have to recruit other infertile people because they can’t reproduce.

Statistics have been thrown at us as well. Some large percent of child molestation is perpetrated by homosexuals and of course, this is reason enough for them to paint all LGBT people with that brush. Sadly though, they are way off base on that one. The largest percent of child molestation may be adult male to minor male but, those adult males are more often married and in heterosexual relationships and identify as heterosexual. The worse part is, they are most often either the biological father, parental guardian or other close male relative than anything else. Of course, we don’t see the Theocratic Christian Reich looking to deny the right of marriage to men who happen to be uncles.

What does this tell us, truly, about the mentality of our society? To me it says, we never change as a people. We are ever looking to find the devil and the cure for anything and everything that the “moral majority” lacks an understanding of.

Arthur Miller wrote his amazing play nearly 60 years ago and as much as we’ve changed the object of our oppression since then, we have not at all learned tackled the actual problem at hand.

History, my friends, holds all the answers.

Posted in History, LGBT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments