Wednesday, January 15, 2014

hard headed

let me preface the following by saying that i understand the futility in arguing with close-minded people. i understand what a closed mind is. it's not called "closed" because it has the promise of opening during business hours. it is closed. for good. out of business. bankrupt. defeated. no chance of entertaining shifting its business model and re-opening. and the longer it is out of business, its ideas, values, and original thoughts become sediment and over time consolidate into rock. once a mind turns to rock, it's pointless to try and return it to the traveling, free flowing matter it once was.

in other words, this is not an attempt to try and persuade or change any one's thinking. it's just a meager attempt to give progressive, compassionate, intelligent people an example of why it's incredibly important to teach our future generations the importance of equality, civil rights, and acceptance. it is only in the present and the future that we can create a shift. let's not spend our time trying to take jack hammers to minds made of rock.

first of all, i encourage everyone to watch the following quick presentation, especially those who have friends who still use the phrase, "That's so gay." i then encourage everyone to show it to their teenagers or young adults.

there are two main reasons this is timely for me. and i am going to make it personal.

first, the spotlight is on Utah after a federal judge in Utah ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. without a stay pending an appeal, over 900 couples rushed to get married. then the stay was put in place, the Governor said the marriages would not be recognized, and it created all kinds of chaos and stupidity. the upside? the Utah ruling has sparked states like Oklahoma to follow its lead and (although handled considerably better) while stays have been put in place, a higher court will be called on to make a final ruling. my point? this is an exciting time for the people in Utah to be on the right side of history. the prominent church in the state has become more accepting and has chosen not to be involved or comment publicly on the topic. it is just a few really scared people, who have the brains that have turned into rocks, that are acting hateful and crazy. live and let live. be open, talk to your family about the issue, encourage acceptance, and don't use the phrase "that's so gay" or "what a fag" or "gay" or "fag" in your homes.

it is my belief and hope that this phrase and the use of the word "gay" as a pejorative will one day be eradicated. that our children will look back at those people in their lives who use it as uneducated and ignoramuses.

[Edited 1/15]
second, i went to out of town over the weekend. i heard from a friend about a conversation at a local bar when one dude used the word gay and someone told him it wasn't cool. after some back and forth conversation including the arrogant argument, "i have lots of gay friends and they don't care when i use it", the party was over. as the person who disagreed with the use of the word went to leave, the small town (and small-minded local) physically assaulted him outside. he shoved him down on the concrete, pulled his hoodie over his head, and caused serious physical harm to him. douche move. i don't think the person who used the word hates gays. i understand he is very open and does indeed have gay friends whom he loves and supports; he is just ignorant.

the problem with the situation is this: first, i don't care if his very select group of gay friends are okay with his use of the word. if they say it's cool, there are still thousands of others who are not okay with it. and maybe his gay friends aren't okay with it, but tolerate it because he's so gangster he might put a cap in their skulls. they probably don't dare speak up because he'll physically assault them. either way, this guy is a total tool and a perfect example of what NOT to be. a small town joke. bad ass, bro. totally. had he caught himself and brushed it off, that would be fine. but the physical assault on the person who was trying to do the right thing bothers me tremendously.

my girls don't use the words "gay" or "fag". my youngest doesn't even know what it means. she still sees all human beings as equal. she views everyone the same. she sees all colors the same. she sees love between two people the same. my oldest catches heat at school all the time for asking people not to say "fag" or "gay". she is mocked and harassed constantly for it. she tells me her friends use it and her friends' parents use it. it's time to make a shift. 

i went to a Utah State vs. U of U game last season. after the two 50-year-olds behind us continued to use the word "faggot" over and over again, i made it personal and told them that it is not okay to talk like that. in my yelling voice. in one of their faces. Ute fans thanked me after the game, yet it was still a shock that no one has said anything to them before. after my friends pulled me away from the guy, his cowardly friend told me to leave if i didn't like the language. i told them i had no plans to leave but would post their pictures on the front page of the Salt Lake Tribune.

of course i didn't do that, but i will post them here. classy, eh? see if you can find the two incredible serious bigots.

refraining from using the words in a negative way doesn't mean you have to support gay rights. it just means you respect human beings. letting your household know it stops with your generation and it is hate speech doesn't mean you can't support traditional marriage, it just means you are educated. i implore you, stop the hate and educate. we can make a change.

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