Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The dangers of anti-gay propaganda - A personal story

In continuing to talk about the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation and profiling new anti-gay hate groups, the lgbt community needs to demonstrate just what harm these group commit with their lie. Here is a little bit of my story:

As an African-American, I was constantly inundated with positive reinforcements while growing up.

I attended schools which celebrated Black History Month when it was Black History Week and Dr. King's birthday long before it became a national holiday.

I was constantly assured that my racial heritage was an asset rather than a liability and it was something which I should be proud of.

It wasn't the same with my sexual orientation.

Instead of positive reinforcements, I was bombarded with vague, negative statements regarding the "sinfulness" or the "danger" of my supposed lifestyle. This confused me because at the time, my life consisted of going to my college classes, studying, or socializing with friends. I hadn't done anything which could have been construed as a "lifestyle," gay or otherwise.

What made it worse were the claims about gay men and sex, or gay men and child molestation, or the supposed automatic connection between gay men and death by AIDS.

And a lot of these claims were emanating from these so-called Christian groups now declared as anti-gay hate groups.

I remember a time in particular when I was reading a magazine at my university's library. The article in question was about gay rights and one of the interviewees was a wife and mother who talked about God, her country, and her children.

She made it a point to talk about how she would protect her children from the "homosexual lifestyle," making sure to list a number of "studies" and "talking points" about the dangers of homosexuality to back her up.

In a later moment of lucidity, I discovered that she received her claims from the Family Research Council.

Bear in mind that I said a later moment of lucidity. At the time which I read the article, I wasn't lucid. In fact, I was downright upset and almost moved to tears because a certain reality struck me in the face.

Here was a woman who considered herself a mother and a Christian and though she didn't know me, she considered me as an outsider, a threat to not only her family, but the notion of family in general. And not because of what I had or hadn't done, but because of what some group, which clearly exploited her religious beliefs and fears, told her I was.

The last time I was ever that upset was in the ninth grade when some ignorant fool called me a "stupid n - - - er."

Because of the positive reinforcement I received as an African-American, I quickly got over being called that racial slur. Unfortunately, it took me some time to get over being thought of as an "oversexed, diseased pedophile."

All of us try to get through life the best we can, hoping to be successful and leave some type of positive legacy. But you can't do any of that when your self-esteem is crippled.

You see that's the problem with the so-called information put out by organizations like the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the American Family Association. The information is not factually based nor does it serve to properly educate the American public but rather to shock and scare them.

It's also designed to cut the lgbt community off at the knees, to psychologically strip us of our self-worth and dignity, thereby creating a type of self-actualizing dichotomy in which we have no other recourse (because these same groups also attack credible information pertaining to the gay community) but to be the monsters they predicted us to be.

Let's be honest about what's going on here. These statements, talking points, and "studies" about the lgbt community put out by groups like the Family Research Council are lies and nothing more. They are no more valid than a racist group distorting FBI statistics to claim that black men are more violent than white men or distorting CDC statistics to claim that AIDS in the black community is indicative of African-American inferiority.

But what makes religious right lies even more insidious is that they are done in the name of God.

The groups peddling these lies whine about "deeply held Christian beliefs" regarding homosexuality. But what about the Christian beliefs regarding lying or bearing false witness?

Just where in the Bible did Jesus say "Obey ye the word of God unless you are talking about homosexuals. In that case, then go forth and lie with impunity."

Bookmark and Share


designing wally said...

Many of the "christians" today never learned the lesson of Uzza.
I believe they are sincere, but still the damage is done. Well intentioned acts of religion are very often acts of disobedience out of ignorance.
The real danger, I have witnessed in my lifetime, is that the well meaning would rather look for a scapegoat than learn the lesson the spirit is trying to teach them...

when a man thinketh he stands, let him take heed, lest he fall...

and fall they will...
i take comfort in that.

thanks for sharing & i'm thankful for your works

WMDKitty said...

Beautifully written.

Kiley said...

Great post!

Christians in general seem to do a dismal job actually living what they claim to believe in. Rather than embracing Jesus's teachings "love one another" they seem to embrace Old Testament values of kill, stone, maim, judge...

Just as you alluded to the real damage is done to LGBT people that grow up in those communities and constantly sent negative messages. Overcoming those negative messages can be difficult. The old adage that "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is an incredibly false statement. Words shape young minds and world views...