Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fighting Homophobia

A strange title, I admit, for a 30 days of thanks post. Yet I feel there are thanks to be given to the people that do this on a daily basis. 

Last week, Informare Per Resistere put this on their Facebook status:

"« Mio figlio ha voluto un bracciale con le borchie. Ha nove anni e lo ha messo a scuola. Il giorno dopo mi ha raccontato che i compagni lo hanno deriso chiamandolo gay. E che non sanno neanche cosa significhi. 

Io gli ho chiesto: e tu invece lo sai? Ricordi cosa significa? 

Lui mi ha risposto: certo mamma, gay e' una persona che si mette con un'altra dello stesso sesso. E allora non devi ritenerla un'offesa, gli ho detto. Il giorno dopo ha rimesso fieramente il bracciale per andare a scuola.

Io a mio figlio insegno il rispetto per la persona umana. Cosa insegnano i genitori di quei compagni che lo hanno deriso?
L'omofobia si combatte soprattutto in famiglia. »
― Monica C."

For those of you that don't read Italian, this is a rough translation of my own (probably some errors along the way, but close enough):

"My son wanted a bracelet with studs. He is nine years old and in school. The next day he told me that his companions laughed at him calling him gay. And that they do not even know what that means.

I asked him: and what about you do you know? Do you remember what that means?

He replied: Sure mom, gay means they are a person who lives with another of the same sex. And then you must not feel it an insult, I told him. The next day he proudly put the bracelet on before going to school.

I teach my son to respect for the human person. What do they teach the parents of those comrades who have mocked?
Homophobia is fought mainly in the family. »
- Monica C."

"“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis told reporters, speaking in Italian but using the English word “gay.”" New York Times, 7/30/13

When Illinois passed the gay marriage bill Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tweeted his reaction: “With one vote, countless couples will be acknowledged for what they are under the law — families just like everyone else. Great day!”

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis had a number 1 hit with Same Love, and it calls people out for calling people out for insulting gay people from behind the anonymity of message boards and YouTube. 

These are all normal people - Monica, Pope Francis, Rahm Emanuel, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis - who are all part of the effort to stand up for people who are just like everyone else except for one small aspect of their lives. Its all these small actions that they've taken that make a big influence - Pope Francis, heard by billions, Monica, heard by over 750,000 people, Rahm Emanuel, heard by millions, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, heard by billions. that help change the actions and thoughts of every day people.

I also want to throw in that its pretty awesome the Senate passed NDA. Since John Boehner hates the bill, who knows if it will ever see the light of day in the House, but I hope and pray that the good people of the House bring it to a vote

For that, I give thanks. There are decent people out there. You might not hear about them on Facebook or Twitter every day with the overwhelming negativity out there, but they are there. I give thanks that these folks seek out the positive message to deliver and try to make the world a better place.

[Side note: I am not Catholic but greatly admire Pope Francis. I've followed Rahm Emanuel's career since he was in the White House. I do have family and friends who are LGBT and they are as normal as anyone hetero I know. I wrote this post on 11/09/13 at 4:00 pm.]

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