Tag Archives: rights

Sexuality vs. Love


All hearts can love.

As we continue having debates regarding rights, freedoms, and full citizenship for people in same-gender relationships, we may want to conserve our energy and make our discussions more efficient and accurately reflective of every type of relationship.

As I watched Current TV, the channel developed by former vice-president Al Gore, and Illinois senator, Al Franken (D), I heard a woman say that these debates, especially those going toward the U.S. Supreme Court, are made more challenging because the word sex is involved.   The word to which she was referring was, “Homosexuality.”

If it’s really an issue, why not use a different word?  The Latin word, “homo,” means, “same.”  “Hetero,” mean “different.” The Latin root, “amor,” means, “love.” 

Homoamorous means two people of the same gender love one another. 

Heteroamorous means two people of different genders love one another.

So, why not change the word.  It’s not as though we’re using ancient or sacred words to describe our relationships.  “Homosexuality” was coined on May 6, 1869 by Karoly Maria Benkert, a 19th Century Hungarian physician, who first broke with traditional thinking when he suggested that people are born homosexual and that it is unchangeable.  With that belief as his guide, he fought the Prussian legal code against homosexuality that he described as having “repressive laws and harsh punishments (Conrad and Angel, 2004).” 

One would suspect that Dr. Benkert would appreciate this change in lexicon so that we change our focus in this debate from sex to love.  John and Frank are not two people in sex.  They are two people in love.  Deborah and Sheila are not two women who spend their lives sexing each other, they are two women loving each other.  This is especially true because homosexuality has been demedicalized in so many ways.

If we’re going to have to have this debate in the first place, let’s speak accurately about the people involved.  We are homoamorous people.  We are two people of one gender who are in love.  Those in opposite gender relationships are heteroamorous. 

How complicated can that be?  If I were to approach someone and ask them if they’d like a slice of bread, their first question is likely, “What kind is it?”  As a people, we love clarity.  Homosexuality and heterosexuality are simply not clear enough terms for the breadth of our relationship.  Homoamorosity and heteroamorosity are clear winners when it comes to describing the relationships with which I am most familiar.

Sexuality is an important, if not a terribly time consuming part of most marriage relationships.  It helps motivate our interest in a particular person whose gender is consistent with what we prefer; however, that, too, is not always the case. 

Is it unthinkable that two people can have a relationship that is purely emotional in form, without sex, who continue to love one another nonetheless?  Ask many people who are of a certain age. 

Homoamorosity and heteroamorosity are not only options for the terms homosexuality and heterosexuality, they might even be the preferred forms given their more emotionally inclusive qualities. 

My mother used to say, when trying to get the direct truth out of me, “Jim, call a spade a spade.”  Although I never played bridge, from which this term comes, I knew what she meant.  Name something as it is.  I now get that message all the more clearly.

Thanks, Mom.

__________________________

References:

2010, Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/homosexuality/

Conrad, P., & Angell, A. (2004). HOMOSEXUALITY AND REMEDICALIZATION. Society, 41(5), 32-39. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

The Invisible Gay Dollar


What if on June 9, 2010, (6/9 for those who enjoy a naughty giggle), the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community stopped buying anything across the country?  What would happen to the American economy?

In very loose numbers, it is estimated that in 2006, $660 billion were spent by the LGBT community in 2006.  That number is expected to rise to $835 billion in 2011.  I’ve seen numbers that indicate as much as over two trillion dollars will be spent by the LGBT community in 2012.  Even if any of these numbers are off by a few billion, the numbers are truly staggering.

The LGBT community has the power to put a dent in our economy, and yet, we don’t know our own strength.  If we don’t know it, how can anyone else feel that power?

It makes sense to validate that most efficient force by damming up the economic river for just a moment in time. 

Here is the plan for June 9, 2010:

Every member of the LGBT and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) communities will commit to:

1.  not purchase one item of food, clothing, equipment, or anything else on this day, including eating out or buying a cup of coffee;

2.  not buy or trade one stock or bond in any stock market in the world;

3.  withdraw 0.1% of your money from every account you own (e.g. If you have $1,000.00, you would withdraw $1.00 and if you have $100, you would withdraw $0.10);

4.  not donate one item to charity;

5.  not go to work or school for at least half a day;

6.  not use a computer or cell phone for one day;

7.  not use any electricity or gas that is not life-preserving;

8.  not drive anywhere in your automobile;

9.  do whatever else you feel is appropriate, healthy, and safe to make an economic statement about the strength of the LGBT community;

10. Finally, to make June 9 a day of silence to reflect the silence our country is asking us to provide regarding our needs, including equal access to marriage, health care, law, education, and employment. 

Be sure to contact your legislator by June 8 to advise them of your intentions. 

We have seven-and-a-half months to prepare.  In that time, we can clearly create the environment that well over half of our country wishes from us.  This will certainly let them know, “Watch what you wish for!”

What happens if the LGBT and PFLAG community disappeared and we took our money and expertise with us?  We’d have a pretty good idea about the impact of that situation, wouldn’t we?

If you’re interested in participating, please contact me on my Facebook page, June 9, 2010 – Invisible Gay Day.

Equality as a Cigarette


Dear President Obama,

No on 8No on Question 1As we evaluate what happened in Maine as marriage equality, via Question 1, went down with a similar margin as is did in California with Proposition 8, a vivid memory from over thirty years ago comes to mind, in the way a locust comes to a field of corn.

When I was a young father, I used to smoke around my children and in the house.  I smoked in the car and at work.  I smoked everywhere. 

As my children grew, I would lecture them on the dangers of smoking, even as I went to the hospital for asthma and two strokes in my forties from smoking.  I did begin smoking in a different room than the one in which my children were playing.  I did all these “better” things, but I never quit.  I never took action to model a “best” behavior for them.

I believe that this is what you have done to the gay and lesbian community.  You’ve talked a lot about your support of the LGBTQ community.  You’ve signed ENDA and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act  into law. You’ve done all this, but you have not repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and you have not repealed the Defense of Marriage Act.   I remember mentioning that we would see how you’d done by this time in my commentary of May 2009, “DOMA, DADT, and the President of the United States.”

You have given tacet approval to everyone in the United States to stand by their arrogant bigotry by not taking action.  Maine’s response to Question 1 raises our questions about your commitment to the tasks at hand, especially considering that on your White House contact website, there isn’t even a category for civil rights.  Our issues are relegated to the cruel word, “Other.”   It makes me believe that some of us American citizens are seen as “those people.”

42-17323271

It's tough to let go.

For the record, every single one of my children ended up smoking.   Although they are now in their 30’s and 40’s for the most part, and making their own choices, they initially learned from me that smoking was o.k.  I am saddened every day by that fact as they end up in the hospital with asthma and bronchitis.  I am saddened that they may develop emphysema or  lung cancer and die the way their great-grandparents did, and as I, it appears, shall do as well.  I am saddened that their children, of which there are nine between them, will learn the same lessons from my children as mine did from me.  The impact of my smoking has become generational. 

Are you going to allow the impact of your inaction toward the necessary civil rights issues before you to become generational,  as well? 

With my husband, David, we signed our Domestic Partnership documents in August 2005.  In August 2006, we were married in a religious ceremony, and in doing so, we became husbands to one another.  You, Mr. President, however, have no record of that marriage.  Neither does anyone else, except in the hearts of those in attendance.  Is that the life you would want with Mrs. Obama? 

gay-older-couple-250a0328

A gay, older couple

Next time you have a cigarette, (and because I, too, continue to struggle with my nicotine addiction, I know there will be another cigarette, Mr. President), each time you take a drag, think about the gay community.  Each cigarette represents another gay person who is being discriminated against.  Each puff represents one more day that American citizens are being kept from equality.  Every butt you throw away is the dream of a gay couple whose hope for their 50th wedding anniversary that has been dashed. 

So, I raise my filled ashtray to you, President Obama, in hopes that you will both stop smoking and make the changes to our laws that will provide equality to all people in America.

Sincerely,

James S. Ch. Glica-Hernandez

Sacramento, CA

Sent Wednesday, November 4, 2009  9:15 PM PST

Some Perspective on the DOJ and DADT and DOMA


If Nathan Lane was President of these here United States of America (with Harvey Fierstein as Vice President, and Hedda Lettuce as U.S. Attorney General), his administration would have been required to support the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) as it was for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in response to a court battle.  It is the law that the Department of Justice must always file friends of the court/amicus briefs that support current law.  We should not be getting upset about this amicus brief.  It’s a non-issue.

What should have gone along with this brief, however, is a statement from the President indicating his focus on getting a quick legislative repeal of DOMA.  His speech at the National Equality March did give us more hope; however,that’s how this should have been handled in the first place. 

It’s frustrating to realize that we are having issues regarding civil rights in our third century of existence as a country; we, whose ancestors left England, and many other countries for that matter, for freedom. 

hillbillyI remember thinking as a teacher about students who took a long, long time to get the concepts I was putting forth, “Bless their pointed little heads.” 

Sometimes, that’s the way I feel about us as a nation.

“Bless our pointed little heads.”

My point is, let’s stay focused on our next move and not get bogged down in those things we cannot change.

Stay focused, people!

Concepts in Honor, Respect, and Leadership


Derrion AlbertDerrion Albert, 16, was viciously beaten with fists and boards because this honor student was walking in front of the Agape Community Center, in the Roseland area of Chicago, and involuntarily got caught up in a violent melee in the parking lot next door between two groups of high school students.

Fouad al-Rabiah

Fouad al-Rabiah

Fouad al-Rabiah, a 50-year-old Kuwaiti man, was detained at the United States Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for eight years because confessions were abusively extracted from him based on United States Justice Department erroneous suspicions that al-Rabiah was assisting Osama bin-Laden and al-Qaeda in the Near East.  

According to an Associated Press report, in her decision to release al-Rabiah, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote that al-Rabiah’s interrogators “began using abusive techniques that violated the Army Field Manual and the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.” She continue that, “The first of these techniques included threats of rendition to places where Al Rabiah would either be tortured and/or would never be found.”‘  The judge went on to say that the government’s case was thin. 

Mr. al-Rabiah was finally released from the detention facility in the last week of September 2009.   Unfortunately,  Mr. Albert did not fare so well.  He died on the street where he sustained his horrific pummeling.

In both cases, two groups were fighting for respect and innocent people suffered because of it.  The Justice Department and the group of high school students, which has not been defined as a gang in the media, both decided that they would defend their rights to action and correctness in any way possible, no matter who got hurt.  

In the case of the Chicago students, one group did not like that the other group from the projects was attending their school, Fenger High School. 

With regard to the Department of Justice, they arbitrarily decided in October 2001 that because al-Rabiah was schooled in aviation and had indicated that he was on his way to help refugees through charitable organizations in Afghanistan, he was actually on his way to support the group that caused the destruction on September 11, 2001. 

How is it possible for our children to learn about honor, respect for human life, and freedom when our federal government is teaching them otherwise?  In what way is an eight year detention based on suspicion and abuse going to show our youth that one must open his mind and heart to another’s truth? 

As we sit in our comfortable chairs at home, twisting our faces in disgust over the death of Derrion Albert, we should also remember we taught those high school students how to choose.  We instructed them, in the bright light of the media, how to judge without information, how to act before knowing, and how to selfishly fight for what is not only ours.

Derrion Albert died at the hands of our ignorance.  Fouad al-Rabiah lost eight years of his life with his family at the hands of our ignorance.  We lost a bit our national honor at the hands of our ignorance. 

It is time to stand up and teach our young people that we must make thoughtful decisions based on all the information available.  We must look at those around us as our brothers and sisters, and not those who are trying to take what is not ours to begin with.  Our young people must learn that to receive respect in our community, we must act honorably and with accountably in our society. 

Parents who live in the heart of gang territory have had to learn that they must guide their children not to “snitch” so that their children don’t die.  Those of us who are not faced with the daily threat to our well-being understand that this is not the honorable way to do things, but we are not as clear about how dangerous it is to teach our progeny otherwise.   The truth is, that none of us are immune from these threats any more. 

One of the words being discussed to combat this tide of radical fear is leadership.  Gang mentality is not about leadership, it is about a huge group of followers.  What must we do to combat our children’s sense of powerlessness and voicelessness today is to ensure our children have a stronger vision of themselves as necessary and valuable members of our community.  We must help them understand that their voices count, but only when they are building life, not destroying it.

The answers to these agonizing questions are so difficult, if we are to tell ourselves the truth.

Parents must harken back to the time of the colonial revolution against England and to the Civil War.  We must teach our boys and girls that to stand up for what is honorable at all costs is more important than allowing the underbelly of our country to prevail.  There has to come a time when the eagles that reside in the spirits of our children must rise above those who sadly accept their existence in the realm of the cockroaches, the slimy shadows of fear and tyrrany. 

This means that some of our adults and children may be lost in the war against fear.  The truth is that we are losing them now in staggering numbers as it is; and for what?  Territorial supremecy?  Colors and spraypainted symbols on walls? If we must die to protect truth and freedom, God knows we’ve done it before.  The real war is not against Afghanistan, Iraq, or North Korea.  It is an internal war of ethics and culture.  It is a war of truth and wisdom.

Strong economics, vivid education, ethical training, support for dignity, and insistance on reason, are the only roadways toward the light of strength that we must walk.

The poignancy for me is that the place where Mr. Albert died was called the Agape Community Center.  Agape is the Greek word for the purest kind of love.  The ripping dichotomy between the name of the facility and what happened next door is overwhelming. 

What a poor job we are doing  as a country of instructing our children about honor, respect, and leadership.  Ask Derrion Albert’s family.  Ask Fouad al-Rabiah’s family.  I bet they’ll certainly tell you.

Slowly… Slowly


TransgenderSometimes, change happens all at once.  Usually, however, it happens in tiny increments, especially when it comes to social change.

United States Senator Barbara Boxer (California) recently distributed an e-mail indicating that she is joining a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) prohibiting  job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

The passage of ENDA would prohibit all employers, employment agencies, labor organizations and other groups who hire and fire staff from firing, refusing to hire, or discriminating against anyone on the basis of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity.

This bill has already been supported by high profile national civil rights  and labor organizations and more than fifty Fortune 500 companies.

One must wonder if the significance of this era is being missed by those who feel they are not directly involved in the movement toward the eradication of discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender citizens? 

Is it even possible to realize how important a particular shift in public perception is until after the transition is complete?  The movements to ensure a woman’s right to vote and the acknowledgement of and action against racial discrimination began in small ways, but it wasn’t until the lion’s share of the legislation was passed that we could begin to fathom just how pervasive the blight of hatred and disrespect had been and how far we were stepping ahead.

Senator Boxer’s note to all of us was particularly welcome given that President Obama has shown so little dynamic leadership in relation to repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue (DADT) policies currently on the books in our country. 

The best news about ENDA is that it is a bipartisan effort by our Federal legislators.  Nothing gives us greater hope for our future than when, on both sides of the aisle, our elected officials choose to correct a horrible injustice in our laws and societal patterns in such a dynamic way.

Slowly, the awakening is beginning that each person, no matter how they are identified in the little boxes on most forms, has the right to all the freedoms promised in our United States Constitution.  This new effort is one more important step.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the passage of this bill!

A Speech for Some of Us


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

On July 16, 2009, President Barack Obama delivered a dynamic speech on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the National Assocation for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  The NAACP has been the seminal and pivotal organization for the phenomenal growth toward civil rights in these United States of America.  A celebration of this organization and its creative and powerful membership is well-deserved and should be celebrated by every group.

There was a cognitive dissonance in hearing the presidents’ words, however, as a gay person in the U.S, particularly considering the NAACP has been a vibrant supporter of gay rights.  His message of hope and personal and social responsbility resonated as so much more shallow than it might have as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue (DADT) policies remain in full force. 

This letter was written and sent today to President Obama in hope that my voice, added to the millions of others supporting full civil rights for all people in the United States, would make a difference. 

Wherever you stand on these topics, I hope this continues to be an on-going discussion and that the gay community, like the African-American community, will find positive movement forward as time passes.

July 16, 2009

Dear President Obama,

Thank you for your dynamic and moving speech on the joyful anniversary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People today.  Your words of hope and movement forward, personal responsibility and support of the national government were both powerful and intimate.

Without taking anything away from your message to the African-American community, it’s just sad that your words do not apply to the gay children in our country.  It truly is a shame.  Your silence is injuring our gay youth every day it continues.  Your daily inaction is another pound of weight of intolerance and neglect on their necks.

Because I believe in your innate goodness and wisdom, I must only conclude that you do not clearly understand that you alone, Mr. President, can change the direction of our national intolerance and neglect toward all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in our country, particularly with regard to the Defense of Marriage Act and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue policies.  It is your voice that will ring the clarion call for change, change that you promised all Americans during your campaign.

I will continue to remind you of your promise, Mr. President.  Each time you speak, I am listening, along with millions of others like me.  We are waiting. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this correspondence, if you have.  I suspect it will simply end up in a stack of mail that your aides will review, at which time they will mail out a boilerplate response, and feel complete in their task.   Your eyes will be ignorant of my words and your hands will be clean of responsibility for a genuine, personal response to me.
That is not accessibility to you.  That is accessibility to the infrastructure of the White House and no more.

In prayers of gratitude and hope,

James C. Glica-Hernandez
Sacramento, CA

I Love the United States of America


Our Fourth of July

Our Fourth of July

It sounds so corny when I say it out loud, quite honestly.  “I love the United States of America.”  The reflection in the mirror I half-expect to see as I walk past as I speak these words is my rotund countenance draped in stars and stripes.  That’s how silly it sounds to me to say it… at first.

Then, as I mull the phrase over in my head, I contemplate a few things that soften my attitude about this compilation of words.

First, I think about my Dad.  (I always capitalize the word, “Dad,” when I refer to my father, whether it’s grammatically correct or not).  My father fought in World War II.  He was a decorated Pharmacist Mate.  He served in both the Mediterranean and Asian theaters.   He was a hero.  Although he rarely spoke about his time in the Navy, I was always in awe that he fought the enemy and through his efforts, helped win the war.  He fought for the freedoms that I have today.  He, along with all the men and women who so valiantly served our country over the last two hundred-plus years, made a difference to us.  I never forget that.  I suppose that’s why, when I hear the National Anthem, I still get choked up.  It happens every single time.

Second, I wonder where else on Earth I could walk down the street with the fearlessness I do.  As a gay man, a Latino man, an older man, a man of lower-moderate socio-economic status, I am greeted warmly, loved openly, and respected for who I am, with all the diversity I embody.  There are laws that protect me.  I am, relatively speaking, safe.

Third, I can write to the President of the United States of America and say exactly what is on my mind.  Because I have no desire to threaten anyone, I’m secure in the knowledge that my words count just as much as anyone else’s.  It’s a sweet knowledge I carry inside my heart about my place here in the good ole U.S. of A.

I get angry, sometimes, at our legislators and our judges.  I am often frustrated by our media services.  The cost of things is abominable and the challenges to acquire health care for many is untenable.  “Skinny people are too thin.  Fat people are too fat.”  Everyone has an opinion about everything.

We are, thankfully, able to express our opinions as freely as we belch.  Unfortunately, some of our opinions are worth about the same thing.  At least, we are able to send our thoughts out as easily as we throw a frisbee at a Fourth of July picnic. 

We have had presidents, from Washington to Obama, that are nearly as diverse in thought and history as those of us in our neighborhoods.  There were builders, deceivers, heroes and scoundrals, activitists and do-nothings.  They were Americans. 

Today, on this Fourth of July, 2009, I am not a hyphenate-American.  I am simply, joyfully, and proudly an American.

So, as corny as it may sound, I will reiterate my feeling that I love the United States of America.   God (or whomever you choose to believe in, if anyone) bless America!

The birth of the United States of America flag

The birth of the flag of the United States of America

Privacy and the Public Persona


Vultures hard at work

Culture vultures hard at work

As aggrieved as many people are for the loss of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays, one can understand how the outpouring of sadness and sympathy can turn into a national near-obsession.  That being said, one must also find the brake pedal for the intrusion into a celebrity’s private life, especially for the sake of the family.  This level of feeding frenzy is reminiscent of vultures on a carcass.

As the national media has covered the death of Michael Jackson, every one of the channels has discussed his will, the custody of his children, the relationship he had with his father, and even the paternity and maternity of his children. 

Has his family not one iota of permission to grieve over the loss of their son/brother/father in peace?  Is it not enough that we have used Mr. Jackson as fodder for our discussions about his unusual behavior, questionable actions, and ever-changing appearance for the past forty years?

The man is dead.  Dead.  There is no more Michael Jackson in the assemblage of six billion people on the planet.  Certainly his music lives on, as does his family; however, can we simply allow his passing to be handled respectfully and lovingly? 

We are culture vultures.  We scavange on every morsel of information as though it were our last meal.  We tear apart every facet of a celebrity’s private life as though we had a right to it because we spent a few dollars on their albums.  We are shameless as a people when it comes to our celebrities.

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was Commander-in-chief, not one newspaper ever showed a photograph of him in his wheelchair.  Not one outlet discussed his polio.  Certainly, no one discussed in the newspaper or on the newsreel about the infidelities within his marriage.  It was understood that President Roosevelt deserved his privacy and that this level of exposure would be detrimental to our society and standing in the world of the day.

We haven’t one ounce of that sense left.  We’re like the fools who shoot guns in the air because we have them and we want to show our power.  We don’t give a damn about where the bullets land.

Enough already.  Enough!

The news media is making the news, not reporting the news.  They have not got a clue as to what is appropriate any more.  Between our government and our media, we are a shell of our previous selves.  

What a tragic statement about who we’ve become – a bunch of Jerry Springer guest-wannabes who shout at the top of their lungs to make their point and battle on subjects they know nothing about. 

Isn’t it time we go back to our trailer parks, have a cool one, do some honest self-reflection about who we’ve become and how we got here rather than dissecting the lives of people we’ve never, ever met?

What’s Good for the Goose…


There is a dichotomy in these United States of America that is so vividly being presented in the State of Connecticut regarding our freedoms.  In the second of five states in the country to allow gay marriage, there comes a video from the  Manifested Glory Ministries that shows a sixteen-year-old young man having a “homosexual demon” exorcised from his body.

Calvin and Patricia McKinney

Calvin and Patricia McKinney

Prophet Patricia McKinney, and the church overseer and McKinney’s husband, Calvin McKinney, have apparently performed several exorcisms on young people who are attempting to release themselves from the perceived grip of their homosexuality.  The video, as one can imagine, is dynamic in that the young fellow, whose name was withheld, was seen thrashing on the floor, eventually vomitting during the twenty minute, vociferous event.

As revolting as the concept of a “gay exorcism” is to my mind and heart, one question is raised,  “Is the family’s freedom of religion alive enough  to practice their faith as they see fit?” 

If the child’s parents gave the McKinneys permission to perform this rite, the McKinney’s were willing to perform the rite, and if the child himself agreed to experience it, does the family of the parishoner have the right to practice their religion in whatever way they choose, so long as the boy wasn’t injured physically? 

Some might say that the boy should feel free to be gay if that’s what he is.  If that is true, which I believe it is, as well, then shouldn’t he also be allowed to participate in the rites of his church just as freely? 

Concern is correctly expressed that the exorcism will damage his psyche and sense of self because he is not being supported by his community for being who he genuinely is.   We must invite the question as to whether there are other religions who, perhaps not so vehemently, do the same thing to their beloved children.  Families often criticize and shame their offspring because of their sexuality.  Doesn’t that also do horrific damage to the child to have people he or she loves dispense separation, vitriol, and, perhaps, violence against that individual because of the child’s sexuality?

How obscene should it be to us as  a people to wag our fingers at the McKinneys for doing what we do to our own children in other ways? 

“God, I wish my son wasn’t a freakin’ fairy.”

“Jeez, why can’t my daughter just find a nice man with whom to settle down and have a family, instead of that horrible dyke?”

The high horse on which many are riding right now is growing more and more lame.  The pedestal on which many of our fellow Americans would like to believe they sit is cracking under the pressure of our own hypocrisy. 

In this video, there appeared to be a belief that this child harbored a demon named, “homosexuality.”    Isn’t that what many in our country believe?  Those who fight against the equal rights for marriage certainly are making that statement to their children.  Those who sit idly by and watch our junior high students commit suicide because they are being perceived as gay are saying the same thing.

Let’s see things as they are for a change.  We are culturally a bigotted and judgmental people on the whole.   We see ourselves in distinct and separate groups and we like it that way.  The good news is that we are slowly recognizing it and the damage it is causing.  We are changing.  We may even arrive at a place where, for example, in this country, we are all Americans first, instead of insisting on being hyphenates, such as Jewish-Americans, African-Americans, or Straight-Americans.

Change is hard.  Cultural therapy is phenomenally painful and difficult.  We will, however, survive and flourish once we get to the other side.  At that point, we will be able to better see our brothers and sisters as equals in every way. 

What a great day that will be.

What we must not do, though, is lose sight of the fact that for each of our rights, there are those who will show us the extremes of what having them means.  The McKinneys are just those people.  For some, Rosie O’Donnell and Ellen Degeneres would be just those people, as well.  

There must be room for everyone if we want our equality and rights to live in the broadest possible way.

The only exorcism I’d like to see is the banishment of hatred and ignorance.  I’d go to that ritual today!