Archive for the ‘equal rights’ Category

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In the Middle Ages, various kings would cloak their own will with the supposed ‘will of God’.  Those who would not obey the King, Christian or otherwise, would be to commit treasonous sin.  The judgment could be imprisonment, banishment, or even death.  With this ‘divine right’, Kings could rule as they pleased, as they claimed they were appointed by God, and answered to God alone.  This kind of flawed, supervised rule goes on still today…but wrapped in other titles.  Priests, Rabbis, pastors, Popes, shamans, prophets, Ayatollahs, reverends and various supposed ‘holy men’ that claim to actually ‘hear’ from God, are still poisoned with the same human weakness today.  The ability to mold and shape groups of churches, temples, mosques and other holy places, affecting millions of individuals around the globe, shaping ideals that can be helpful or disastrous.

This type of leadership and dominance has been part of humanity since civilizations began.  It was a way to rule, a way to control the masses.  It gave indelible power to the ones that learned to wield it.  They could rule, sway, and bring judgment down on the innocent free-thinkers who would challenge their decisions…after all, the ‘Almighty’ of the times, was on his side.  Soon, the ‘sheeple’ would line up as commanded…this was surely NOT a democracy.

Today in our democracy, there are those voices ‘crying in the wilderness’ that would draw the people in, using the ‘authority of God and his Word’ to manipulate and tarnish the very freedoms and evolution of our society.  The ‘Will of God’ and the ‘Fear of God’ is used on a regular basis to ensure compliance, or as in the Middle Ages, banishment, apostasy, death and separation from this supposed God, the whole time wielding the ‘will of God’ through their own interpretation and misuse of humankind.  They have moved into government, where they can influence this democracy and once again, set up a system by which they will rule…all in the name of ‘God’.  A theocracy, wrapped in an American flag and worshipped as ‘freedom’, only to destroy the true freedoms we of every creed, race, and culture have enjoyed of late.

We have been very fortunate to be born here in the U.S.A., where free-thinking and diversity is not only encouraged, but celebrated.  Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of Church and State are paramount for our democracy.  Let’s not fall back into the rule of a Divine Authority mentality.

theatre-faces

Humor is to provoke laughter, providing amusement.  ‘Laughter is the best medicine’, a phrase we all have heard.   It rings true in the face of almost every human experience.  It breaks the tension between quarreling people; it interrupts the hurting, hate-filled nonsense we sometimes experience.  It’s manifested in smiles, bursting into joy…sending soothing chemicals from the brain, igniting a pleasant release of stress.  It’s been a mainstay for many relationships, both personal and professional.  It works!  It works for ALL of us, no matter what we are going through or suffer from.

With that in mind, let’s talk about the types of humor.  After all, we all enjoy humor, but certain humor causes our laughter to commence.  Some like raunchy humor, full of cursing and sexual innuendos.   Some like the clean, family type humor.  Some like the silly type humor, the dummying down type.  Some enjoy the intelligent/witty type of humor.  And of course the most enjoyable, laughing at ourselves.  Most of us like a combination of them, that work to loosen the burgeoning chuckle or hardy laugh that we all enjoy and need.  There is a long list of the types of humor that are experienced by millions during their life experience, although different in taste, the outcome is the same…laughter.

With the birth of well-founded laws protecting minority classes of people, there has developed the need of political correctness.  Being politically correct, or PC, is now written in bylaws of various companies and corporations, slowing the belittling in unhealthy workplace environments.  More of late, PC has flowed into most TV production and personality, evoking reprimands and even termination of those who cross those sensitive boundaries.

Staying in the same vein of being PC, I feel that there are words that we as mature humanity need to leave behind or evolve away from.  We all know the power, history, and representation of various words that evoke memories of pain, whether in the general public or on a personal level.  Words that evolved from the playground, into our adult lives and conversation.  Our species is one of many that developed pecking orders 150,000 years ago, back when tribes ruled.  Intimidation was and is a tool people use to develop these sometimes cruel events, using nicknames and bullying techniques that still work today.  Although most quell those immature events as adults, there are those that carry those same deceitful techniques into adulthood, honing it’s poison into more ‘legal’ level.

This behavior has been deemed an acceptable form of ‘art’, when used by comedians and performers.  It has been woven into cultures for eons.  Since early times of this great nation, using any ‘different’ group or minority were used as the butt of jokes, allowing and celebrating the denigration of peoples for a mere laugh.  Allowing this type of humor leans to a devolving society, especially here in the U.S., where we are the most diverse country on the planet.  “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” …one of the biggest un-truths ever spoken!  Ignorance on the playground between children is one thing, but to carry that into adulthood is a hurting disservice to us all.  Social evolution is a continued must for a diverse culture and society. 

What I’m saying is this, we all know the words that hurt. Those condescending or maligning words or remarks that we allow ourselves to enjoy at the expense of others as an ‘accepted’ form of entertainment, to permeate our lives without remorse. 

I think it’s time to evolve.  Stop the masked prejudice, and evolve our humor to something more tasteful, not to be cloaked as a recognized ‘art form’.

Until Love is Equal

Posted: April 3, 2014 in equal rights, LGBT, Transgender
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I was just watching a commercial from a prominent dating site, in which the couple ended up on the couch, making out in front of friends…with their apparent blessing on their physical show of love. (and/or lust) I thought to myself, “what if this was aired with 2 men in love, or 2 women all over each other…how much would the public be celebratory of ‘that’ kind of love?”

We’ve come a long way with LGBT rights. Our visibility and work in the court systems allow us to openly celebrate our care and love for each other… OR DOES IT??

I believe we have fought for the right to ‘exist’, to love who we want to love, but as a society the majority of the population is not ready to actually SEE us as the loving couples we really are. I hear this all the time..”oh, it’s cool that you are with someone you love of the same sex, but com’mon…don’t put it in our face!” Why? Because they still view anything other than typical hetero relationships, with public displays of that love, not acceptable. I’m not necessarily advocating PDA’s, as I believe there are times and places for that, no matter who or what you represent.

I realize we have such a long way to go. We need to continue to be visible, and help validate not only our existence, but our place among humanity as well. 

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Equal Rights

Posted: March 25, 2014 in equal rights, LGBT, Perspective, politics, religion
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In the fight for equal rights for LGBT persons, there are various stages that are apparent. Various groups within the status quo become numb to the abuses of a minority, until the abused are pushed to a point where they begin to retaliate or fight back against the apparent blind aggression. That’s when I have seen the following start to happen:

1. Recognition of inequality within a minority of the country and in this case..LGBT persons.

2. The retaliation of the majority, fed by fear and tribal instincts, begin a backlash of hate, fighting against changing their norms of comfort and solidarity as a majority. Usually religious beliefs being the wedge.

3. Legal battles ensue, for and against. Usually leading all the way to the supreme court to finalize a matter.

4. Visibility of said group (LGBT) becomes more evident. Neighbors, friends, relatives, professionals coming out to show our societal normalcy.

5. Freedoms begin to be legally won. Mind-sets are slowly affected by personal knowledge of persons that are out. One-to-one education going on within various neighborhoods. Education easing fears that once held them, ignorance losing it’s hold.

6. Religion and holy books with reference to unacceptable ‘lifestyle’, held in high esteem, even with the passing of equal rights. Continued oppression against LGBT communities with religious sanction. Religion becomes involved in politics and education to try to thwart apocalyptic ideas, more fear is created and promoted.

7. Ignorance and fear battle against the sanity of the country. More lies created and conspiracies taken as reality by those affected by the barrage of the supposed ‘moral majority’.

8. Newer generations holding more to education and sanity, dispelling almost all the hate from the religious superiority factions, causing more people to stop attending various religious establishments. The majority of 13-35 persons growing up with LGBT friends and classmates, find the battle ludicrous. 

9. Racists and haters aging, still fighting an insurmountable fight. Gerrymandering districts to keep students and minorities from voting, their only power…the vote. Class warfare maintained and boosted among them, demonizing minorities of all kinds.

10. Old age claims their lives, advancing the younger, less hateful groups. Religion loses hold on the minds of millions, and they turn to more education and become more prolific scientifically. 

That’s just what I have noticed. I know many of you are much more knowledgeable and qualified to completely pick this apart, but it’s my understanding of what I’ve viewed both within the civil rights movement and now with LGBT rights.

Which side do you find yourself on?

equalk

plague

The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history.  One Quarter of the population of humanity was wiped out, killing an estimated 350-375 million people from Asia to the shores of Europe.  The plague respected no one.  Kings, Pope, priests, and nobles that were supposed to be able to protect the townspeople were powerless to it’s destruction of life.  Prayer, isolation, offerings, all fell on proverbial deaf ears. 

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During the plague’s migration to mid-Europe, there was a group of religious zealots that took matters into their own hands, The Flagellant.   They would mimic the torture and suffering that Christ was supposed to have suffered during his trial and Crucifixion.  They would whip themselves with cords fashioned with stone in them to afflict severe wounds.  Loss of blood would be wiped up by the clothes of women following them, smearing the very blood over their faces to show their penance to a god who would or could not hear their pleas for healing and restoration.  These groups would move town to town in hope to save themselves and others from certain judgment from their angry god for their sin.  They would gather those in various town, torturing and killing those who were found in their ‘witch hunt’, of sorts.  Those guilty of ‘sins’ within the various towns and provinces  It was a ghastly time, fearful, and inescapable.  

 The mindset of various religions today, continue in the fear of judgment of an all powerful God.  The plague they now face has been labeled as the destroyer of our nation, this new threat – the equal rights of the LGBT community.  The delusion of judgment, and purging of sin, is still practiced today, spreading out in communities and effecting those that do not ascribe to it’s beliefs.  These ‘flagellant’ Christians are now gathering within the United States, amassing those who would ascribe to the notion that ‘sin’ is something god will judge and is currently judging, from the President on down.  They are congregating in various states, trying to persecute all those that do not ‘shore up’ to their beliefs and are beating on themselves with things like “The War on Christmas”, or refusal to serve the LGBT communities, or to marry them.  They are bullying those who do not agree with their view of god’s judgment, and are working nonstop to legislate their phobias into law, allowing them to refuse service and other functionality to persons in our progressive society.  They cry out ‘Take our country back’, similar to the 14th century, as their prayers as well continue to fall on deaf ears.  They have taken matters into their own hands, willfully spreading lies and financing marketing to publicly ‘weep’ of their ‘religious persecution’.   They tried to quell integration just decades ago, all in the name of their god and his supposed holy writings using this same platform of hypocritical righteousness. 

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The Crown Jewel of the U.S.A. is celebrating our diversity in a prosperous, free society.  It’s citizens, all equal, all Americans, deserving freedom to practice their religious beliefs or not.  All men (and women) are created equal, but these groups will not tolerate anything that THEY deem as sin that cannot be tolerated.  Sin is sin, but they forget that…as they would not be able to function in their own communities and churches, should they start enforcing it.  Lately, their self created, paranoid delusions are causing many to join them in helping their supposed ‘all powerful god’ by sitting in his very seat of judgment…as god is not responding to their prayers of segregation and discrimination.  Religion is in the heart, and does not belong in our court system, affecting all those who do not share their views – or at least it shouldn’t be.  Separation of Church and State is the true ‘holy text’ here in the greatest nation on earth.  There is no other country with both our size and diversity. 

Let’s continue to thrive to build a safe haven for ALL our citizens, and not make the mistake of taking some belief system into our system of government.  If we fall to this insanity, we will no longer be a republic, but a theocracy.  And THAT cannot be tolerated!  Lincoln’s phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” … that bell must ring for ALL!

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something else 

In every culture you will find subcultures.  I want to discuss the LGBT community…more specifically, the ‘T’ or trans community.

When I answered the call within myself of sexual orientation, I was freed of the guilt, stigma, and overall disgust of my family and the world I had come to know.  This new world of just ‘being myself’ was full of newness, freedom…enabling me to enjoy that part of me that only a fore existed in my dreams.  I soon started learning of many subsets or subcultures within the “gay machine”.  Not only were there many relationships between gay men that were just like traditional hetero ones, most were even more honest in design than the mirage of a Puritan construct that plagues most hetero marriages today. There were so many ‘types’ of men…boys, bears, leather, muscle, club, drag/fem, etc., each with their own gatherings and parties across the nation.  Most groups tolerate the others as a matter of ‘getting along’, as we were all seen from the outside as degenerates, sinners…repulsive to ‘normal’ humanity.  Soon, those within the LGBT communities became avid activists, showing just how hypocritical those who fought against us were, and still do.  Soon, we were being represented as mayors, senators and leaders…not just in the stereotypical ways. (drag queens, hairdressers, etc.)  Exposure began to show the average person, just how ‘human’ we really were, different yes, but certainly not freaks of nature.  We pulled together and changed the face of the gay community.  Though we were very different, we in the LGBT communities, fight the same enemies…ignorance and intolerance. 

The trans community is different from the LGB communities in that the LGB communities are defined by sexual orientation, we on the other hand, are dealing with another unrelated issue…our gender and the associated dysphoria.  In short, sexual orientation is who you want to wake up ‘with’, and gender is who you want to wake up ‘as’.  It’s not about just making a statement of who you sleep with, but who you are at your very core.  This incongruence is a cruel torture to both mind and body, sapping your mental and physical health.  The mountain of circumstances that must change for us can be completely overwhelming.  The bullying, the jibes, the labeling as ‘freaks’ are sometimes too hard to bare and many trans persons try to commit suicide, many sadly succeed.  So the battle we face goes beyond our sexual orientation, it cuts to the very core of society…our gender.

Under the current umbrella of ‘Trans*’ there are many subcultures and layers.  There are those who are cross dressers and transvestites that merely enjoy the fetish of dressing and acting as women, but I want to talk about those with gender dysphoria within this colorful ‘trans*’ arena.  These are the women and men that were assigned male/female at birth, but the emergence of their gender was the very opposite of that obvious assignment.   Most live their entire life with this dysphoria, tortured by the fact that they continually attempt to fit a mold that society has shaped for them by the mere observance of their genitals.  It is unhealthy both mentally and physically for them, and they need to transition to align their bodies with their minds.  The level of gender dysphoria varies person to person.  Some women want their lower surgery immediately; to quell the dysphoria and some never have surgery because of health or financial reasons.  Most women with this dysphoria go the path of HRT, or Hormone Replacement Therapy, to assist the changing of their bodies to be congruent with their minds.

Many never ‘need’ surgery, as HRT is enough to quell the painful dysphoria thus allowing them to lead healthy lives as their identified gender.  Many obtain FFS (Facial Feminization Surgery) to give them a softer, more feminine facial appearance.  Many obtain BA (Breast Augmentation) to give them the confidence that so many women lack.  Some cannot live with themselves without being completely physically congruent and have GCS (Gender Confirmation Surgery).  These are all personal choices that each trans woman will or will not make in accordance with their level of dysphoria.   Many desire surgery but cannot afford the procedures because insurance will not cover it, or they have no finances to draw from.  Those persons go on living with their painful dysphoria.  Thankfully the healthcare industry is changing to accommodate coverage for Gender Dysphoria, as it relates to the persons health…both mentally and physically.

Attitude

Both pre-op and post-op girls (those who have had GRS or not) will always have one thing common; “We all started out as something else”.  Those who have been fortunate to obtain financing or have the money to obtain surgery, should not belittle those who cannot or do not have surgery.  We are all women, just the same.  Your needing surgery shows your level of dyphoria.  Many just have the surgery to be congruent with the rest of their body.  All of which is ‘good’, as we all want to live happy and healthy in a society that has yet to understand us.  Most of us agree that we have never really been men, although we’ve had to masquerade as such.  What I’m trying to say is, “Why the infighting?”  Is it just human nature that some try to lift themselves up by putting someone less fortunate down?  When I came out trans, I did so coming out of the gay community.  Yes, we had our differences, but we worked together for ‘our’ common good.  We in the trans community need to pull together, not deflate or depreciate one another’s experience and realize that AS A WHOLE, our society thinks we are abhorrent freaks of nature, and our battle is the same, to fight it! 

So if you are living a ‘stealth’ lifestyle because you can, remember that those who cannot or choose not to be hidden, are fighting for YOUR very right to exist and be eventually respected in our society.  I personally did not leave one closet, only to live in another.  From the outside, looking in…we are all the same. WE ARE ONE.  Let’s start acting that way.

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“We Are Trans Beautiful!” – Ally Raymond