Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hop Against Homophobia Blog Hop

Good morning, and welcome to the Hop Against Homophobia Blog Hop.


When I grew up, there was a lot of prejudice against black people. Even though segregation was over, it was still there. People don't change overnight and they don't change easily. I grew up in white neighborhoods, and didn't see a black person in my school until I was in the fifth grade. Why? I don't know, that's just how it was. What I remember from then is my father telling my mother that her sister, my aunt, could not bring her current boyfriend to our house. Why? Because he was black.

Prejudices are just stupid and they're wrong. And yet they exist because too  many people are content to say nothing and do nothing, either from ignorance or from fear. Or because they think it doesn't concern them.

But it does. It concerns everyone. Intolerance of someone is an intolerable situation, and one we can rectify. But you have to want to do it, and you have to be willing to open your mind, and heart - and use your brain.

Homophobia is far too rampant in this country. The far right will tell you homosexuality is a choice, but it isn't. It's how you're born. It's hardwired into you, like eye color, hair color, etc. The bottom line is that you love who you love.

So what are they afraid of? I've noticed that it's more often the men that bear the brunt of the displeasure, although not exclusively. Men seem to have a higher "tolerance" for women who love women. In fact, it often fuels some of their fantasies. But let it be two men and watch the denials start to roll. What are you afraid of? That perhaps you too could love a man? Is that such a bad thing?

The problem has only gotten worse in recent years because these ill-conceived attitudes are being handed down to the children, at a time when more and more young people have found the courage to speak out, to question and accept and deal with their own sexuality. And they are being bullied for it by narrow-minded young bigots who parrot their parents' unadulterated messages of hate. Too many of our children have died, taken their own lives because of the bullying.

It has to stop!

Being homophobic is every bit as wrong as being prejudiced against people of color, or people of a different faith, or  people of a different race. You can dislike someone for who they are as an individual, but don't hate because of something like sexual orientation.

There are some people, such as the wrong Reverend Fred Phelps, who preach messages of hatred and carry them to extremes. There are members of Congress who also spew messages of hate. They think they are conveying the word of God - I'd love to be a fly on the wall when they arrive at the Day of Judgement and realize just how wrong they've been. When did they decide that God hated people? What right do they have to spread their lies and prejudices under His name? Somehow, I don't think He'd be amused.

And then there are people like my brother. I worked for him for over thirteen years. I did payroll, bookkeeping, billing, scheduling - everything but income taxes, and I even helped with those. I made it possible for him to spend little time in the office. When he got married (for the third time, I might add) and he and his new bride were on their two week honeymoon, traveling around the eastern seaboard and Canada, I didn't even tell him I got very sick, I still went into the office and took care of business so I wouldn't disturb him. I knew he was born-again Christian, but I didn't let it bother me. We had gay clients, and he acted like he liked them. But the signs were there, which I chose not to see, I guess. Like when I told him on the phone I'd gone to see Brokeback Mountain and he started to lecture. It all came to a head when my first published book, To the Max, was released. Silly me, I was so proud of holding my book in my hands. I took it to the office and showed it to him, held it out to him. I didn't want or expect him to read it, but just to wonder at what I had done, to admire it, and to have nice things to say. He wouldn't even touch it. Like it was the lowest form of human excrement. It wasn't long after that he "laid me off" because of having less work. While it's true we lost our biggest client, that was his fault, not mine, for something he didn't do. I've been unemployed ever since because I'm 55 years old and no one wants to hire me. He tells people I left to "write my novel" - he's a liar, of course. We haven't talked since I left, June 3, 2010. I no longer talk to my mother, as she doesn't see anything wrong with what he did. So be it. That is my personal experience with homophobia.

As I write this, I'm listening to the soundtrack from Brokeback Mountain. I remember when it came out at the theaters a few years ago. Before its release, I'd seen the trailer for it, and was very excited because I'd never seen a major movie about two men in love. When I found out it was a short story, I got the book from my library and read it. And cried. Then I saw the movie with my friend Gail and cried again.

Although Jack Twist was a fictional character, this was real in the sense that many gay people have been injured and/or killed because of their sexual orientation. When will the insanity end?

There are those who claim that gay marriage will devastate the institution of marriage as we know it. Honey, that was devastated a long time ago. How sacred is an institution where someone like Kim Kardashian can shell out the big bucks for a travesty that ended almost as soon as it began. Where men are permitted, in some cultures, to take multiple wives. In this country, even, at one time women were the chattel of their husbands and treated little better than indentured servants. Seems to me marriage has been defiled ever since it began.

My suggestion? First - get rid of DOMA as illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional. Then when you get married in one state, it's valid in all of them, as it should be. There are states where the age of consent for a woman is lower than in other states. So all a guy has to do is sneak his lady love over the border, marry her, and take her back home as his wife - fait accompli. So let it be here. And as for all these elections to allow or not allow gay marriage? I say FUCK THAT. Rights are rights because they're the right thing to do, because people are entitled to them. Not because someone voted them into place.

Do the right thing, and fight homophobia wherever you see it. It's time to stand up and be counted. We're not going to take it any more. Stand up and do what's right. Everyone deserves to be happy, to love whom they wish to love, to marry that person.

Fight Homophobia wherever you find it.

Contest:

I'm holding a contest for the duration of this blog hop. I'm giving away to three lucky winners anything from my backlist, your choice. All you have to do is comment, and make sure you leave an email address so I can contact you should you win. No email, no win.  Simple enough, yes? Don't forget to stop by the other bloggers against Homophobia, they all have something to say.

Now get out there and take a stand!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

28 comments:

  1. This blog hop is huge and every post is meaningful so it's taking a lot of time to get through. That's a good thing! I'm really enjoying reading the different stories, experiences and thoughts being posted. Thank you for sharing yours.

    andreagrendahl AT gmail DOT com

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  2. Love should always triumph over hate and I believe it always will.

    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

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  3. It shouldn't matter who you love.

    thanks for being part of this blog

    please enter me in your contest (you know my e mail addy :D)

    Linda

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  4. People should love the person they want no matter the sex, color, or whatever

    dannyfiredragon@aol.com

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  5. Thank you for writing such an heartfelt post... I agree with you 100% -- and if you are able to change at least one person's mind with what you have written here - it is all worth it...
    romancewiththeflemingtons.blogspot.com / romancewiththeflemingtonsATgmail.com -- continued success my friend!

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  6. Thank you for taking part in this hop. I can tell you some of the posts I have read are real eye openers and some have had me reaching for tissues. One day maybe people will get it right.

    normanielsen@bigpond.com

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  7. I'm looking forward to the day when we all get it right. And doing my bit in the meantime.

    cherienoel@yahoo.com

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  8. I'm sorry your brother couldn't be supportive of your writing. I don't understand why this issue is such an obsession with the right wing. The hatefulness hearts my heart.

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

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  9. No person should have the right to tell another how to feel, period. Thanks for the chance!

    sionedkla@gmail.com

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  10. Thank you for sharing your story and for taking part in this hop.

    Juliebites at gmail dot com

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  11. This blog hop is wonderful. My daughter and hre partner thank you
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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  12. Thank you for writing this. I understand having an unsupportive family, my sister is the same way. I'm glad you've continued writing. For me, family is the group I choose, but not necessarily the ones bonded by blood. ---wtprater

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  13. Thank you for participating in this amazing hop and sharing your story. I know what it's like to have family that just keeps knocking you down and I know what it's like to have family that will love and support you (not all of whom are blood related). And congrats on getting your books published. I know I'm not your brother, but it helps to know you've got others out their who support what you do.

    tiger-chick-1 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  14. I'm sorry your family is narrow-minded. I hope that finding like minded people in the writing world has helped somewhat.

    I also understand about your age and being unemployed. That is ageism and just another example of discrimination. Don't give up! My hubby was unemployed for two years but is working again.

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. Thanks for participating in the hop. This is a great cause that I pray one day will not be needed.

    forettarose@yahoo.com

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  16. Thank you for being part of this HOP and helping shine a light on this important issue.

    musings-of-a-bookworm@hotmail.co.uk

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  17. It has to stop! I agree,

    morris.crissy@gmail.com

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  18. Jesus Julie, you moved me to tears.

    ~M
    nomoretears00@hotmail.com

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  19. We should all take a stand and do the right thing.
    Yvette
    yratpatrol@aol.com

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  20. Thanks for sharing your story, I'm sorry that your brother (and mother) treated you that way. Thank you for the giveaway and being part of the Hop.

    ineedtoread76 [at] gmail.com

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  21. Thank you for sharing! You are right there is no reason to block anyone from marriage and its silly to only make the marriage legal in certain spots.

    burchills AT gmail DOT com

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  22. I'm sorry that your family can't be proud of your accomplishment and have treated you so badly. *hugs*

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  23. Well said. I hope the insanity does wear off soon because I don't want to see any more unhappiness, injury or death caused through some pathetic objection to a person's sexual orientation. You should be able to marry who you want.

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  24. Fred Phelps needs to be locked up for openly discriminating against a minority group. He'd so be in jail if he lived in Iceland.

    I'm so sorry about your job and your brother. I hope he (and your mother) will see how wrong he is some day.

    Erica
    eripike at gmail dot com

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  25. I'm so sorry that your family pushed you away simply for doing what you love. And how much worse it must be for people who are rejected for simply loving who they love. It's so sad that it has come to this, although at least it is slowly improving.

    ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

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  26. Love the post. The hop was great.

    peggy1084@live.com

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  27. I had a friend who came out to everyone, his family, his friends and he was blessed to not lose anyone. Actually most everyone already knew he was gay and had excepted him a long time ago. It was actually himself who took so long to accept who he was. All of his family and friends support and love him and this is how it should be!

    This is how it should be coming out, people should love you no matter who you you fall in love with.

    Tabatha Hansen
    mmparanormalromance@gmail.com
    www.mmparanormalromance.wordpress.com

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  28. I'm glad this blog hop is so huge. I hope it makes the difference in changing someones opinion on what is wrong or right.
    Because categorizing a group of people into "second class citizens" simply because of whom they love is certainly NOT something that can EVER be considered right. I truly do hope this blog hop made a change or difference somewhere.
    Thank you for being a part of it.

    Judi
    arella3173_loveless(at)yahoo(d0t)com

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