So let's take a bit of a break to honor the late, great Donna Summer. One of my favorite DS songs is featured in this snip from one of my favorite movies, The Full Monty -- the unemployment-office sequence.
Welcome to my stop in the Hop Against Homophobia. Please click on the colorful sidebar button for a comprehensive list of the hop's 250+ participants. And here is a list of organizations and groups that are active advocates for GLBTQ rights and acceptance. (Please let me know which ones are missing!)
I've noticed over the years that homophobia is a three-pronged attack. Leading the charge is the religion-based army -- the conservative Christians, Jews, and Muslims who believe they're battling Satan when they decry any departure from heteronormative behavior. From another direction come the garden-variety haters -- everyday ignoramuses, usually male, who inexplicably harbor animosity toward everybody who isn't just like them. The third hostile force seems unlikely, but it exists nonetheless -- GLBTQ snipers who take potshots at each other.
We all know how despicable narrow-mindedness is, as well as how destructive and how difficult to overcome. But what we often fail to keep mind is that all wars come to an end. I'd like to concentrate on that. Need to, actually, especially after that fiasco in North Carolina.
Although the first two foes mentioned above are the most daunting, glimmers of tolerance sometimes come from their ranks. Check out, for example, Jay Bakker, the son of Jim and Tammy Faye (yes, the once-infamous televangelists). In spite of his roots, he's a smart, sensitive man who's now pastor of a humanistic church and an outspoken supporter of gay marriage. His ministry is not unique; there are more and more like it springing up all the time. The rednecks? They're not all irredeemable. I've seen many come around, simply through regular, casual interaction with gays and lesbians. And the "bitter old queens"? (I set this in quotes because it's a phrase I've read and heard . . . quite often, sad to say.) They're more the exception than the rule.
So there's hope in this Hop. However slowly, those glimmers of acceptance will shine ever brighter. Sure, enlightened school systems, fierce activism, and civilized dialogue will hasten the process. They can lead to saner laws and, if necessary, constitutional amendments. But I believe change is going to come mostly through acclimation, through all those fearful, judgmental antagonists realizing they have friends, relatives, neighbors, fellow PTA members, coworkers, leaders, and idols who aren't straight yet pose no threat to them whatsofreakingever -- in fact, are often lovely individuals in loving relationships, and are simply trying to get by like everybody else.
Is patience a virtue? Not when people are suffering and dying. But sometimes it's the only option we're afforded. In the end, I'm sure more of this will happen -- everyday and everywhere -- as people begin to realize that human decency is no more defined by sexual orientation than it is by faith, gender, looks, race, ethnicity, upbringing, income, or level of education:
By the way, we bloggers have been asked to give away a little something to thank visitors for reading our messages. So if you leave a comment, you'll be eligible for a free download of one of my m/m titles. I know it isn't much, but it's all I've got to offer. I'll announce and contact the winner on May 21. Thank you all.