Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hop Against Homophobia


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.      

44 comments:

Chris said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, KZ. :)

Eyre said...

Great post!

B Snow said...

One thing I've learned from living in the South -- all rednecks are not the same. :)

And you don't have to put me into the drawing for the e-book -- I just saw your post about the sale at DSP. :D

Lisa said...

Great post! I will say that since I started reading m/m romance, I pay a lot more attention to GLBT rights than I used to. I'm not afraid to speak up either. All people should be able to love and marry who they want, no matter what their sexual orientation is.

lkbherring64(at)gmail(dot)com

Tam said...

Wow, way to make me cry in the office KZ. Smooth move. ;-) That last video was adorable.

Patience sucks. People shouldn't have to wait. Grrrr. But attitudes in the US are changing, faster than you would expect, not at a steady climb but in leaps and bounds so hopefully that patience will pay off soon.

Don't put me in the draw, I think I have everything already. ;-)

K. Z. Snow said...

You're absolutely right about rednecks, B.

I've been living in rural areas for quite a while, and I've mostly seen an easygoing, "live and let live" attitude. I find it encouraging. (But, then, I'm in the upper Midwest.)

K. Z. Snow said...

Hi, Lisa!

Getting readers to take more notice of GLBTQ issues is one of the reasons most of us write in this genre. Obviously, numbers make a difference, and the more supporters this cause can muster, the faster change will come.

Thanks for stopping!

K. Z. Snow said...

Sorry, Tam.

The wait is incredibly frustrating because of its unfairness. How on earth can a significant portion of the population be denied fundamental rights in the so-called Land of the Free? It's both shocking and shameful.

The toughest nuts to crack are undoubtedly the religious fundamentalists. I'm currently reading a book on Mormon extremists and it's terrifying. Clearly, enlightenment will never be universal -- but at least we're well on our way to seeing more light than dark. :-)

Cryselle said...

I'm going to have to come back and watch the video cuz my laptop's almost out of juice.

Missy Martine said...

Good Morning, I just wanted to say how much I admire you for banding together with so many authors for such a worthy cause. Good luck in your endeavors.

Missy Martine
missymartine@comcast.net
www.missymartine.com

KimberlyFDR said...

Love should always triumph over hate and I believe it always will :)

Thank you for taking part in the hop!

KimberlyFDR
kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

Jenre said...

As a Christian, I hate it when I get lumped in with all the crazies. There are Christians (and other religious people) who practice tolerance, respect and love. If only the nutsos would follow our example there would be so much less hatred in the world. Every time I see a picture of a Christian carrying a banner with slogans that engender hate, I want to reach over, grab the thing and smack them over the head with it. That's what Jesus would do!

BG Thomas said...

Great post KZ and thanks! We have to spread the word, and thanks for taking, and passing, the baton.

B.G. Thomas
http://bg-thomas.livejournal.com

K. Z. Snow said...

I agree, Jen. Religion has done more to mire people in ignorance, and to foster distrust, hatred, and violence among human beings, than any other influence in the history of civilization. Many churches are even more determined than governments (except theocratic governments) to be vehicles of oppression.

K. Z. Snow said...

Hi, BG. All we can do is speak out.

Lana A said...

I'm with Jenre on this one, those people give all Christians a bad image. They complain about the multiple sexual partners and promisciousness but then protest when it comes to the gay marriage vote, why?

anzuazura at yahoo dot de

K-lee Klein said...

Fabulous post, KZ. I totally agree - we may write fiction but we're still responsible for bringing light to the issues that revolve around being gay and homophobia.

Thanks for participating.

K-lee

Tami B said...

Great post. Hopefully more each year (and each generation) brings more awareness and more acceptance of all the rights of all people to be who they were meant to be and not who someone else feels they should be. tb-kindle@hotmail.com

Andrea said...

Love the video

andreagrendahl AT gmail DOT com

kerry said...

Thank you for sharing this with us today

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

sjmarv said...

Here in my home state (Minnesota) we recently had 2 more teen suicides, one known to be gay-bashing related, the other suspected.

Thanks for supporting this so important issue, KZ. Good luck with the blog-hop.

sjmarv11@gmail.com

Vona Logan said...

Hello K.Z.
I love that video, it's so cute and precious. Thanks for taking a stand against this big injustice.

vonalogan@gmail.com

L.C. Chase said...

Great post, K.Z. I LOVE the marriage proposal video, and love that your post is ending with that warm happy feeling of hope, and a big smile for everyone.

I'm not entering, just stopping to show my support. :-)

ad0ffae6-78f6-11e1-8cde-000bcdcb5194 said...

I think m/m has made me more aware of homophobia, too. This hop has been great so far.

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

K. Z. Snow said...

Hey, you all. Thanks so much for stopping by.

L.C., I wanted to mine some hope. It's there -- everybody needs to know it's there -- but we also need to know we have to work, have to dig it up and expose it to the light, to keep it alive.

Hayley B. James said...

Great post! If just one person stumbles across the hop and changes their view, it's all worth it.

K. Z. Snow said...

So true, Hayley.

Anas said...

Lovely video, it's good to see some love and hope!

moonsurfer123ATgmailDOTcom

sylvan65 said...

Hey! Yours is the first blog I've sen on this Hop to give a shout out to Donna! Thank you! I enjoyed your comments on the issues at hand, here's hoping for a successful run, yeah?

K. Z. Snow said...

My pleasure, Sylvan65. ;-)

Jen said...

What a wonderful post and that was a great video!

ineedtoread76 [at] gmail.com

K. Z. Snow said...

Glad you liked both, Jen. Everybody should see that movie. It's delightful -- a real mood enhancer. :)

wulf said...

Loved the video.

Thanks for participating in this great blog hop. I'm enjoying all the posts :)

penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

nancy said...

I'm of the opinion that "those" people give humanity a bad name and I too would like to smack them with their signs. When Obama made his announcement it made a small glow at the end of the tunnel. Pay heed people to the reports of Romney's bullying past, he can deny it all he wants but I call BS.

N.J. Nielsen said...

thanks for an awesome post and for participating.

normanielsen@bigpond.com

stormymonday211 said...

Great post and a very moving video! Thank you so much for posting!

I hope things will work out for you guys in the US, the religious right wing is fortunately not as influential in western europe, but the catholic church's attitude still hurts and dicriminates a lot of people over here. It's so sad to see people doubting themselves and their place in society, when it seems so hard to be religious and GLBTIQ at the same time! We can only hope that society will become more tolerant and open and that it does not take another century to reach equality for everybody!

Hugs and take care!

StormyMonday@gmx.net

L.M. Brown said...

Thanks for sharing your views on the various groups against equal rights. I am glad to see reports of people coming round in even the worst of the homophobic areas.

lmbrownauthor at gmail dot com

Yvette said...

Thanks for participating for this wonderful cause of awareness…I teach high schoolers and this is a topic that we discuss at length. I just want them to be aware and know that they have the power to change the world!
Yvette
yratpatrol@aol.com

gigi said...

Interesting post. Thanks for participating in the HOP.

gisu29(at)gmail(dot)com

Juliana said...

Thanks so much for the post, the videos, and the giveaway!
OceanAkers@aol.com

Erica Pike said...

Oh my god, that video is so sweet. Also love the Full-Mounty one - one of the best scenes in that film.

Thank you for taking part in this ^.^

Erica
eripike at gmail dot com

Layladawna said...

I love the quote!

burchills AT gmail DOT com

~Ley said...

There is hope. I think a lot of people can be changed by just exposure to gay people, experiencing for themselves that they're just people. We're all just people, sexual preference doesn't have anything to do with it.

ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

Peggy said...

Thank you for the post on such a great cause. The hop was great.

peggy1984@live.com