Pebble In The Pond
TW: Images showing hateful language
This has been a very challenging week. The last 7 days have been both the anniversary of my proposal to Alan and when we announced our Pride wedding from Michelle Visage (even though it happened in late May). This is usually a joyous time, looking back on very powerful and fond memories, but it took a turn.
The proposal video is below. For some reason, a couple of years after it being shared, it started racking up the views and some comments started coming through. The usual stuff, vomit emojis, burning pride flags. Sadly, I am a bit immune to these at this point. Then it became very clear that the rhetoric was religious, and the condemnation started coming hard. Roughly every few minutes. Unable to turn off comments on a public page, they just keep coming.
You can see on the video most of the recent comments. If not, here are some:
Followers and myself have been reporting the worst ones. Very few get removed as they aren't classes as "hate speech" even when they incite violence. Some go as far as to threaten burning us alive in public, and that isn't considered hateful.
So, why am I writing this.
Two fold. The reaction of people to seeing this has been odd, mostly because it is not how I react to things. It has either been to say "I can't believe this still happens" or "just ignore them."
This stuff happens. I get some digital abuse on the daily. But, over the weekend there was a terrorist shooting at a gay bar in Oslo, with the authorities cancelling Pride the next day. We hear of kids being assaulted in school. Numerous people came forwards to say they have had their "gayness" blamed for their inability to do strong yoga postures by male teachers. Hate is prevalent, and you don't need to look very far for it, but it is easy to look the other way.
The ignore tactic has a similar vein. To look away and pretend it isn't happening doesn't stop anything happening. It doesn't stop the thorn sinking in. You just bleed to death from 1000 cuts. Evil relies on good people doing nothing, and pretending it doesn't happen or embracing the naivety of innocence actually allows it to continue.
I am asking you, when you think "I like that" or "How amazing," write it down. Positively contribute. Share your positivity, and yes, your influence. When you see hate, confront it, call it out, shine your light on it.
I speak for myself, but growing up, whenever I heard a gay slur laughed at by my peers, or left unquestioned by family, it damaged me. It showed me that I should be ashamed and that I wasn't worth fighting for. It has taken a long time to try and heal from that.
Imagine if your comment, or calling out of hate, was seen by someone who was in the same boat as me, a boy, telling lies and making sure no one could see him, saw that you were ready to stand up for them. Your simple act, a positive act in this world, creates a ripple. Such a simple thing, but its impact could be far reaching.
What if you standing up to a friend in a bar using a gay slur was just enough of a sign that someone didn't take their life (and trust me, I've been there, looking for anything worth sticking around for). No act, no matter how insignificant can be small when we are THIS connected to one another.
I am getting off of my soap box, but I just want you to know, I read everything that is written to me. Good, or bad. Right now, the bad is much louder than the good. Pride is still needed. We aren't done, we will never be done. And come July 1st, Pride doesn't end for me.