WE DON’T SAY GAY AT TRANQUILITY BAY
Expected Publication Date: June 1, 2022
Expected Publication Date: June 1, 2022
Here’s an idea! The e-book copy of The Boxer Rebellion, is FREE today. Let’s make a full-moon Friday the 13th something to remember.
I’m sure you know people who need to understand bullying in all it’s horrific glory, librarians, teachers, politicians, family members, or even your next door neighbors. You know, people who can help make every school safe for every student.
Send them the link, recommend they read the book, urge them to do the same with others. Request the paperback version at your local library. Gift the entire school board.
But remember: This book has triggered survivors of teenage bullying. Although The Boxer Rebellion is set in high school and peopled with teenagers, it is a mature subject matter NOT for the faint of heart. It pulls no punches, and uses the crude language of bullies.
TRIGGERS: LGBT bullying, cutting, suicide, cruelty, and crude language.
One year ago social media was suddenly covered with red equality signs. The simple symbol spread quickly, including supportive pictures posted in impressive numbers, and people from all walks of life began to discuss marriage equality, tell their stories, and more importantly, listen. Here is just one of them.
My brothers and sisters, I am 74 years old and on this momentous day in the history of our community I speak on behalf of my generation.
My generation was told that our sexual orientation made us criminals. That we were mentally ill. We were thrown out of our families. Thrown out of our churches. Thrown out of our jobs. Thrown out of the military. We were forced into therapy to cure us. We were institutionalized. We were beaten and killed on the streets of our cities.
Until we said no. Until we said no at Stonewall. Until we said no in San Francisco. Until we said no in cities and towns all across America. We came out of our closets. And so many of you here tonight have paid a heavy price for leading us out of those closets.
We showed our faces to America. We said, “LOOK AT US.” We are your sons and daughters. We are your brothers and sisters. We are your mothers and fathers. Who we are has never ever been our problem. It has always and ever been your problem. We have the right to be treated equally under the laws of our own country. We all deserve the right to marry.
Because we showed our faces to our country, this day has arrived. No matter what those nine people on the Supreme Court decide, our country has looked into the faces we showed them and our country has decided.
My brothers and sisters, we have won our country.
We have won this war.
~ Katherine v. Forrest, at City Hall in Palm Springs, CA, Tuesday, March 26, 2013
It was this very craziness that made him such a valuable ally in the fight for gay rights. He and his family church became instruments of change in the culture war over acceptance of gay rights.
Phelps’ ugly persona, almost a caricature of fanaticism, held a mirror up to people who had casually denounced gay rights as special rights, or voted against gay marriage because they vaguely thought it was icky. While gay activists held civil conversations with everyday people, as more and more closeted people came out to their friends, families and co-workers, as prominent politicians, celebrities, and artists voiced their support, Fred Phelps flaunted the ugliness of bigotry back in their faces.
As votes were held people who had never had to think about it before confronted their knee-jerk reactions to gay marriage. On one hand they saw the happy faces of joyous people celebrating legal wedding ceremonies, and on the other they were confronted with ugly striped signs shouting judgmental messages. One side said LOVE IS LOVE, and the other side said GOD HATES FAGS. Which message is more appealing, really?
And the tide began to shift. I felt it and watched with relief as one by one states agreed that having two separate classes of people in America is unconstitutional. As court after legislature have come to their senses, so has the public because the idea of being as horrifically uncivil as the Westboro Baptist Church is much more uncomfortable than accepting that Anna and Eve want to marry, and Patrick and Bill are adopting.
So thank you, Fred Phelps (a phrase I never expected to use). If you hadn’t spread your virulence far and wide, we’d still be battling one court case at a time, and trying to persuade one representative or senator after another. We’d still be taking one step forward, and two steps back. But now, because of the ugliness of Fred Phelps and his family church, Americans are choosing to side with LOVE instead of HATE.
Off you go, Fred, a true servant of your God, an instrument in the battle between good and evil. Too bad you were the face of evil, but you can tell it all to Judas over a drink at Hell’s Bitchin’. He felt a little used in the end, himself.
I’d ordinarily send someone off with a wish that they rest in peace but for Fred Phelps, not so much.
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