We Are Allies November 4, 2010

We Are Allies

There are a lot of fantastic videos for the It Gets Better project, letting young GLBT people know that the hate/bullying they’re facing right now won’t always be there in the future.

While some straight people have made their own videos for that project, there’s another way you can participate and it was brought to my attention by reader Addi Twigg: It’s the We Are Allies project.

Whether you make a video for that site or not, we need straight people — now, more than ever — to openly state their support and love for the GLBT community.

They’re not about to get that support in mosques or most churches.

So let’s do what we can to help.


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  • “They’re not about to get that support in mosques or churches.”

    C’mon, Hemant, that’s ad hominem. As a queer person and a former Christian, I can tell you from experience that that’s just not true. I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to listing faith-based pro-LGBTQ organizations; here’s an incomplete start: http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/homosexuality_religion.html

  • Really Chris? Because there is one, ONE Christian church in my area that is LGBT tolerant, although I’d hesitate to say they’re supportive. The Unitarian churches are the only ones that ever overtly support this cause. I’d say an LGBT supportive Christian church is a rarity, and I’m glad you’ve encountered some, and I even acknowledge that there are groups of them. But in the areas that need them most, they are sorely lacking in number and visibility.

    Thanks for posting this Hemant!

  • Hemant, As a member of the Board of Directors for Lutherans Concerned/North America, a pastor’s kid, and a person who identifies as queer in gender identity and sexual orientation, I wholly disagree with you. I will even link you the video the head of my national church body made for the It Gets Better Project: linked here

    I believe you’re thinking only of the Christian religious right, a part of the Christian religion that has become what many people see as the religion…which just isn’t true- even Baptist, Catholic, and Methodist have movements for LGBTQ inclusion in faith bodies.

    Look forward to your coming to Elmhurst on Monday!
    Rae

  • shadow5043

    I think that is a good Idea, not everyone is so lucky to have an accepting family like I do and friends that still care.

  • JustSayin’

    Maybe so, Chris, but unfortunately the gay-friendly religionists aren’t exactly drowning out the shrill voices of the frothing-at-the-mouth homophobic lunatics. And personally, I’m sick to death of hearing them.

  • @Chris, @Rae — Well, it’s good to hear they’re getting real support in some churches (I still believe it’s a small minority, unless you’d like to show me otherwise). Any church that thinks homosexuality is a sin and that wouldn’t allow a gay marriage to take place inside their church is no friend of that movement.

    And I’d *love* to know of a mosque or imam that is gay friendly, because I honestly haven’t heard of one that is.

    I’ve updated the post to say “most” churches. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Chelsea

    Sorry to sound all wishy-washy, but I actually do feel like everybody here is sort of right. Yes, Chris, there are a lot of religious organizations today that are extremely welcoming and supportive of the LGBTQ community. Many even do go way beyond mere “tolerance” (a position which RandomAtheist rightly points out is less than ideal). But Hemant and JustSayin’ are clearly right that many religious organizations are extremely anti-LGBTQ. This is just a fact.

    I think the real challenge is to figure out how those religious communities which do believe that homosexuality is immoral can positively coexist with LGBTQ communities. I’m not sure it’s possible for every religious group (e.g. I don’t hold my breath for the Westboro Baptist Church to do anything vaguely humane, ever), but I think that most can probably function just fine in a pluralistic society without too much tinkering.

  • Oz Tilson

    What a fantastic project- both of them. Thanks for making me aware. You are a fantastic source of knowledge for ways we can help to change things.

  • Samiimas

    I believe you’re thinking only of the Christian religious right

    He’s thinking of the majority of Christians.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/128291/americans-opposition-gay-marriage-eases-slightly.aspx

    These political differences in support for gay marriage may stem from even larger differences by religion. Americans who say religion is “very important” in their lives oppose legal same-sex marriage by 70% to 27%. In contrast, Americans who say religion is not important to them support gay marriage by just as wide a margin.

    Differences on the issue are also apparent by religious affiliation. Notably, 81% of Americans who claim no religious affiliation favor legal same-sex marriage. That compares to 48% support among Catholics and 33% among Protestants (including those who identify as Christian but do not specify a particular Christian denomination).

  • Alex McDowell

    There may well be quite a few churches that are supportive of LBGT issues and people, but the origins of the hatred and prejudice come from the well-spring of religious entities. A small percentage may be trying to repair the damage, but the damage came directly from the religions themselves.

  • The British Humanist Association is doing its bit for the related “Equal Love” campaign.

  • JoeBuddha

    Dunno much about Christian groups, but our Buddhist organization has a GLBT group that meets once a month (AFAIR). I’ve worked with or known many people who are GLB or T, including relatives and in-laws. STILL can’t figure out what the big deal is.

  • KH

    Here is an wonderful example that I found yesterday:
    http://nerdyapplebottom.com/2010/11/02/my-son-is-gay/
    It’s written by an awesome mom who is encouraging her son to be true to himself despite the bullies of the world.

  • muggle

    KH I loved that story. My grandson likes to imitate his mother and have her paint his nails and put on her eyeshadow once in a while but, likewise, he already knows he can’t wear it outside or even to daddy’s (because daddy is somewhat a homophobe and would freak out; I don’t even think he tells daddy he likes makeup). I too think it’s stupid that if he wore a little finger nail polish to the playground, school or his father’s there’d be hell to pay but that’s the reality.

    He’s seven. He’s vain; he’s handsome as all get out and knows it. He likes imitating his mother and he likes being a pretty boy that everyone flocks to. He honestly likes the finger nail polish and eye shadow because he thinks he’s an even prettier boy with it. He’s got three girlfriends but at his age that may or may not mean anything. Is he gay or straight or bi?

    Frankly, I think it’s too early to know beyond that he’s girl crazy and always has been and also already has three girlfriends, one he was kissing on the school bus, so I’m guessing probably straight but given he’s only seven and not sexually mature, I don’t really know. If he grows up to love other men, fine; if he grows up to love women; fine; if he likes both genders, also fine. He will be what he will be and only time’s really going to call that one. All I hope is that he finds a good person to share his life with if he’d rather have a life partner than be single; same as I hope for his mother.

    I hope he doesn’t make any babies too young and he doesn’t get used though I recognize that old adage everybody plays the fool sometime which seems we all fall for someone’s line at some point when we’re young and naive and some even when they’re not so young and shouldn’t be so naive. I also hope that if he is either gay or bi, his father doesn’t give him too hard a damned time about it but if he does, my grandson will know he’s got a staunch supportive allies in his mother and grandmother. Other grandparents I suspect would freak out but I hope I’m wrong about that. We’ll see if that turns out to be the case.

    The only thing I wish about these campaigns is that there was another one to reach out to suicidal teens for reasons other than sexuality. I wish it wasn’t so focused on just this one thing. Teens are bullied for a myriad of things and hateful as this one is, teens bullied for other reasons, should also have a voice saying hang in there; it does get better. I understand it is because it’s the wake of the rash of suicides by gay teens but I wish there were a corelating one just aimed at teens in general.

    And I also wish there was something to change the social makeup of high school to make it suck less. Let’s take the bullies to task whether they pick on the gay kid or the one who’s too skinny or fat or can’t afford nice close. Let’s give detention to both the kids calling a gay teen fag or the bucktoothed kid chipmunk. True, teens need to learn to cope with that kind of thing but, hell, high school is supposed to be preparing them for the working world. Let’s not tolerate any behavior in high school that would not be tolerated in the work place.

  • muggle

    Clothes not close —

    Hement, you need to fix the edit function. When I tried to edit that, all I got was jumping around until time expired. I get that a lot on long posts but usually it will let me use the cursor to get to what I need to fix. Not today.

  • Andrzej

    […] to openly state their support and love for the GLBT community

    But I don’t “love the GLBT community”. I also don’t wish to support it, the same way I don’t wish to support straights against… dunno what. Flu.

    There are some other things I love though, with the main one: freedom. Human rights and freedoms are worth our support, the more that they seem to be threatened much more since 911.

    Thus, if the LGBT community is in peril because their human rights are being or are about to be violated – they have my full support. I know that the only way to protect my own freedom is to first protect freedom of others. If I let them lose their rights, I’ll also lose mine, sooner or later.

    This however has nothing to do with love. For me, personally, the idea of homosexual sex is plain repulsive, same as the often provocative aesthetics displayed during LGBT events, such as love parades – so obviously there’s nothing for me to love about it. I chose to stay clear.

    Thus, in my opinion, the quoted sentence of the post I comment, is wrong. It could say instead:

    […] to openly state their support and love for the GLBT community’s rights and freedoms

    How similar, and how different. 🙂

  • Secular Stu

    “They’re not about to get that support in mosques or churches.”

    C’mon, Hemant, that’s ad hominem.

    No, it’s not. It is, however, a disparaging, accurate, and justified comment.

  • Secular Stu

    I think there is a better way to participate. Quite frankly the “We Are Allies” site is a good idea, but it lacks credibility. It’s just a tumblr blog that somebody (who knows who) set up that prints emails. This could be run by some well intentioned “guy sitting in his parents basement” (no offense to basement-dwellers).

    My point is there are already organizations with similar goals who have been around a while and have greater support and effectiveness. Here’s the Make it Better Project run by the Gay-Straight Alliance. Now I don’t know much about the GSA, but I get the feeling supporting them would be more visible.

  • cat

    @chelsea “I think the real challenge is to figure out how those religious communities which do believe that homosexuality is immoral can positively coexist with LGBTQ communities” What a load of shit. Coexisting positively with bigots that hate us and think we are inferior? Yeah, I’ll get right on that. There is not a positive way for bigots to work in concert with those they hate. There is not a positive way for people of color to coexist with racist, there is not a positive way for poor people to coexist with classists, there is not a positive way for disabled people to coexist with ablist, etc. We don’t positively coexist with those who brutalize us, we fight them. Queer hating heteros are the enemy of me and mine and I have no intention of lying down and just letting them kill us.

    @Alex, I second that. They don’t get a fucking cookie for acting like minimally decent human beings, either. Hatred of queer people is the default position for religion. Just because a few (and they are damned few) groups break away with the evil norm of their organization doesn’t make them particularly worthy of praise, because they have done nothing more than elevate themselves to minimal decency in a field where their groups have done massive evil.

  • AxeGrrl

    Andrzej wrote:

    For me, personally, the idea of homosexual sex is plain repulsive

    WHY do people make statements like the above, as though it’s relevant to anything?

    Personally, the idea of sex between pasty white heterosexuals is plain repulsive…..

    so the f*** WHAT?

  • ash

    For me, personally, the idea of homosexual sex is plain repulsive

    WHY do people make statements like the above, as though it’s relevant to anything?

    Absolutely.

    Also, on a personal level, I’d just like to point out…

    heterosexual sex…ick!
    heterosexual public touching…ick!
    heterosexual tongueing…ick!
    heterosexual any-type-of-PDA’s…ick!

    If it don’t involve me; I probably don’t want to watch…coz, y’know…ick!

    BTW, straight and in favour of anything any number of consenting adults want to do to/with each other with the only caveat of one rule applies to one; applies to everyone in that situation.

    I am not going to watch the straight couple going at it anymore than I will the GLBT whatever couple or multiple; doesn’t do it for me.

    Fuck you if you think either your or my ICK! factor should have any bearing on the legal rights of any consenting adults who choose to be embroiled with each other.

  • For me, personally, the idea of homosexual sex is plain repulsive

    Personally, the idea of sex between pasty white heterosexuals is plain repulsive

    Personally, I really like sex and I’m not at all bothered by what other people do sexually. I don’t want people to dictate to me what I do sexually so I am not justified in dictating to others what they do sexually. My only proviso is consent but I’m sure that could go without saying.

  • muggle

    So you find homosexual sex repulsive, Andrzej? So the fuck what? Why should anyone care? And what has that to do with the situation?

    The way I figure it, is the way I’d feel about making out with another woman (to me repulsive) is the way a lesbian would feel about making out with a man. Why should a society that wouldn’t even dream of coercing me into making out with another woman pressure her constantly to make out with a man?

    That’s simply what it’s all about. Equal rights for GLBT. That they be accepted for who they are and we lay off trying to make them what we are but they are not.

  • Steve

    Of course the solution if you don’t like gay sex is to simply not have gay sex.

    Otherwise, this again shows how people – and especially gay ones – are just reduced to sex. Sex is a consequence of loving someone and having a relationship. It’s not the biggest or most important part of it. Of course people have sex without love, but I’d say they are probably a minority.

  • AxeGrrl

    ash wrote:

    If it don’t involve me; I probably don’t want to watch…coz, y’know…ick!

    I am not going to watch the straight couple going at it anymore than I will the GLBT whatever couple or multiple; doesn’t do it for me.

    Fuck you if you think either your or my ICK! factor should have any bearing on the legal rights of any consenting adults who choose to be embroiled with each other

    Amen brother!