I find it sad that so many people “hate” others who are different. Growing up, I thought everyone thought like I did, that all people were people, even with their differences. As I got older, I felt that maybe racial biases were more of a southern thing until I started seeing the racism all around me in the Northern city I grew up in. After that, I started seeing homophobia as well, primarily boys throwing around the “fag” label that morphed into labeling certain boys as gay. In some cases, it was true, but most of those didn’t come out as being gay until much later.
It wasn’t until I went to work as a long-distance operator when I got a big taste of homophobia. In those days, most operators were women; actually, just girls recruited straight out of high school. The year after they hired me, the company started accepting men in the job. Most of those men were gay. The majority of those were pretty quiet about their sexual orientation. But one was transgender and was trying very hard to live her life as a woman, but the company saw her only as a man and didn’t support her transition. People made fun of her, and the supervisors refused to let her use the women’s bathroom.
The Stonewall Riots had happened the year before, and since then, LGBTQ people were making their presence known.
I moved into a house with a gay man as a roommate, and I would have many lessons of what gay men felt, thought, and needed. The bottom line, the most important thing they wanted was to be accepted.
Fast forward fifty years, and that is still true. I had expected the world to become a lot more enlightened than they were then, but it hasn’t happened. In many ways, that acceptance is even more elusive now than it was then. Even after all those hard-earned rights by LGBTQ, people of color and BIPOC, and even women.
Conservative Christians have spent as much time devising ways of removing the rights of marginalized Americans. And what they’ve done so far hasn’t been enough for them. They won’t be happy until they strip the rights of everyone who is not a white, straight, rich, Christian male. As many of them as there are, they are still a minority in this country. They depend on others, such as Christian women and people of color who have been brainwashed into supporting them.
So this should not come as a surprise. But it is frustrating. Hatred is a learned behavior that comes from fear. It can unlearn this, but people who feel this hate and fear choose not to learn other ideas.
“Four more states pass anti-LGBTQ school laws as onslaught of hate accelerates
Four state legislatures passed anti-LGBTQ bills this week as the 2021 onslaught against equality continues.
Arizona and Tennessee passed laws that ban teachers from mentioning LGBTQ people without parental approval. Alabama and North Dakota passed laws banning transgender girls from participating in school sports. All four states have Republican governors, so there is a good chance they will be signed into law.
President Joe Biden has already issued an executive order stating that Title IX bans discrimination against LGBTQ people in education, which means that these bills could face an uphill legal battle even if they are signed into law.
Tennessee’s H.B. 529 was sent to the governor on Wednesday after the state senate voted 64-23 in favor. The bill would require schools to notify parents if sexual orientation or gender identity are going to be mentioned in class 30 days in advance and gives parents the ability to opt their children out so that they don’t have to hear that LGBTQ people exist.
The bill allows teachers to mention the sexual orientation or gender identity of a historical figure if it provides “necessary context,” a phrase opponents of the bill said is vague.
Opponents of the bill also said that it will increase discrimination and bullying.
“How do you try to make people afraid of a certain population? Well, talk about how scary they are in school or refuse to acknowledge that they exist in school,” said HRC’s Cathryn Oakley. “It hurts everybody when LGBTQ people are excluded from those discussions.””
I find it