Today marks an historic event in our Nation's history. (Bet you've never heard that before.)
Don't Ask, Don't Tell has been officially repealed. For many it's a time that marks our drawing ever closer to true equality, and for several others it marks the end of our Country as we know it.
The latter are usually easy to spot by their constantly referring to anyone in the LGBT community as "The Gays".
Though it's a big step, in the grand scheme of things it's still only step one. There is still much to do to help bring us closer and closer to Universal tolerance.
The biggest concern I've heard from people inside and out of the Military is that having homosexuals serving threatens the comfort of straight men and women. Never think I'm ragging on our Military, I have the utmost respect for those who serve and believe you should too. They've got the guts to do something the majority of us are too scared to even think about. But the issue is that many think by having homosexuals in the Military means they're going to actively try to make others gay, or partake in copious amounts of sexual harassment.
It's simply not true.
Too many people in the world have this view of gay people as if they're this devious group of sneaky little demons who are seeking to turn the rest of the world gay, and that apparently if you're gay you're an enormous horn dog who will pounce on anything as if you had no standards whatsoever.
Come on. They're not animals for God's sake. Despite someone's sexual preference, science still remains. Straight people are horny too you know. And too many people think that simply because this has been repealed that everyone who is gay in the Military is going to throw their hat off and shout it from a mountain top. You realize it's not easy being different right? That people get beaten to death for being gay? And you think all of a sudden their going to be skipping around, weilding a gun saying "Here I am!"? The sad part is, many of those who are gay and in the Military who are also in the closet will be staying there because they don't want the torment they know will come from people who are intolerant to them.
More so than we needed to repeal DADT, we need to end this mindset. This is still an ongoing battle. Just because someone is gay doesn't make them less human. Their blood runs red just as ours does. And I find it hard to believe that a man or woman would plunge themselves into a hateful world making a conscious decision to live a life that means they'll be shown a tremendous amount of discrimination and incivility. Who in their right mind would choose this?
Someone who wishes to serve their Country should never be turned away, especially in times such as these. And just because you have to shower together doesn't mean they're going to be standing creepily in the corner leering at you. Get over yourself. You think because you have to share a bunk means they're going to try and slip in there next to you, or keep you up at night chit-chatting about boys?
I think the hardest thing for people to do will be to block out the caricatures the rest of the world has created for us about gay people. Like all of them are trying to re-design our family rooms and get us to wear color palettes we never imagined we'd wear.
Stop it. Just stop it.
When someone stereotypes you, it bothers you right? Well there you go.
You know, a person who shows prejudice is showing a little of what's going on inside of them. Surely a person who is right with themself has no need to project onto others some feelings of insecurity. (See yesterdays post about getting a spine.)
Repealing DADT is important not only because it allows someone to serve their Country regardless of sexual orientation, but because it sets a standard for our Country that we're not willing to accept segregation anymore. We're looking to the future, to promote equality and civil rights.
I honestly cannot see any valid argument as to why we shouldn't allow a gay person to serve their Country. If you see a problem with it, I'd love to hear it.
Being gay is not a choice, but being hateful is. What kind of person do you want others to see when they look at you? When your time has come to pass, do you want them to speak in your favor, or say you "loved" people but did so conditionally?
If you're going to say you want peace then you'd better be prepared to accept the fact that peace means acknowledging others for being different than you. DADT is step one. Love does not work on your terms. You don't get to say you love only some people, that's called hypocrisy. Love simply is. It is a Universal constant which means you show goodness and kindness to not just the select few, but to everyone. If you find conflict with this, then you don't really know what love is.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell is dealing with an issue far beyond only the Military. It's dealing with an entire group of people that have been around since the beginning of time. Believe me, gay people aren't just popping up from nowhere. A lot of folks think that "back in the good ol' days" there were only a few gay people and today there is this evil looming over people, one by one making them gay.
Wrong. Gay people have always been there, we just didn't know it because if we did people would never have let them leave their homes.
Focus on what it takes to promote equality. It isn't conditional love, I'll tell you that much. It's unconditional. We must be unconditional people to find how harmful conditions can be.
A lot of people say God speaks to them and tells them to do things. When we listen to them, more often than not we think, "This person is crazy." What if I told you he speaks to me too? He tells me that we must love one another as we have been loved. Plain and simple.
If that makes me crazy then so be it. But I'd rather be crazy and tolerant than sane and bigoted.
Repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell is step one. You know what step two is. Lay down the dogma of your life and get out there and do it. Practice what you preach. If you preach peace, then do it. If you preach love, do it. If you want equality, show it.