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A (long) Condemnation against homophobia, xenophobia, and racism

June 19th, 2009 (03:20 pm)

my vlog on Zagreb Gay Pride 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrstkBi9BYY

It was an interesting at the Astro Vlog this week. I had no idea that my video in support for the Zagreb Gay Pride Parade would be picked up by a Croatian newspaper, and blow up the way it did.

To all my friends gay and straight, from Croatia, the former YU and from the United States, I want to say THANK YOU! Thank you for your support, and watching my videos, and allowing me to support you in your fight for human and civil rights and equality. I have come to realize this is just not a local effort here in the States, but a global effort. I never imagined myself to be an activist of any kind, but here I am doing a miniscule part on YouTube, trying to talk about the subjects we are often afraid to talk about in public..sexism, racism, gender, class, and homophobia.

While I did get many supportive comments, I also got some very very ugly, homophobic, and racist comments, that I feel I need to address.

When you live in a bubble, surrounded by people who think similarly to you, you get lulled into a false sense of security. As disturbing as some of these comments were, it has jolted me into action. So I actually appreciate them. Its made me aware that there are STILL a lot of hate in the world, and still a lot of fighting that needs to be done for civil and human rights.

There was a very small, but vocal group of three youtube users spewing their hate and fear on my support video for Zagreb Pride.

http://www.youtube.com/user/deathpharaon
http://www.youtube.com/user/1991Hrvat
http://www.youtube.com/user/lchelsoi

after some google and YouTube searches, I see lchelsoi is quite active on youtube championing his anti gay views. He is obviously an internet troll, not interested in debate, yet simply starting arguments and flame wars with the most extreme points of view.

If I was a more clever man I would simply drop it, and not give into such flame bait, but I will, because I believe it’s important.
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While the “isms” and phobias of this world are separate beasts, they are branches of the same tree of hatred, fear, and mistrust. They share the same roots of one group claiming superiority over another, of thinking one group is less than another, of one group systematically disenfranchising another. It comes from fearing and misunderstanding people who are different from us, without taking the time to examine, or even get to know these people. We are afraid people will disrupt our traditions, ways of life, and power we’ve had for so long. It is a fear of change.

Regardless of why LGBT people are the way they are, whether its nature or nurture, we are human beings, and we are not going anywhere. We contribute to every aspect of society from national defense, to finance, to medicine, to journalism, to art, to literature. The list is endless.

As law abiding, fully functional members of society, LBGT people simply want the rights that all straight people in society have..the right to love who we want, the right to marry who we want, and enjoy all the legal benefits those unions provide.
Tolerance would be the minimum, acceptance would be optimum, but respect is mandatory.

The days of “separate but equal” are long gone, at least in the United States. It is time for equal civil human rights in the United States, and all modern democracies in the World.

If one is a tax paying, law abiding citizen, they can do anything they want. If a LBGTQ person wants to kiss their partner in public, they can. LBGTQ people will not altar their behavior for you just because YOU are uncomfortable. That is YOUR problem. Either desensitize, or avoid. I really am not concerned if it makes you sick or if your child sees it. Shield your eyes, shield your child’s eyes, turn down another the street. Avoid gay neighborhoods. Avoid gay events. Avoid gay days at Disney World.

No one is FORCING their life on you. Public space is for the public. FOR EVERYONE. Heterosexuals have FORCED their lifestyle, sometimes violently on to LGBT people for years. We have had to watch Straight public displays of affection for hundreds of years. Why shouldn’t we be able to show public displays of affection. It’s just a kiss. It’s just a hug. It doesn’t infringe on your rights a citizen whatsoever. Why doesn’t the LGBT have the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble?

In many gay pride parades here in the United States in major urban areas like NYC, LA, and Chicago you can see children AT the parade and sometimes even IN the parade. Gay friendly heterosexuals will bring their children to the parade here in Chicago.

The American Psychiatric Association deleted homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders in 1973

“Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships are normal forms of human bonding. Therefore, these mainstream organizations long ago abandoned classifications of homosexuality as a mental disorder.”


The American Psychological Association supports the Legalization of Same Sex Civil Unions in 2005
http://www.apa.org/releases/gaymarriage.html

Why can’t homosexuals reproduce? Of course they can! It’s not uncommon for gay men and women to have a pact or contract where they have a child together and have joint custody. It’s also not unheard of straight women having the child of a gay male friend, or a straight male donating sperm to a lesbian friend. And of course there are sperm banks where Lesbians can become pregnant.
And of course, since the dawn of time, STRAIGHT COUPLES will keep on having gay kids! Can’t stop it.

As for the matter of gay adoption, I fully support it. There are so many needy children that deserve homes. Is it the perfect situation to have parents that are a man and a woman? Yes. But do we have a perfect world? No. Isn’t it better to have two loving parents, that support you, care for you, love you than living a life of poverty, foster homes, or orphanages?
The American Academy of Pediatrics states: "There is a considerable body of literature that children with parents who are homosexual have the same advantages and the same expectations for health, adjustment and development as children whose parents are heterosexual," the policy states.
http://www.applesforhealth.com/ChildrensHealth/pedgay3.html

Have I ever been gay bashed. Thank Goodness no. I have been harassed for being gay though. And plenty of others in the States and around the world have been fired from jobs, denied housing, beaten, stoned, murdered, slain, maimed for who they chose to love or who they were. Google Matthew Shepherd, Tina Brandon, Lawrence King. Gay bashing is till alive and well, even in the 21st century.

The talk of Muslims invading Europe (in the YouTube clip Muslim Demographics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU ) is simply a red herring, changing the subject from current homophobia and hatred in Eastern Europe and the former YU IN THE HERE AND NOW to some scary dystopian future that Muslims are taking over Europe and in the future will treat homosexuals badly. That’s not the topic at hand AT ALL. And IF this future comes true, they will probably treat Christians and Jews badly too, according to this line of thinking based on several HUGE assumptions and jumps in logic you have to make.
A) That the disputed birthrate of Muslims will have to stay the same. It could change. It could go down.
B) That EVERY Muslim is some sort of extremist, Jihadist, which they are not. There are moderate Muslims. Non practicing Muslims. Etc etc
C) That European countries will do nothing to stop the “invasion” As we can see from the current Euro elections, and campaigns in Switzerland and the Netherlands, anti immigration right leaning parties have grown in power and seats in parliament. European countries can quickly change immigration laws if they see a perceived “threat” But the fear is that there will be an OVER reaction, and fear backlash. We all too painfully remember the last time a major European power thought a group of people different from them were infringing on them…millions died.

As for the bible used for and against homosexuality, comedienne Lynn Lavner said it best:
"The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision."

Jesus never said a word about Homosexuality. Ever!

As for the Sodom and Gommorah story, people hyper focus on the rape of two angels, (which in reality rape is about violence, and power, its not about sex) Its just as much about xenophobia, and inhospitality to strangers.
It’s funny Christians ignore the other disturbing parts of the story. Like Lot offering his daughters to be raped by the angry townspeople. Is that not bizarre and disturbing. “Go ahead rape my daughters!” Horrible behavior. Then afterwards when Lot and his daughters go up to the hills, they get their father drunk, have sex with him so they can get pregnant! Why isn’t the incest part creeping anyone out? Very strange how we cherry pick verses from the Bible to fit our own needs.

When it comes to slavery and the Bible, the bible is full of slavery, and its never condemned. It’s even in the ten commandments.
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his slave, nor his slave-girl, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's"

The Story of Ham, Noah’s son, is often used as a justification of enslaving Black people
“to American pro-slavery apologists, claims have been made that the negroes, the descendants of Ham, lost their freedom from the abominable wickedness of their progenitor[20]. Many racist Americans thus referred to the descendants of black slaves as the children of Ham[21]; throughout history, a a few Christians, like St. Jerome, even took up the racist notion that black people inherently had a soul as black as [their] body[22].

"[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God...it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation...it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts." Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.

To the Right Wing Croatian UltraNationalists, Ustaše neo nazi sympathizers and xenophobes who left comments:
You are trapped in the wrong decade and the wrong century. Genocide does not occur in modern, developed democracies.
Sending homosexuals to Jasenovac, where Serbs, Jews, and Roma were sent to die during the Nazi supported puppet government of the Independent State of Croatia. How disgusting. How vile.
And you’re not a true Croatian if you aren’t a Catholic? What kind of bullshit is that? Sounds like Sarah Palin and her talk of “real” Americans. How do you measure a “true” Croatian or a “true” American? Do you take a test? Is it how many flags you fly from your house or drape over your car? Its subjective and impossible to measure.

The events and the comments of the last week have not deterred me, but emboldened and enflamed me to keep on talking about civil and human rights issues that effect both the United States, Croatia, and the rest of the world. Only when you drag these issues into the light to be exposed can we begin to deal with them.
As an African American, I know that the fight for civil rights is sadly, glacially slow. But you have to keep going. Keep trying. Keep picking. Keep marching. Keep talking. Keep fighting.




Comments

Posted by: Spatzda (phuphuphnik)
Posted at: June 20th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)

Wow. Can't add much, but a word of support.
cheers.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: August 1st, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
Question from African American travelling to Croatia

Hi,

I was just perusing the web when I stumbled across your web journal. I am a 30 year old, African American male living in Germany. I was thinking of visiting Croatia soon. I've lived many places in the world, but sadly have not visited Eastern Europe. Can you please give me insights into your experiences in Croatia (as a foreigner and person of color)? And also provide any advice on where to stay and what to see.
I'll probably only be there for around a week.

Thanks for any advice! (Apologies for this not being related to your entry.)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 4th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
Exchange Student

I really like your blog. I'm an exchange student who lived in Varaždin all year last year, so I speak their crazy language now. I'm also gay, and I can tell that the majority of Croatians really don't want the Pride Parade. The people there loved me and were really friendly (once you get out of Zagreb, they're a lot nicer). But I stayed pretty deeply in the closet. I haven't watched enough to know if you're gay yourself yet, but I think it's great that your blog made it on Jutarnji List (everyone reads that paper). The closeted gay Croatians and I really appreciated it.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: November 18th, 2010 09:40 am (UTC)
fuck you ape

lisen monkey , why dont you promote your human rights im america where you have the death pennalty , ,nobody wants you here and nobody asked you anything , scum

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