Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Year Round Up...Our Worst moments of 2009

OH MAN WHAT A YEAR!

I cant believe we have been making Youtube videos for over a year now. It really has been a year of big highs and gut-wrenching lows. Never before in my life have I been this plugged in to the comings and goings of politics and human events. It has been an serious education for us as well as an emotional rollercoaster.

 Along the way we have met and made friendships with people from around the world that we would never have met if it hadn't been for a certain civil rights-stripping proposition. but that said...here is my take on some of the worst moments of 2009 in the world gay rights and marriage equality...so without further ado...brace yourself, lets rewind 2009...






5)Apathy



Where would we be today if everyone who, safely could...came out? how much further down the road would we be in fighting for gay rights if everyone put their influence to work? 2009 we littered with examples of people with influence speaking out to help a cause they deeply believe in. Some when it had no direct effect on their own life. Portia De Rossi, Bruce Springsteen, Cindy Lauper, Margaret Cho...and many others came out supporting gay rights on a broad assortment of topics and didn't fret about the impact on their careers. And I for one am profoundly gratefull to them.


However, we got called to the carpet for criticising DaveyWavey of Youtube and Adam Lambert for not mentioning anything about important events in gay rights. Its not my intention to reopen the conversation about whether or not they owe anybody anything...I am going to have to agree to disagree with alot of people about this issue. A few gay celebrities even came out against marriage equality(I.E. Elton John). That makes no sense to this humble blog writer.

The main point that came up surrounding this was how divided the gay community can be on  issues vital to all of us. There is a huge split between those that see marriage equality as an important goal and those that view it as a distraction from more pressing needs. We also discovered that there are many out there who think that if they don't mark themselves as different, that society won't either. I got numerous letters from people saying they are angry because we  make everything about the word "gay". Sorry dear readers, but the word DOES matter. Just like the one we have been working so hard for...marriage.




4)Uganda/NOM/religious influence





Yes...I know..this is rather a large grouping of grouping of events but they all have one thing in common...negative religious influence. This year saw the National Organization For Marriages mean spirited attempts to block/rollback/ or directly attack marriage equality in every state they could. It also gave us Uganda's "Kill The Gays" bill and a whole host of homo-hostile, hatred encouraging comments from the Pope and the Catholic Church. Everywhere we turn we find ourselves embroiled in "culture war", that wonderfull fundamentalist uphemism for "our way or the highway".

It is my personal belief that it will take alot more than gay voices crying out in the wilderness in 2010. It will also take the voices of those of faith and the voices of our straight friends and nieghbors to counter the hysteria that groups like NOM have successfully engendered in the public at large this year.

I've talked a great deal about Uganda and now its ripples are being felt in nieghboring nations like Rwanda and Malawi. To me it was sad that it took so long for anyone to sit up and take notice while a whole group of people still face the threat of genocide, and worse..that its spreading. A few faith leaders stood up to condemn this...but most notably...the ones linked with the ideas that helped bring the situation into being, didn't stand up until it was a day late and a doller short. This highlighted the roll that America's fundamentalist churches have had in influencing foriegn nations to acts of hatred. The future of gays in many nations around the world are still in question.

My prayer for 2010 is that the over-the-top rehtoric of groups like NOM will draw a sharp line between the real message of love in our spiritual traditions and those who would use that impulse to persecute whole classes of fellow human beings. The more the general public notices the difference...the faster NOM will lose its hold on the public fear of gays.




3)Obama



Please don't make me drag out the laudry list of broken promises and promises deferred until an undefined "later date". That list would simply be way too long. We had high hopes that 2009 would see the beginning of the end for Don't Ask Don't tell and and The Defense of Marriage Act. President Obama time and time-again said that while he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, he wouldn't move to block any legislative attempts to bring parity to gays and lesbians, but then...his legal department has taken it upon themselves to block any attempts to challenge DADT and DOMA through the courts and he did nothing to stop the very offensive and negative comments that were made by his legal staff. He claims he wants congress to move to end DADT but has done nothing to initiate such an action even though he could stop military expulsions with an executive order...you know...being Commander in Chief and all that.
Further illuminating the presidents lack of motivation to move on gay issues is his association with churches that have very condemning messages about the GLBTQ community. Whether its Chicago’s Trinity United Church Of Christ or Rick Warren and Saddleback church, it seems that the President is willing to affiliate himself with organizations that are anything but tolerant of others. The image of him on inaugeration day, announcing the end of decades of discrimination in the U.S. while the flag flew in the backround...while Jay and I watched tearfully, broken hearted over prop 8, will forever be seared into my memory. Nothing has happened to change that contrast of image versus reality.

Don't even get me started on the rest of the Democratic party and how they have basically thrown us under a bus now that they have no need for us.





2) Maine/New York



Along with the victories we had this year came some surprising defeats. Much like California, I think most people held the belief that these historically liberal states would pass marriage equality, even if by a narrow margin. Alot of us remembered that same feeling in California and were much more cautious. Sadly, NOM and its catholic backers succeeded in bring civil rights to a vote again and further convinced the public that its pack of lies about the consequences of gay marriage were facts. I still can't forget the image I read about of an ederly lady on her knees in front of her church giving thanks for stopping gay marriage as a sign of the "end times".....thats how serious this is people.
New York handed us yet another example of how the Democratic party says one thing and then does the total opposite. The sad story of the Democratic representatives that voted against gay marriage and thier personal histories is a blog post in itself.

Regardless of the sadness, dissapointment, and broken dreams that came with these events, we also gained further resolve and a clearer view of the length of the road we have to walk to see full equality. I learned not to take defeats as crushing blows. Also and most importantly, I learned how important it is that we lean on each other for support and to give support even when it may not directly effect me.




1) Day Of Decision Prop 8



This sad, sorry affair occupies my number one slot...not because it has national or international significance, but because it was the event that launched Jay and Me into amature activism. It has immediate and profound effects on our family and community by setting us apart as a "special class". In addition, it excluded marriage from anyone who followed after us. I still believe that it was a cowardly act to puch a leaflet into the crowd explaining the ruling instead of sending a real human being...or better one of the justices responisible to deliver the news in person and explain themselves.
However, If it wasn't for prop 8 I would not be doing what I am today, and I am gratefull for the people I've met and the lessons that I've learned as a result of our decision to share our family on youtube.

That said...it would still be a whole lot nicer to get rid of our constitutional ban and allow marriage for gays and lesbians here in my home state. I really expect more from us and I don't think I was alone in being shocked at California's Supreme Court ruling....or at the anger that put marriage supporters against other Californians who felt that their right to vote was more important than anothers right to love.


but dear readers, we will have to say adieu until tomorrow and our "best moment on 2009"...until then..ciao

10 comments:

  1. @Bryan
    Yeah, I know what you're talking about when mentioning that little missy. I'm sorry about dragging her into that repugnant conversation. And I'm sorry about some of my statements. Nevertheless, she was way out of line and completely clueless. One thing that I realized after this unfortunate encounter is that there is another group of people who is even more dangerous than openly gay-hateful people we know about — it's the people like Pickles who think they are gay friendly and act as if they are, but in fact they are not. I'm sorry, but if you smirk at people who occasionally mention that they are gay, you're not gay friendly because this smirk actually means that these people make you uncomfortable by simply expressing they belong to the gay community. How can you insist you have no problem with gays after that if you basically say, “Dude, do not mention that you're gay, and I won't have a problem with you!”? This is what you call "gay friendly"? [Here goes one of those famous Rachel Maddow looks of incomprehension.]

    P.S. Portia de Rossi, not Di Rossi. I think she deserved her name to be spelled properly :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Bryan /@world

    For a better tomorrow, let´s look foward with a smile in our face and a " Bring it" in our heads.

    I´m so ready to kick ass this year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. o.k....spelling error corrected. and lexxi I don't take offense...no worries :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Er... Dear readers, you can just skip this comment, these are some of my thoughts that I wanted to put out there in the Universe, hoping the theory that we all are connected through our thoughts that float around in the Universe is not just wishful thinking, and thus maybe someone who's desperate to find those answers could get some kind of an idea from here. Go ahead, roll your eyes up.

    I apologize for a long comment and that you have to scroll down so much!



    Homophobia around the world

    I remember myself in May 2009, studying numerous Wikipedia articles about GLBTQ situation around the world. There are so many countries where gay people can be legally killed literally at sight, and there are so many people who live in those mostly Muslim countries! Come to think of it, millions of gay people live there under the pressure of fear of being recognized as gay and consequently killed, most of them live with a deep-seated guilt & self-hatred of being homosexual because they were forced to believe it is unnatural and simply horrendous to be gay, according to the adapted translation of Bible, which is Koran. I know something about those feelings myself for I happen to live in a pretty similar country that sells homosexuality for a mental disorder that leads to promiscuous life and raping children; there was the time when I thought all those things are true and this is who I'm gonna become one of these days. So let me tell you: this kind of treatment is only destructive to any person, it presents no truthful insight into what homosexuality really is and where it comes from, and it condemns people based on unfounded statements made in a non-scientific book written about 2000 years ago.

    You cannot live in a modern society and still cling on to old views of your ancestors, adopting every word of it as a supreme truth, not when it makes no sense whatsoever. I encourage people to make their own observations and draw their own conclusions from them, and stop worrying about what God would think: He gave us the free will, and religion only helped some of us find a shortcut to God, but this short road was carved through the wonderful forests and magnificent mountains, effectively destroying the beauty of nature's creations, whereas we could preserve these creations by finding our own paths to God going in zig-zags between trees and around or over those mountains.

    I followed this road of my own path and discovered the beauty of nature, the wisdom of the Creator who places those trees and mountains on my way to Him as an example of His creativity, and I don't think He wants me to destroy His creations, au contraire, He wants me to realize that everything He created is exactly the way He intended it to be. “Thou shalt not kill” is not about God-fearing and “righteous” people, it's about every creation of His.

    In this metaphor trees and mountains represent groups of people who became a target for being different, for standing on the way of a shortcut to God, and they paid for it. And gay people are in one of those groups. We were standing on the way of a straightforward shortcut to God carved by religious people who wanted to simplify things for everyone to let them get there faster and easier. But can you really be proud of your way to God if you were walking on top of the bones of innocent people whose bodies were lying beneath you making a smooth road for you? Maybe you got there fast and easy, but it was at much to high a cost!

    It is time to decide whether you can handle the road on your own and find your path to God through forests that can be dark sometimes and dangerous slippery slopes of mountains you have to go through, or around, or over, without destroying them, but instead marveling at them and accepting them as God's creations.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That was fantastic Lexxi! I will say AGAIN that YOU should be writing a blog!

    ReplyDelete
  6. BTW...while I love the song I posted, that must of been one helluva game of solitaire that girl was playing....

    ReplyDelete
  7. 2010 is a new year and the start of a new decade...may the next 10 years be MUCH better than the last 10 because they sucked!

    Bryan, if it we're for you and Jay's vids, I'm not sure who or what would've gotten me interested in what really matters to us living in todays society. You two have really opened up my eyes and I am so grateful for that. Who knows how many others you guys have gotten to speak out but even 1 voice makes our voice as a whole, louder. Some day, that voice will be too loud to ignore and lets hope that it happens sooner rather than later. We gays aren't going anywhere but society seems to think that if they ignore us long enough and keep our rights from us, that we will go away. Let us make 2010 a year to stand up and make our voice loud enough to get the equality we deserve! It only takes one person to change the world...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow I had forgotten prop 8 was this year it seems so long ago.

    Hopefully the American public will wake up in the next 10 years and reverse a lot of their hateful laws!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Awesome blog Bryan. I wanted to post this positive note here in this "worst of.." posting because I wanted to point out that through all the turmoil and hardships of 2009, you and Jay and your family are a shinning light in a seemingly darkening world. In a year that showed us that hate and bigotry is alive in well in this country and in the world, you two were a positive voice of reason that not only captivated us all but also made us all feel so welcome.
    I'm glad I saw Jay's last video and pointed out your blog. I've also been blogging for a couple years now and I was actually featured in a major newspaper in Connecticut. I hope you drop by and I can't wait to read up on yours. Take care.
    Rick (rickonearth) on you tube and (rickstimeoneearth) here at blogspot.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have just downloaded iStripper, so I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.

    ReplyDelete