Saturday, October 27, 2012

LGBT teens Are Speaking...Are You Listening?

As parents, we hope that we engender trust between ourselves and our children such that they feel that they could tell us anything. After all, we have been there, done that and bought the t shirt too boot. Because of what we may have done when we were young...or even just because we know whats out there...we want to be able to steer our kids through those things in perhaps a better way than we navigated them ourselves. Sex, bullying, drugs, hell...even life on the internet are all things we have to talk to our kids about in order for them to have the tools to face them as competent individuals with solid life skills. We give them the best of our experience and set limits and consequences for behavior in the hopes that we are being the best parents that we can be. Being a parent myself, I understand this all too well.

But...Being a part of a family who's lives are all over the internet put us in conversation with all kinds of people from around the world. One of those groups are teens and preteens who are struggling with the knowledge that they are gay. Some have already come out...some are still working that out...but put together, these kids have a voice and a message that I think many parents need to hear. It's not often easy to hear it, but it is vital that we do with an open heart because our kids lives may depend on it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Building Bridges...Making Windows

There is something on my chest that I need to get it out.....and...I know that in expressing my opinion of this issue I may be completely wrong. that said, here we go...

This last weekend our family had the privilege of attending a showing of our movie "The Right To Love: An An American Family" at the LGBT Community Center in San Francisco. All in all I like going to these events because I always get to meet great people and because a movie may reach an audience that may not use YouTube. This particular showing was no exception as it was well attended and everyone we met were great people. In the Q and A portion of the event we all had a great discussion about how the movie can open conversations with our straight friends and family...and how important those conversations are to have. It was at that point that someone stood and and expressed how they felt that our family was a good bridge between the gay community and a conservative straight community because they felt  we were "just so normal".

I can't explain it but this just did not sit well with me. I felt like normalcy was actually being used to exclude others who didn't live up to some imagined standard. Now...I know that one of our stated goals with our YouTube channel is to show the world just how "normal and boring" our families(note the plural) are. And furthermore, that is the message that the gay community has to the world...that we are just the same as any one else. But the feeling I had, as I sat in the middle of a city that has so many types of gay people...each as worthy of the civil liberties we are all collectively fighting for is...who is defining that normal? Who are we leaving out in the cold when we establish that some of us are normal and some of us are not. Isn't that exactly the same kind of thinking that we are fighting against in endeavoring to achieve equal protections and opportunities as LGBT people in a world that has historically branded all gay people as "not normal"?

Bear with me and lets talk this out....

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Discrimination Does Not Equal Protection

How many times have we heard this idea repeated over and over, in state after state, as a lame excuse for why LGBT people should not be married. Advancing the false notion that marriage is primarily about making and raising children and not about the adults involved...while it has worked to mobilize voters against marriage equality...also denies the notion that LGBT have families and children of their own or that any person regardless of their orientation could get married for...*gasp* not only to procreate. It's a bread and butter talking point for anti-equality groups that has been so reused and so taken apart and disproven that I am shocked that it still finds traction with anybody. What about older couples, infertile couples, or people who just don't want kids?...we marry them as long as they are opposite-sex couples. So what gives? Well...that's because it's not about preserving some abstract idea of marriage that straight people don't even follow as much as it is about preventing LGBT's from a place at the table.

A pair of articles on Think Progress caught my eye today that...while they are very different stories in themselves...The first being an anti-equality TV spot featuring Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk, who thinks that gays already have enough protections and the second is a legal challenge to the recently signed law in California making it illegal to practice ex-gay therapy on parents. Both stories seam light years a part,and yet both speak volumes about what marriage equality opponents truly want to protect...and I don't think the answer is children. First up is Mr. Birk who's YouTube video is no longer able to be embedded but who's words now have a life of their own...