We are all human beings. We live our lives the way we see fit and we move through life with different goals in mind. Some of us judge others and some of us do not. Recently, I have had several interactions with a certain dude on Facebook that is not exactly cordial, to put it very mildly. The topic of discussion is always Christianity and it always ends with me questioning how he can have hatred toward specific groups of people (and see that hatred as an integral part of his religious belief system) and he tells me I am not a true believer.
This does not bother me as much as it might bother others because he is right about one thing: I do not believe in the same God that he does. I am not a true believer in the ways of Christianity that the Evangelical movement would have people believe are right and true. I believe in the beatitudes. I believe in a loving Jesus, that was open to all people and did not judge them even when he saw their sins. I am not an every Sunday Christian, but I am also not an atheist. None of this really matters because it is not his or anyone else’s business what I believe, but he often takes it upon himself to tell me that I am different because I do not believe what he does.
My main issue, during these conversations/debates, is that he does not believe in Transgender people. He does not believe they exist. Here is the thing though – it does not matter if he does not believe in them because Transgender people DO actually exist. His belief system does not make things that actually exist in the world disappear. It simply makes him an asshole for treating people with disrespect because he does not ‘believe’ in them. Just because he thinks that being a homosexual is wrong, does not mean that people in the LGBTQ community will wake up one morning and start being straight, cis, and binary. Just because he does not believe that a woman should be POTUS because she should only be a helpmeet for her husband (because, you know, all women should be married to men and making babies – not working and certainly not being bosses) does NOT mean that a woman will not be President someday. Times change and we should change with them. New information comes to light that changes the way people think and feel and we should adjust for that. Science finds variations in the reality of humanity and we all learn new things about the world. Some of us trust new information and some reject it.
If you are one of those people that truly believe that people you consider different should stop being who they are, on a fundamental level, then perhaps you should also stop enjoying the fruits of their labour. Here is a list of all the things that you cannot enjoy if you are going to denounce other humans because they are different from you in ways that you deem ‘wrong’ as an Evangelical:
- Musical theatre – The theatre is a place for creativity and openness. Musicals are written by and for people that have open minds. Even if the musical has a religious theme (Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Godspell, Children of Eden, etc.) that does not mean that all the performers, directors, writers, and tech folks are straight and/or cis. The musical theatre community is known for being an open place for ALL people to practice their talents and feel safe. So – musicals are, for lack of a better word, OUT!
- Pop music – If it is meant to be played on the radio and for the consumption of the general public, then there is most likely at least one LGBTQ member of society involved in the creation of said music. And hey, you never know, so better safe than sorry, right? I guess you have to remove that radio from your car and give up that Spotify account now, eh?
- Literature – There are books in the canon written by and for LGBTQ people. There are books that have stories that revolve around LGBTQ lives and allow for people in the LGBTQ community to see themselves in these stories. This is a positive step for the literary world as literature should continue to tell the stories of people from all walks of life. I suppose you should stop reading anything but the bible, then – but wait! Even the bible has LGBTQ themes within it. I guess you have to put that book up on the shelf as well. Unfortunately, that will mean that your learning will be stunted, but, then again, it seems like learning is not really something you find important anyway, so start discarding those books! And I suppose you need to stop going places where books exist so that means that libraries, bookstores, and Amazon are now all off limits.
- Television – This one is probably going to be hugely difficult, but did you know that many writers, producers, actors, and showrunners are actually from the LGBTQ community? There are new shows coming out every season that tell the stories of this community – again a positive step, just like in literature – but for you not so much. So you better shut off that television – maybe sell the television to some sinner to get it out of your life altogether.
- Movies – see Theatre and Television above. Are you getting the picture?
- Food – This is a funny one, but did you know that a lot of LGBTQ people actually work in the restaurant industry? When you go out to eat there could be an LGBTQ person making your dinner – or serving your dinner – or making money off the restaurant chain you are eating at – or sitting at the table next to you. Perhaps you should stop leaving the house altogether? You could always order one of those online food service things, but then there could be LGBTQ people putting the boxes together or delivering your mail.
- All things Disney – This will be especially hard to hear for some Evangelicals out there that are Disney fanatics, but did you know that Disney is a gay-friendly organization? In fact, there are many Disney characters that are actually gay. Disney is also an inclusive company. Oh, the horror. How will you enjoy your heteronormative views around the Disney princesses if you know that a few of those princesses might actually be lesbians or feminists or powerful on their own? Modern day Disney princesses don’t even need the prince to save them because they are no longer damsels in distress. It is pretty awesome, but I guess if you are an Evangelical this disqualifies Disney as well. Better unpack your bags and stay home – no Disney vacation this year!
I think you get the point. LGBTQ people exist in the world. Lesbians exist. Gay men exist. Bi-sexuals exist. Transgender people exist. Queer people exist. Genderfluid people exist. Intersex people exist. Polyamorous people exist. Pansexual people exist. These people are everywhere and they are all a part of the wonderful fabric that makes up humanity. We are never going to go back to a time where people have to hide because of who they are as humans. Those of us who are allies to people in the LGBTQ community will forever stand beside them and fight for their right to be who they are and not have to live in fear. Religious fanatics who think LGBTQ people do not deserve to exist need to change their minds or become hermits. There is really no other option. Sorry, dude, but I’m not going to stop advocating for my friends and if you don’t like it, I guess we won’t be talking much anymore either.
Chantale aka hippiegrrl
footnote: Since this post was started (14 December 2017) I hid the aforementioned dude’s feed on Facebook. I also hid his wife’s feed. This means that I will be somewhat out of touch with the goings on in their lives, but it is just easier this way. Eventually, I will unfriend them, but I’ve been lackadaisical when it comes to cleaning up my feeds. I am far overdue for a purge though, so, maybe April or May? Oh, but don’t worry, dear readers, I am still keeping receipts of these interactions which I will be archiving over on my latest tumblr.