Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Some People Are Gay

Two things I love! Clever advertising and Harry Potter!

So, I'm a bit sleep-deprived (if you go for twenty-four hours without sleeping, you should get to sleep for twenty-four hours to make up for it, right? RIGHT?), but I felt like this was worth posting about today.

I loved this ad campaign on buses in London because it's exactly how I feel about the entire "issue." It shouldn't be an issue. Some people are gay. Get over it.

I never know whether to laugh or cry when people refer to "the gays" like they are some unified, plotting political group. It's like saying "the blondes" or "the short people." (Though, to be honest, the short people really do have a complicated and sinister master plan to subvert the entire culture of the US and take over the world. Nobody suspects the short ones.)

My feeling on it is that gay people aren't gay people. They are people. They also happen to be gay. It doesn't make them any worse (or better) than anyone else, any more than being a creative person or a short person or an American makes me better or worse than anyone else. If we could stop viewing people who are gay as "other," we could stop worrying about it and let everyone get on with their lives, gay or straight or somewhere in between. 

We always get in trouble when we view whole groups of people as a singular entity based on one identifying aspect. Haven't we learned that yet?

Here is an It Gets Better video made by a student group at my Alma Mater, a private religious university. It's taken a long time for change. There's still a lot of change that needs to happen.



The next time you are tempted to define someone by a single characteristic, remember these students, each struggling to figure out where they belong in the world. (Just like...everyone else. But with the bonus of centuries of prejudices to make life even harder! That's a really sucky bonus.) Remember that they are brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors--who deserve an added measure of compassion and understanding. They are people. Who also happen to be gay.

Get over it.

49 comments:

YA Bibliophile said...

Yes. This. So much this.

Gennifer Albin said...

love! love! love! And couldn't agree more!

ashley said...

Love. Love. Love.

Thank you.

Debra Driza said...

So perfectly said--thank you. And I love the bus!

Heather said...

I agree so so much!!

Jonathon Arntson said...

Kiersten, thank you for this post.

Thankfully, I am over the stage where I feel like this is not a world for a gay person, like me. But, there's always this feeling of not belonging. Many days a week, I see bumper stickers on cars outside my work that are about the sanctity of marriage. I think, "I am about to wait on these people."

I think that it's important for those who accept the fact that there are gay people in the world need to take their understanding to the next level, which means they need to consider how excluded people are who are not just like them.

It sounds convoluted. And it is.

As an education student, I am often learning about some level of diversity. In the textbook, I'll find myself confronted by some odd phrase that has to do with "people who are gay". Usually, it's a small overgeneralization like, "Most gay people will face challenges with finding employment at an educational institute in some states." --This makes me think, "Well, duh." But for a non-gay person, they may have never considered that.

I need to stop typing, but my point is to not think about gay people as needing to be included. Me: I just want to be allowed to be a normal citizen of this country.


Thanks again, Kristen! I have not reflected on this topic in quite some time.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

I had a funny experience in college with this. My friend was gay and one day we were eating lunch together and he looked at me and said, "You hate me."
I was totally confused. I sought him out and said, "Let's eat lunch together" and now he's saying that I hate him. So I just responded that I didn't hate him.
He said that I did because I was mormon and mormon's hate gays.
I was surprised and still a little bit confused. I had never felt any hate for the kid, nor do I feel like I my actions were ever hateful towards him but he put me in a group and himself in a group and decided that it must dictate our feelings towards one another.
I did my best to explain that I love my friends and that he was my friend but I still think that the way he saw my group and his group got in the way of just me and him being friends like we had been before he 'found me out'.

Jaime Morrow said...

That video is both heart-breaking and hopeful—>good for them for making it. I'm not Mormon, but I was raised in a Baptist church, and I'm also a Bible College graduate. I know how much hatred and ignorance there is out there toward homosexuality, especially among people who have been called to love one another.

I couldn't agree more with you: They're just people who happen to be gay. Get over it. I really and truly hope that It Gets Better.

alethea aka frootjoos said...

Love this! Hate that they have to go through so much awfulness to reconcile being gay with being spiritual. These people are beautiful! <3

Simini said...

You know... I kind of wondered reading some of the things you blogged/ wrote if you might have gone to the same school I did... turns out you did! I loved, loved, loved this video. I appreciate that these students are brave enough to speak up. So grateful attitudes are changing (slow though they may be). Makes me hopeful.

Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

A truly excellent post.

A friend of mine has a shirt like that: "Some dudes marry dudes. Get over it." The perfect sentiment.

Tristina said...

Yes. To the point. Gah. I wish people would just get over it. There is FAR MORE wrong with this world than who someone kisses.

Geez.

Jessie said...

I love those adverts too. Did you know that a couple of weeks ago there was a controversy when a religious organization wanted to put up counter advertisements on London buses? The proposed adverts read "Not gay: ex-gay, post-gay, and proud. Get over it." Fortunately London mayor Boris Johnson stepped in and stopped it. Haters suck!

melissa @ 1lbr said...

Very well stated. I've been reading a book by a gay Mormon man and it is really, really enlightening.

Dara said...

Great post. :) While I don't agree with their lifestyle, I would never condemn them like many other Christians do. They are people and I am called to love them as I am called to love ALL.

(Now, please don't flame me :P)

Michelle Wolfson said...

Is it any wonder I love you??
What a powerful video. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Becky Mahoney said...

So much love for this entire post. Thank you!!

Amy said...

This is why you are made of awesome! Thank you for stating my feelings so well. I want to make everyone I know read this and see the world the same way.

I'm not a BYU alum but I am LDS. I watched this video with tears streaming down my face. It is so powerful and it gives me so much hope for the future.

patdwhite said...

you rock.

Paul said...

Thanks Kiersten, you do rock!

Jessica said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! I'm sending you awkward virtual hugs for this post!

Jenny said...

My feeling on it is that gay people aren't gay people. They are people. They also happen to be gay.

True enough. Gay or straight, I don't wanna know what you do in bed, thanks. Keep it to yourself! But, in my experience, too many don't feel that way themselves, making "gay" their identity & devoting their entire persona to that one aspect of themselves. Straight people often do the same in their own way. Sexual activity as identity is dangerous & not at all a good way to think of oneself.

Anonymous said...

I often get annoyed by stereotypes, and yes, some people are in fact attracted to the same sex, they should get these buses in America! And, in fact, nobody suspects the short people. Why do you think everyone believes I am innocent?

Makayla

Mundie Moms said...

You know I already adored you, but I totally love you for posting this!! I couldn't agree more!

Tina Moss said...

YES! This, this, so much this. The world has gay people, straight people, short people, tall people, old people, young people, and still all just people!

Oh and as a 5'1" woman, this is also very true...
"Though, to be honest, the short people really do have a complicated and sinister master plan to subvert the entire culture of the US and take over the world. Nobody suspects the short ones."

They'll never know, Kiersten. They'll never see us coming. :)

Anthony said...

Well said.

I wrote a Young Adult Christian novel on how God doesn't think gay people have cooties.

I have no idea who to try to sell it to, ha!

Mary E Campbell said...

I think anytime someone feels the need to put up an ad that says some people are gay get over it - they are making something an issue. They are trying to antagonize people. I personally believe that people are so much more than one thing - like their sexuality for example. But putting up a sign like that doesn't help them in my opinion. They are the ones making their sexual orientation more important than anything else. It also puts people on the defensive. Like individuals don't have the right to feel the way they do. It doesn't matter what it is, if I don't want to get over something, I have that right.

Kelley said...

Something that's always rubbed me the wrong way is when a person says "I have a gay best friend, so obviously I don't have issues with gays." Maybe it's nit-picky of me, but...no. You have a best friend. Who happens to be gay. He/she is not "gay best friend" anymore than you would say "I have a handicapped best friend" or "I have a black/white/asian/whatever best friend." It isn't WHO THEY ARE.

So, yes. I love this advert, too. I'm a lesbian. It's not all that I am, just a small part. So these adverts make me feel better.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I so agree with you. There shouldn't even have to be an ad like that.

Karen Greenberg said...

I love it. So simple and so plain, yet it gets the point across quite well.

Kate said...

Well said! Thank you for posting this!

Jen McConnel said...

<3 this...so MUCH!

Fivezenses said...

I've found out from a friend who is from England that they are also now advertising anti-gay slogans along side the pro-gay slogans on the buses :(

Willa @ Willa's Ramblings said...

Perfectly said!

Aylee said...

Love this!

Sarah Allen said...

So one of the girls in this video and the president of the USGA club is totally my roommate :) Just thought I'd say. Great stuff, eh?

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

That ad was really clever.

Whirlochre said...

The interesting thing about this ad campaign is that it prompted a response from the anti-gay christian community.

As a country, the UK doesn't do out-and-out religion like you have it in the US — political debate is typically free from holy rhetoric, motorways are not hogged by skateboarding bishops etc — but it seems that some christian groups have now taken a lead from their more aggressive stateside counterparts.

The anti-gay campaign focussed on the idea that being gay is a "phase" which some people "go through" when they are "confused" — a curious turnaround given that the anti-gay movement has typically relied on the existence of a 'gay gene' upon which to blame gays' errant ways.

On the counter-campaign buses, the slogan read: Not gay! Ex-gay, post-gay and proud. Get over it!

You may not have seen any of these on your brief visit to the land of beefeaters and lashings of OUGH in every place name, and that's because the Mayor of London pulled the campaign at its inception.

The debate has now moved on to matters of freedom of speech generally. If you're on the side of gay people and see the second campaign as discriminatory, then fine. But do your views mean that the anti-gay movement should lose its voice in this way?

As ever, on a planet populated by billions of souls, the demarcation lines get a little blurry.

But, yes — in the end, people are people, and being gay comes a loooooooong loooooooooooooong way down the list of mortal sins comparted to, say, slaughtering 77 Norwegian innocents in the name of Islamophobia...

Laura W. said...

There are SO many more things to devote time and energy to stopping than people being homosexual. I think the root of the problem stems from the horror traditional religion has of pretty much ANYTHING sexual, which is why some religions regulate people's sex lives so severely. It's so...Victorian Era. Can we please move on? Some people are gay. They are still PEOPLE. There are worse things to be worried about.

Like short people. And blonde people. Did I mention, I'm short and blonde...? ;)

Kelly. C. said...

I live in England & I first heard about this yesterday at college. I'm also a Christian but I don't care whether people are gay or straight. My 2 best friends at college are a lesbian and bi but I don't care about it.

People are all different and we should all respect each other.

Kimberly Sabatini said...

YES!!!! ((((((hugs)))))))) YES!!!!! Love you. Love the message.

Savannah Chase said...

So agree, it is bold and gets the point across.

Maegan Langer said...

Well put, Kiersten! This is also my alma mater, and I was very happy to see this video.

Anonymous said...

this is soo true. i really dont get why people make a big deal out of being gay. i am doing Day of Silence this year which is about Showing people all the voices silenced by bulling gay, lesbian, bi and trensgender people.

readerfreak22 said...

That is so true! Keep on rockin' it Ms.White

Sheepa said...

Love how it's straight to the point; get over it. And you totally spoke my mind when you said that gay people shouldn't be seen to be different than 'people'. They ARE people.

Erin O'Riordan said...

We SHOULD have those buses here in the U.S.- and those Harry Potter cars, too.

Human sexuality is diverse. Always has been, always will be, so just go with it.

Anonymous said...

I believe we are to love those in our lives and not mark them with a scarlet "G" . I don't think we should ever dismiss someones feelings when we haven't walked in their shoes. I may not like someones choices and I definitely should not compare their sin to my sin, but I need always know where I stand in my beliefs. When I am asked to stand and defend my belief I do it. I don't believe that standing for what I believe is devaluing another's struggle even if what I believe is contrary to what the world accepts. I believe when we choose to have different beliefs we must always handle ourselves with integrity and not be offensive.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kiersten. I'm gay, and this really means a lot. It's good to know there are people out there who care.