Actions speak louder than words.
When I was young, I would often hear that in response to me saying I’d clean my room, do the dishes or put away my laundry as opposed to actually getting my lazy ass up and doing the thing. That is, my parents knew better than to trust what I said about certain things and wanted to see some proof, in the form of action, that I wasn’t just saying what they wanted to hear to get them to leave me alone.
This isn’t to say that everyone lies like a ‘tween who’d rather watch cartoons than do chores on a Saturday morning. But you can tell a lot about where a person’s truths and sincerities lie based on what they do rather than what they say.
You might have Karen who says, “I love cats more than humans! I love everything about them. I would literally die for a cat.” Then you’ve got Becky who quietly goes about her business volunteering at the cat rescue shelter on weekends, raising money for spay and neuter programs, and fostering felines looking for forever homes.
Who’s the cat-lover now, Karen?
Let’s keep all of that in mind while we consider these words:
“As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation. My Administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!” — Donald J. Trump, 05/31/2019
And then compare them with these actions:
Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court To Legalize Firing Transgender Workers — 08/16/2019
Trump Administration Asks SCOTUS to Legalize Firing LGBTQ Workers Based On Sexuality — 08/23/2019
At least Pence just straight-up hates us and doesn’t try to blow a bunch of sunshine up our skirts before burying a knife in our collective back. He’s a dick, but he’s an honest dick. You always know where you stand with Mike.
Now, if you’re thinking none of this is applicable to you because you’re not a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I’d like to ask you in the nicest way possible, to please pull your head out of your ass. I’m under the assumption that if you’re reading this, you’re a human. Yes? Good! Because what’s being proposed here is legalized discrimination against humans based on factors not related to employment.
Think of it this way: Let’s assume you’re a guy. You’re married, you’ve got kids and a home. And it’s your birthday! You know what that means — time for the annual blowjob! Or, if you’re really lucky (and you’re wife is really drunk) you might even score some annual anal. Woo hoo!
Except, uh-oh! You live in Louisiana. That means that right in the middle of the act, the cops are perfectly within their rights to kick in your bedroom door and haul your ass off to the pokey for violating the state’s sodomy laws. What you were doing is a crime against nature, son, and illegal in twelve states.
Of course, word gets back to the office about your arrest. And, well, they’ve decided you’re not exactly the type of person they can have representing their family-friendly company. So, there goes your job. And soon after, your home. Then your wife leaves, and takes the kids. And the dog.
Now you’re unemployed, divorced and living in your car. All because you enjoy a little non-traditional nooky from time to time.
So, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be gay, there you have it. Not quite the big, ball of fabulous flamboyancy everyone seems to think it is, right?
And now that you understand what it’s like, I’m asking you to take a stand and be an ally. You may think you’re an ally already because you know gay people or because you non-judgementally enjoy the blog of some middle-age lesbian with delusions of lower-ranking royalty. But, that’s kind of like thinking you’re a black-lives ally because you still remember all the words to the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song.
If your only contribution to the gay community is knowing gay people, you’re a tangent. In order to be an ally, you need to take some action (there’s that word again).
- Say something when a person is being blatantly, or subtly, homophobic. How easy is that? Honestly?? Usually, not really all that easy. In fact, it’s probably uncomfortable as hell and might even prove to be a total buzzkill at a rockin’ post-work Happy Hour gathering. But that’s what makes your job so important. People aren’t going to make the same remarks or comments in my presence that they will in yours. As a true ally, I know that you’ll have my back when I’m not there to defend my peeps for myself.
- After the next big “family-values” sermon at church on Sunday, remind your priest, reverend or pastor that Jesus loves ALL the little children. Let him or her know that you’re not down with the “love the sinner, hate the sin” line because the “sin” they’re referring to is love. Elgeebeeteeque folks just want to be left alone to love each other and be who they are without fear of repercussions. And maybe take a field trip one Sunday and check out a Unitarian church to see how a congregation full of out and proud non-heteronormative Christians gets their worship on.
- Stop eating at fucking Chick-fil-A!
- Go to a Gay Pride Parade. March in one if you can! These events are celebrations of all the things the community has overcome to get to where we are today. And today we have allies outside the community who are welcome and encouraged to attend. Bring the kids! Yes, some of the outfits are outrageous, but they’re not traumatizing. A former co-worker took her toddler son one year, and sometime later he asked when they’d be going to the Underpants Parade again. It’s only weird if you make it weird.
- Don’t let elected officials or candidates get away with shit. You may love everything about your mayor or congressperson or president, but as soon as that anti-LGBTQ+ stuff pops up, I’m sorry — they have to go. Think of it as a contagion and your vote as the vaccine, then get out there and innoculate that motherfucker!
Those are just a few things you can do, but I think you get the picture. It’s not enough that you watched the recent Will & Grace re-boot. I mean, your acceptance is great and in a better place and time it might be enough. But now is not that time. The things we’ve worked so hard for are being chipped away at, and it’s some scary shit. We need as many people pushing back as possible. I hope you’ll be one of those people.