It’s pretty funny how I said I’m taking a break from my blog yesterday, yet here I am with a new post one day later.
Today I was on Facebook when I came across a post someone shared about a transgender woman who was unable to run at a rodeo. We could talk about whether or not she should be eligible to ride, but let’s just agree to disagree. I’m not here to argue about her rights and wrongs, I’m here to discuss the comments on the shared Facebook post. I was at a loss for words when I read the things people were saying. How is it that we live in a cyber world where we are always reminded how permanent everything posted on the internet is, yet people will post hate comments from their personal accounts without a second thought?
Everyone always tells me that retaliating at hate comments is pointless. That’s true, sometimes, but it’s important to understand when to be quiet and when to speak out. There is absolutely no point for me to get in an argument with the guy on bourbon street who’s screaming at me with a cross and telling me I am going to burn in hell. It also might feel pointless to comment on a social media post, but someone needs to do it. It’s important to remember that trying to change someone’s opinion is not the only reason you should speak out. Speaking out is about giving a voice to those who are no longer with us, who aren’t able to voice their opinion, or who are too scared.
The importance of standing up for your beliefs is a tale as old as time. I can assure you I’m not here to tell anyone that what they believe in is right or wrong. I’m here to remind people to stand up for not only themselves but others too. This post is centered around the bullying and hate towards the LGBTQ+ community.
Just today I saw these two comments:
“If I catch his confused ass in the girls bathroom get the backhoe ready I have something to put in the hole”
“Im sorry but dude needs some Jesus and visit to the nearest mental health facility”
In the first one, a grown man boasted his eagerness to physically harm someone for using the bathroom. In the second, a lady mentioned the need for psychiatric care for a woman who she’s never met, never spoke to, and knows absolutely nothing about.
I grew up in a family who treated everyone equally. In a sense I was sheltered. I never knew that people were actually capable of hating others because they were gay, transgender, black, or white, until I got older. I would hear stories of people being bullied or disowned from their families and just ask my mom and dad, “why?” I simply could not fathom that people were so angry just because a girl liked a girl and a boy liked a boy, and honestly, I still don’t understand it.
I always wondered what could I do to help? There’s a misconception we often get stuck in our head that our contribution is not going to matter. We think, I’m just an average person with no platform, what could that possibly do to help? I’m here to tell you that you can make a difference. You can create a platform. I started a blog just 3 months ago and I’ve already made a bigger impact than I would’ve ever imagined. The messages I received after I blogged about LGBTQ+ youth being mistreated in Catholic Schools still give me chills when I read them. You never know who will see your words and you never know who needs to hear them.
I’ve always been the girl in twitter fights or Facebook arguments because I voiced my opinion. While there were usually more negative responses than positive, the private messages telling me how much my words meant to them are what always kept me going. If you reach just one person, it was worth it. I’m lucky to be surrounded by family and friends who are so supportive of me and love me know matter my opinions. One thing I will never take for granted is having two parents who are insanely supportive of me being ME. I know that sadly that is not the case for most, so I am dedicated to be there for those people. I have a voice and I will use it, will you?
“When we stand up for what we believe in- for what’s right- there is always a chance we risk the very things we fight for: our safety, our lives, our freedom. But if we stand down, the risk is definite.”
“Stand up to hypocrisy. If you don’t, the hypocrites will teach. Stand up to ignorance, because if you don’t, the ignorant will run free to spread ignorance like a disease. Stand up for truth. If you don’t, then there is no truth to your existence. If you don’t stand up for all that is right, then understand that you are part of the reason why there is so much wrong in the world.”