To All of My Friends During Pride Month

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First of all, let me explain what Pride Month is, for anyone who may not know. Pride Month is celebrated every year in the month of June and is used to honor and recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer history and identity. It’s a time for those who identify as LGBTQ+ to stand up and celebrate themselves and for those of us who are allies to show our support.

This year for Pride Month facebook decided to add a “pride” reaction emoji. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s that little rainbow-colored flag down there wedged between your pink “love” heart and your “haha” laughing face. I’m sure you’ve seen these jaunty little flags popping up all over the place lately; on pages you follow and memes you like and maybe even your friends have thrown one or two around in reaction to something you’ve posted.

Well, apparently there are some people who aren’t happy about the Pride emoji. Mainly some Christians. Go figure.

One page in particular that I had the displeasure of reading the comments on left me in a bit of a rage:

“I don’t recall downloading anything to get the flag. It flies in the face of my Christian beliefs. I want it removed…”

“…I don’t want my daughter growing up associating rainbows with lgbt 😦 rainbows are a beautiful thing…”

“It infuriates me that this {the rainbow} is being used to represent sinfulness…”

“The rainbow belongs to God and His children. It’s like everything else the enemy wants to steal from us…”

And, of course, the old standby: “Why don’t we get a straight pride month?”

Let’s address that last one first.

Why don’t we get a straight pride month? Here’s a few questions for you, if you are a straight person who has ever asked that question:

When was the last time you had to endure dirty looks when you walked down the street holding hands with your husband/wife?

When was the last time you got called a derogatory name for kissing said spouse in public?

Have you ever received a death threat because of the person you’re with?

How long did you wait to tell your parents and friends that you were straight? Were you worried that they were going to kick you out of the house or disown you for being straight?

Have you ever had another Christian tell you that you were going to Hell for being straight?

And more important, more overreaching that any of that, when was the last time that any government official tried to make a law telling you that you couldn’t marry the person you loved? That you couldn’t use a specific bathroom? That you couldn’t adopt a child?

  • Same-sex sexual activity was actually illegal until 2003. *
  • Until 2011, you could be kicked out of the military for being gay (“Don’t ask, don’t tell”) and until 2016, you couldn’t serve in the United States military if you were openly transgender. *
  • It was illegal for same-sex couples to adopt until 2015. *
  • In 20 of the 50 states you can, to this day, be turned down for a job based solely on your sexual orientation (except for some state and federal positions). *
  • In 21 of the 50 states, to this day, there are no state-mandated laws in place to protect people against hate crimes stemming from sexual orientation or gender identity (there are federal mandates in place under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009). *
  • While it is federal law that housing providers who receive HUD funding cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity, only 23 states have laws in place prohibiting such discrimination from housing providers who do not receive government funding. *

So ask me again why we don’t have a Straight Pride Month? Maybe because we straight people have never, ever had to validate our existence to anyone. We are just accepted and the things we do are considered “normal”. We’ve never had to fight for a single right in our lives based on our sexuality. We’ve never been told who we can and can’t love and we’ve never feared for our lives just for being who we are. So maybe it’s time for us to just shut up, sit down and let our LGBTQ+ family finally have some of the rights that we’ve always enjoyed.

And as for all of you Christians, especially the ones asking why we don’t have a reaction emoji that we can use on facebook? You know “the gays get one, why can’t we have one?”

Here’s one to try on. ❤ That’s right. A heart. Because you know what Jesus did? He loved. He loved unconditionally and without question. He didn’t stop to ask the people in the crowd whether or not they were sinners before he passed out the loaves and fishes. He didn’t stop to get offended by the lifestyles and the choices of the people he healed. He didn’t lament Lazarus’ “life choices” before he raised him from the dead. He. Just. Freaking. Did. It. He just did it. And that is what our symbol needs to be every single day. A heart. Because Jesus is love and that is the symbol – the message – that we need to be sending out into the world.

Stop getting offended by God’s promise being “corrupted” and add your heart to it. Add your love to theirs and maybe, just maybe, we can start to heal this hurting world.

Stop being offended and start loving others. That is, after all, what Jesus commanded us to do.

 

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. ~Mark 12:31

 

Sources: 

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_United_States#

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