A Brief Introduction

Endeavoring to define myself outside of a "job title." I'm a nomad of sorts who fell in love with technology, activism, and helping others. I run a web & media consulting firm, have a blog specifically for activists & non-profits, and travel often. I love talking about theology, politics, and social change. I love doing something about it even more. I also like to be a well-rounded and fully present person. That's why I write here. Connect with me on twitter

Friday, September 19, 2008

No Rights for Faggots

For the last event of Seven Straight Nights in New York City, we gathered at McCarren Park for a rally organized by Jay Bakker and the folks at Revolution NYC. As I walked to the park with my straight friends who were going to participate, a van drove passed and a man yelled out "No rights for faggots!"

Anti-gay epithets have been hurled at me more in New York City than the rest of my life combined. This is why we do what we do.

The man, or men, in the van circled McCarren Park yelling that same phrase over and over again. Oppression disturbs not only the oppressed but the oppressors as well. They are victims of misinformation and we are all trapped in systems and cycles of oppression. This man took out over an hour of his day, time he could have spent being productive, spent with his family, spent enjoying himself, and he drove his van around, yelling at straight and gay people who love themselves and each other.

During training for the Equality Ride, we practiced non-violence by role playing verbally and emotionally violent scenarios with a two-fold goal: to practice hearing awful things said about us, but also to understand the awful places a person must go to in order to degrade another person's humanity. And so as this man I don't know yelled at us, viewing us as nothing more than a group of faggots, I felt sorry for him, not for myself. In New York, my gay friends cannot have their marriages legally recognized but they marry anyway. In some places, their love is not recognized but they love anyway. I know people who have been kicked out of family, but they find family. I was surronded by love and compassion in McCarren Park. When that man yelled "No rights for faggots," he wasn't taking anything away from me, he was robbing himself.

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