While I don’t actually feel the argument that people are required to live by the word of their bible even if they use it as examples of what they believe in I do feel the above video states some particular facts that should be shared, in particular the idea of voting with your money. Corporations like Chick-Fil-A are becoming the defacto leaders of our society because of the money and power that they wield against our governments and, in essence, are bribing us for our vote with their products. And while we can’t always know what corporations like Chick-Fil-A, Walmart, Google, Apple, and the like are doing with their money, we can at least send messages to those who make a public stance for ideas that are hurtful by not giving them money.
There have been times when I’ve wanted to discuss social issues with people, not to convince them of the point, but to try to help evolve my own understanding by getting their opinions and beliefs. And instead of having the discussion, the person decided they didn’t want to discuss it. This has happened to me multiple times with different people, from close friends to friendly strangers.
But there are some social issues that need to be discussed. Over on my Tumblr I posted a video that explains the fight for women’s suffrage to the music of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. Do you think at the time discussing whether women had the right to own property or vote in political elections was a polite topic at the dinner table? A good majority of men and women felt different than a smaller group of women regarding the issue. It required people like Alice Paul to bring the issue to people’s attention and get them talking about it, realizing the idea and implications. As more people thought about it, rather than simply forming their beliefs based upon the status-quo, the movement garnered support until women were considered equal citizens to men, at least in word if not always in practice.
One social issue that also needs to be discussed is sexuality. I could explain why but a recent post by Seanan McGuire, author of over a dozen stories, I think sums it up a little better. Show, don’t tell: why they need to be there by Seanan McGuire.
I was recently talking to a friend* of mine who is also a writer about inclusion and inclusiveness in fiction. He was frustrated. Why did people keep asking him to include a non-heterosexual character in a starring role in his work? After all, he’d said that non-hetero characters existed, and were actually the norm. It was right there, in black and white. So why wasn’t that enough?
I explained how, when I was a kid, the only smart blondes I could find were Marilyn Munster and Susan Storm. How I wound up identifying with the Midwich Cuckoos, rather than the humans who they were threatening, because the Cuckoos looked like me and were isolated like me and no one understood them. How, as I got older and realized that what I wanted wasn’t necessarily the kind of marriage my mother had, every gay character became a magical revelation—even the ones I would look at now and think of as stereotyped and cardboard. It was enough for me that they were there.
This argument, of course, hinges on your personal beliefs regarding if certain types of sexuality are morally wrong or right. It appeals to that time when you finally found someone, be it a fictional character or real life hero, who you felt was going through similar problems and conflicts as you, and how you drew strength from the fact that they survived. Maybe not everybody had this experience but I believe that to be unlikely.
Discussing social issues is hard but challenging what we know to be right and understanding that it may be wrong or at the very least, partially incorrect, is a part of what makes us human and what helps us to continue to improve ourselves.
In the video game Dragon Age 2 your character can progress their own personal story line by having relationships with various computer controlled characters. Since your character can be customized to be any gender, the game is rather accommodating by offering relationships regardless of the gender of the main character.
This means that homosexual relationships can happen and in fact some of the computer controlled characters will actively flirt with you even if you because they are homosexual.
Someone took exception to the fact that one of his companion characters decided to flirt with him and decided to write a rather long forum post on the topic. Then news articles got a hold of it. And then David Gaider, the senior writer for Dragon Age 2, decided to reply.
This article sums it up rather nicely with some commentary: “Straight Male Gamer” told to ‘get over it’ by BioWare [NoMoreLost.org]
National Coming Out Day is October 11th of ever year and has been more or less in existence since 1988, although perhaps less popularly in the last decade or so. I’m sad to admit I didn’t know it was a regularly organized event until today, and that I missed its passing by several days.
Looking up what NCO on Wikipedia I found this description:
A brilliant idea, of course. With the amount of social pressure that is still placed upon people due to how different they are from the stereotypical and social norm, spreading the word about a day where you can tell the people you care for about this differences at the same time as hundreds or millions of others is a motivating force.
However it’s usefulness has been suspect to me. In prior years it was celebrated via parades and personal declarations that, of course, are limited in their scope to get the word out, as evidenced by myself only just learning of his event. So I would like to point your attention to one of the tools that has helped fill this void: The Internet.
A nine minute long video (well worth watching) of a man coming out. Excellent produced and one of the best use of music in a non-fiction piece. Videos like this are an example of the tools that can be employed to both communicate a person’s coming out and spread the word of the holiday itself and it’s meaning and significance.
Two centuries ago in the United States it was common and even well-known “fact” that humans of pale skin were more intelligent than any human of darker tones and that the act of being sexually attracted to humans that were not of the opposite sex was a lawfully punishable offense. We have grown so much in our understanding of the world and those around us but we can grow more accepting of these qualities. So help spread the word and change people’s unreasoning hatred into reasonable acceptance.