As most of you know, I have a sincere dis-like of "Tags". By "Tags", I mean the words that we use to describe ourselves and others. On this board, for instance, we talk about "Gay, Straight, and Bi" quite a bit. But, it is not limited to these things alone. There are such things as "Republican", "Democrat", Coservative", "Liberal", "Religous", "Jewish", "Christian", so on and so forth! The list is endless!
My view is that these "Tags" are merely window dressing and have no bearing on a persons depth of charcter. Often, when we here a person desrcibed by a tag, we react to the tag and not the person. We wind up judgeing a persons character based on our feelings and/or knowledge of a tag. For instance, there are a great many people who are homophobic and, as a result, when they hear a person described as being "Gay", they dismiss that person as being "Evil", "Immoral", "Disgusting", etc! They judge a persons complete character based on a "Tag". Well, that person might be gay, but that is only one aspect of their life! There is, I hope, much more to a person then their sexual preferences! If not, then they are terribly shallow!
This is all applicable to every tag! The way I see it, we use the tags as a convienience more than anything else! We pigeon hole people very quickly and, very often, we never take an oppurtunity take get to know people! What's more, we are intlerant of those people we deem to be different than we are!
People! We have been ignorant! Yes, we are a society made of of people with different life experiences, different points of view. Look, we need to learn to tolerate each other and embrace our differences! Just because someone has a lifestyle that is different than our own. Just because someone has a different point of view, that does not mean that they are any less worthwhile than we are.
I urge you to look past the window dressing and learn about people that are different than you are! If you are straight, than befriend a gay person! A jew? Than speak to a christian! So on and so forth! Very often, you will find that the fears and anxieties that you feel about those that are different are born of ignorance! We haven't bothered to learn about life! There is always more than one side to an issue, so do not be afraid to examine the other sides! There is much that we can discover about ourselves and each other if we can just get past the window dressing!
I learned alot about this about the time I first started on the Sanez/WTA board a few years ago. I did not have much exposure to gay people. As a result, I was fearful of them! But than I met Griffin, who is a lesbian and works for a gay organization. Well, we started speaking long before I knew anything about her personal life! Well, I liked her! I enjoyed her sense of humour! And I really respected her opinions! Of course along the way, I found out her preferences. Well, it did not change my opinion of her! To this day, I have a great deal of respect for Griffin and I consider her a dear friend! Our differences in our preference do not matter!
It was I am saying, is that if you can't get past the window dressing, you will miss out on much of what life has to offer! Please open your hearts and minds to those that are different! Do not dismiss someone who is different as being anything less than worthwhile! Above all, tolerate those who think, look or believe differently!