8/08/2012

Ruminations on Diversity: Race, Gender, Sexual Preference and More

One of the things that's been gratifying to see in the disability community (even as we tear each other apart over differences) is that, by and large, there at least appears to be more acceptance of sexual diversity.

We've got a ways to go--racism and sexism and discrimination to reduce and eliminate. Many of my friends, though, are open in their acceptance and support of gays, lesbians, and gender-diverse individuals and equal rights.

I shouldn't have to state it, but given the tremendous amount of statuses that cross my facebook feed, maybe it's important that I do.

I support gay marriage. I support gays and lesbians. I think they should have every right and privilege that straight people do.

I support people who are transgendered or nongendered or pangendered or whatever terminology they prefer to use. People should be able to live lives true to their neurology without being considered disordered (unless what you do means you're hurting children or infringing on the rights of others).

I don't care what color you are. I think you should have equal rights and protections.

I don't care what religion you practice. As long as you aren't breaking laws and hurting people, honor your deity in the way that best suits you.

I don't care if you are a republican, a democrat, a liberal, a conservative, or a tea-bagger. As long as you accept that I have the right to believe and support the lesser of two evils when it comes to candidates, I'll let your photoshopped pictures run right across my feed with no comment. I'll ignore those who bash either side--I don't personally get the whole intense-hatred thing that so many people feel towards a candidate, but whatever...maybe it's their way of letting off steam.

I don't personally believe I have the right to interfere with other women's reproductive rights. I'm personally not a fan of abortion, and I think it's a tremendous loss to society and humanity when fetuses are aborted because a test shows an abnormality. However, I'm not walking in other women's shoes and I would never dream of telling them they are wrong for making the right decision for themselves. Who am I to claim that kind of moral superiority? Not happening.

I believe that diversity and acceptance of humanity in all its diversity is a good thing. It's a hard thing, but things worth doing are rarely easy.

I think a lot of us would benefit  from some deep breathing and better support systems. And that we could all use at least one person who is in our corner unconditionally, and hopefully that we'll get at least one, if not two, three or more who provide that support.

In other words, I'm not going to go hating on anyone. I am going to be disappointed when I see people high five anti-gay rhetoric and hate speech.

I'm going to be disappointed when I read people using pejoratives like idiot, imbecile, moron, r*t*rd, f**kt*rd, or any other variation. Dumbass, by comparison, is not nearly as bad, but I'm going to try to reduce my use of that term because it's all but impossible to say that and not think less of the other person you're calling that term, even if you insist they have feelings, too. Language that renders the other less should have no place in a compassionate society that embraces diversity.

Life, if you're lucky, is a learning curve. Hopefully, we get more humble, more open, more compassionate over the years. Hopefully, we work to make the world a softer, better place for those who follow behind us. Hopefully, we learn to apologize when we err and work to make amends.

Hopefully.

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