The Teachers & The Preachers

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Even a year ago, the idea that you must teach a person about social issues was popular. I will be honest, it irritated me because of my own life circumstances because both teaching and preaching approaches in my eyes are equally good but I could see my approach was still been put down in a very cruel way so often. I think in the past year things have dramatically changed and I think in this aspect for the better. Looking around me and seeing people speaking their mind without fear of how they think they have to speak to people who are prejudiced and ignorant on these issues has been really cool to see.

People are different and they approach things in different ways based often on their personalities, their lives and their pasts and I have never felt that we respect that enough. It certainly happens both sides. People on the preaching side often make people on the teaching side feel like they are doing something wrong. People on the teaching side often make people on the preaching side feel like they are doing something wrong.

But for a long time I will say that the voices on the teaching side were amplified more and I felt it and I’m sure many others on the preaching side felt it out there too. We were made out to be troublemakers, hostile, immature, didn’t understand the world, were not nice people, were unintelligent, wanted to be right, wanted to control everyone, aggressive, rude, offensive and the list goes on. And that is a lot to put on people simply because they don’t approach things the same way you do. Because you aren’t a bad person and in your own way you are trying to do things from a good place, after a while if you are hearing the same thing all the time it can get to your head and have detrimental consequences.

When I hear people saying you should teach people instead of preach, I have to ask where is that rule written down? It’s simply an opinion which everyone is entitled to but it is often put out there as a statement of fact. I’m not a teacher, I never signed up for that profession so I don’t really see it as my job to teach anybody anything. It’s a choice you make either way and you go with the best choice for you, not anyone else but you can also be respectful of the choice someone else makes because these people on either side are not prejudiced or ignorant or both, they are simply people with different approaches who are all trying to come from a good place in what they are doing.

But without a doubt people on both sides can show their bad side when they gaslight another person who doesn’t approach it the same way as them. I have actually seen the word gaslighting been mocked and while as always people are entitled to their opinions, that opinion always makes me want to vomit because gaslighting has extremely dangerous effects on peoples’ mental health and I know that from experience so to see the idea that people are gaslit been mocked and dismissed is really ugly and while I tend to notice that it happens more to people on the preaching side, it happens to people on the teaching side too. It is an ugly but unfortunately very powerful way of making a person who doesn’t act the way you think they should feel so low and unsure of themselves and everything they do and are that they close themselves off, they become what you want them to be and can’t handle life. And believe me, no one normal wants to go that far to win.

I don’t think people on the teaching side are cowards or anything negative to be honest. But I equally don’t think I am or anyone like me is and I like when people have that same respect for me and others that I have for them but sadly it doesn’t always work out that way and that’s just the way it is. It’s on their conscience, not on mine so I don’t have to worry about it. I have opinions and I have them passionately and honestly and lots of people do and none of us need to feel guilty about that. That’s us. People on the teaching side don’t need to feel guilty about being them either. In my opinion, it is people on either side who try to say people are unkind or not brave because their approach is different from theirs who are the problem.

The way I and many people are is that we have our opinions. Not for attention. Because we have voices, we all do, and we are putting those opinions across to do something good: to stand up for equality of people in our way. To make people feel less alone. And teachers do their things for good too, they are trying to understand every side. There is good in both sides and you won’t see this preacher debating with any teacher unless they pick a debate with me. We are only human, both teachers and preachers, and when confronted with difficult issues we react in different ways and if we can’t respect that we do then we as individuals, not either group we’re in, is problematic as hell.

I would love to see teachers and preachers coming together more often because both have skills the other doesn’t have and together they could make some amazing change which the world really needs right now and has always really needed. But both sides need to be more kinder to each other in order for that to happen.

Privilege In Society

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Privilege in society has been become a huge, huge talking point recently in the media. I can’t say highly enough how extremely proud I am of all the protesters, activists and anyone who does like anything to bring all this to light even if that is simply retweeting a tweet. For too long, prejudice and gaslighting have been pushed under the carpet allowing a structural prejudice and power to run rampant through society.

White privilege. Cis privilege. Non-Queer privilege in general. Male privilege. Able-bodied privilege. Rich and middle-class privilege.

There is a lot of groups with privilege in society. I have only mentioned a few there and any form of lapping up your privilege is ugly. You can’t help having a privilege but only a prick would soak it up and be loving it and buy into it in some way.

So many people have lost their lives through this kind of thing. Or being violently beaten or raped. Numerous wrongs have been done on people from the tiniest inequality to the biggest inequality. You bring intersectionality into that mix and it makes it so much worse on a person and it’s bad enough as it is. So many stories are coming out. It is very sad, dreadfully sad and it doesn’t need to be like that. It never did.

Roll on justice. Freedom. Equality. It has been long overdue at this stage. Long, long, long overdue.

We are hearing a lot more people finally feeling like they can say the things that they were probably scared of getting backlash for before. And it is incredibly scary to do that in a world packed with controllers who have privilege. Believe me, I know. I hope now that this new sense of freedom to be passionate can help a lot of peoples’ mental healths because I know it was the reason I had mental health issues. I can’t stress enough how unbelievably inhumane prejudice and gaslighting is. I’m pan and omni but at the time I only knew I was pan. On one side, I felt like me and others were being treated unequally and on the other hand being told I had no right to defend myself. Trapped, that’s the word I think of, I felt trapped. That if I stood up for myself I’d be called not very compassionate, aggressive, a troublemaker, etc, etc … and the more I heard those words directly but mostly indirectly, I began to believe them partly. That’s how it does feel. If you are in a minority group, you are made feel like you’re not being nice if you don’t show compassion to someone who is being prejudiced or ignorant toward you. I wish the prejudiced/ignorant and the gaslighters no ill but seriously, how dare they? If they really believe they or someone else should be able to be prejudiced/ignorant and it’s ok for people to be gaslighted when they stand up for themselves and call it out, they have a cheek.

I don’t know what it’s like to face prejudice and gaslighting from the perspective of being black because I’m white. However, I have experienced what those two things feel like from the perspective of being pan and omni. It can be very difficult, hurtful, frustrating, angering and so many other feelings. I hope this movement that is going on right now brings about long-lasting changes for all of us and those in the future in groups that regularly face indirect or direct prejudice and gaslighting. I hope different groups who face these issues join together, help each other. I hope another person does not go through the utter fear and entrapment I felt the night I felt suicidal and had my hands around my throat or feels the mounting, gradual doubts that led to that night through something that can be made right ever again.

Can I also just say? Seeing those statues coming down? Brilliant.

I would like to end this post by paying tribute to some people:

George Floyd, R.I.P.

Tony McDade, R.I.P.

Oluwatoyin Salau, R.I.P.

Vicki Sims, R.I.P.

Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, R.I.P.

Riah Milton, R.I.P

Layleen Polanco, R.I.P.

Rayshard Brooks, R.I.P.

and R.I.P. to all those people who have lost their lives due to this senselessness. My condolences are with all their loved ones at this very sad time.

 

 

 

 

Thoughts About RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12

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If you are a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you will be very aware that quite a lot has come out recently regarding contestants participating in season 12 of the show which began airing just over two weeks ago. The season had previously been billed and expected to be the ‘nice queen’ season and the series of ‘RuPaul’s Best Friend Race’. Well that really went tits up, didn’t it?

Firstly, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from the season with rumours that she allegedly made the final, after statements made by several men saying she sexually harrassed them came to light. Using the fake name of Alison Mossey (apparently a top name in the acting business), Sherry tricked many men (nine at the last count) into believing they were going to land a huge part if they took steroids and were filmed engaging in sexual behavior such as masturbation. As her real name Joey she was encouraging them to trust in the fictious Allison Mossey with the aim being to saisify her own sexual pleasure via using their dreams to make a better life for themselves.

Secondly, an identified man has told how he was sexually assaulted by Brita Filter after a night out. The man was Brita’s drag daughter at the time and much like Sherry Pie’s victims was trying to make a better life for himself. Brita has not been disqualified because Sherry admitted to the claims and Brita has denied the man’s story.

In addition to all of this, contestants Dahlia Sin and Aiden Zhane have been embroiled in controversy following transphobic social media posts they made in the past. Though these situations are obviously very serious, they are obviously not in the same league of terribleness as the two previous situations discussed. However I think it is important to put the spotlight on how wrong and problematic their words were as well. Dahlia has never apologized for her opinions on this matter. However Aiden has apologized and has spoken about how she has changed and grown since that time and for that I commend her. It’s not an easy thing to do. It’s something many people never do and I applaud her courage and fairness to do that. While I am the first person who will call out dodgy opinions, I am also the first person who doesn’t believe in holding grudges against people when they truly appear like that is no longer who they are or how they think. If someone is being a better version of themselves than their past self then kudos to them and I wish Aiden all the best and thank her for her kindness to do so and to publicly state that she was wrong and she sees things differently now. I know many people will appreciate that.

But now back to the two situations involving Sherry and Brita. I think the producers of Drag Race firstly were very responsible in their handling of the Sherry Pie situation. She was very promptly disqualified and will not appear at the finale. With the news breaking so late, I have a lot of sympathy for them in the regard of editing because it is difficult to edit a whole season I would imagine which is already in the can. I don’t think it’s going to happen but personally I wouldn’t mind them delaying the season for a bit and editing it. However I won’t hold it against them regardless of what they decide because it must be a nightmare situation for a producer and I would not like to be in their shoes right now. I think (and all of the elimination order is unconfirmed) that Brita did not make the final so there was probably no need to disqualify her. However, I believe she will be appearing at the finale and that’s problematic in and of itself. Even if you were to take the statement as false, it’s still plobematic with that being out there and the possibility that it could be true swimming about.

My stance is with the people who are the victims in these two situations. Before I get into my thoughts on this, I want to give you all a little background on myself and the way I think with these situations as we are dealing with extremely serious issues here. Anyone who knows me knows I do not instantly take that stance. I don’t take a stance instantly with the accused either for that matter. I’m not a person who thinks I’m a terrible person because I don’t instantly take a victim’s allegations at face value and I equally do not say everyone is jumping on the bandwagon of the Me Too movement either. And I acknowledge a million per cent that more often than not most victims from statistics are telling the truth. However I am a writer and I also like to be fair to both sides before I form my opinion (and then it’s very hard to change my mind but that’s another story). So the writer in me done my research on these two cases to the best of my ability because obviously I don’t know the people involved on either side of either of the situations. I have also being a victim of an incident where I was touched in a sexual way and I think it’s important that I speak about that in a future blog because this sort of predatory behavior is rampant in every area of life. But just to be clear here, I have took a stance with people who have been accused of things like this who I didn’t believe did it too so my experience does not cloud my judgment in these issues.

But in these two cases, I believe these men who have come forward. My heart breaks for them that they went through these situations and I admire their courage to speak out with all the fears that must have been attached to doing so. It’s a truly frightening, violating thing to go through in any of it’s many forms and I respect their courage in telling these stories that they probably wish they could just bury deep in the ground and pretend didn’t happen. The fact that they know they will probably have to repeat these stories over and over or be asked to in any case must be incredibly draining. It must feel like partially reliving a trauma that you just wish you could leave behind. Don’t get me wrong, the platform they have to highlight this behavior is great and hopefully it helps many people but you kind of want to talk about very bad memories like this in your life on your own terms and in a way that I would imagine gets a bit took away and that can be scary. You don’t know who to trust. Are they using it for sensation or are they truly interested in highlighting the issue? I hope they have some good people around them.

I have to applaud the support these men have got from so many people. Whether that’s queens who have been on the show previously, the wider queer community or the wider community of people in general. People have been outraged and while that’s to be expected, people have been very vocal in comdemning that this type of behavior is not acceptable. I will say that it could be a bit more vocal about Brita but I appreciate that for a lot of people they might be nervous to say something about that because Brita has denied the allegations and in short, it’s a more frightening situation for many people to comment on because of that regardless of their own personal feelings on it. But to that man, thank you for sharing your story and know that a lot of people including me believe you for what that’s worth.

To make another point, I know a lot of people are worried about how this is going to reflect our queer community to people outside it. And sure a lot of bigoted people will take this as fodder to store away in their press of why it’s wrong to be queer. But the person who touched me inappropriately was not a member of the queer community. My point is not that people outside the community are always but that the actions of particular people in or out of the community do not reflect the majority of people in or out of the community. Most of us humans would find this kind of behavior deplorable and thank god for that.

I would like to say one thing and I want to preface this by saying this excuses nothing in either Sherry or Brita’s situations but be careful because you are still dealing with people. Over this side of the water, we have recently seen presenter Caroline Flack take her own life due to negative press attention and online trolls. Though Caroline’s situation is immensely different from what we are discussing here, the same humanity rules apply. By all means, have your freedom of speech. I am completely in favour of that. But sending hate and death threats to a person is not what I mean when I say that. If you find yourself in a bar and you’re hanging out with either of them and you want to debate it, go right ahead. You’re one person against one person and sure be passionate but don’t be cruel. But the internet is one person against thousands, millions. Think before you type or in particular tag someone with something very vicious because the mind is very fragile and if you are any kind of person you do not want someone’s death on your hands or to tremendously add to making someone have bad mental health issues. Comdemn by all means but be mindful of how you do so. Don’t lose the run of yourself. There is a human at the other end of that communication with insecurities like us all and please don’t forget that. I reiterate that by saying this I don’t condone the behavior. In fact I’m disgusted by it. I’m only saying be careful because even though I deplore their behavior and I don’t like them, I don’t want anything to happen to happen to anyone.

I also want to say that there is queens in this season who are kind, good and this is their big opportunity to show the world their talent. I feel so terrible for them and hope that the events which have happened will not overshadow their moment to the extent that no one will notice the output of wonderfulness they put out there. Let’s put the spotlight on their achievements too and not let this overshadow how brilliant they are. I wish them all the best. It is hard watching certain people in the cast for sure but let that not take away from the amazing queens who are simply trying to get on, spread great messages and entertain us.

I stand with the people who are victims of these situations. I hope that they find some closure and peace even though I know you never find true closure and peace when you have been in a situation like this. As a victim of this sort of thing, I thank you all for speaking out but just as a person in general I thank you all for speaking out. You are all amazing for doing so and even more amazing for doing so because you all probably don’t think you are amazing for doing so. But there is a lot of us out here who are so glad you did because it highlights what a lot of us have went through and have to deal with, forget, achieve and pretend like the thought of that moment or for others moments in time doesn’t affect us when we think about it. For all those who speak out, thank you. For all those who don’t, don’t for one second think I don’t (for what it’s worth) think you are also amazing because you fight through it too and that is amazing whether you ever say it out or not. Situations are different and I’m very well aware of that. But thank you to these men because you are speaking out for a lot of us, making us feel less alone and for what it’s worth I totally believe you and I hope you all get the justice you deserve and you can somehow move on from all of this and be successful and utterly fabulous.

Being Cynical of The Freedom of Speech Campaign

 

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There’s a campaign that we often hear about in this modern world of the fight for freedom of speech. And to be quite honest as the title of this post suggests I’m cynical of it.

 

That isn’t to say I don’t believe in it. Because I strongly do. But I can’t help thinking that it’s a ploy to return the world to a place of prejudice at every corner towards people in minority groups. When exactly have any of the people campaigning for freedom of speech ever said for example, “If you believe people of the same race getting together is wrong you should have the right to say it” or “If you believe cis people are not their gender you should have the right to say it”. They seem to be campaigning from my perspective for negative things to be said about people in minority groups and in minority situations and never about majority groups and in majority situations. This is why I find it often very difficult to support the campaign because at heart, I don’t believe it is freedom of speech they are fighting for.

 

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I’m a kind of a person who believes that everyone in both minority and majority groups is valid but if somebody believed either way that that wasn’t the case I would completely fight for their freedom to say that. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t challenge them on those views. It doesn’t mean I have to like them for those views. I’m noticing a slight trend lately towards the “keep your mouth shut and be polite” even if someone is speaking about having prejudiced views or you know that they do. It can be very suffocating if you’re a person like me who is passionate about their views. Often you are on your own in being ok with bringing up the issue. There may be one or two people like you but often there isn’t. Why? Because a lot of people like to stay neutral in social situations. They see it as conflict and trouble.

 

A lot of us live in a democracy. If two people with opposing views can’t sit down and have a calm debate on issues they feel passionate about, then where does that leave humankind? What often results from a situation that could have been two people getting their point across and then having a cup of tea together after becomes carnage. If you dare even utter the sentence “I think you’re prejudiced” it turns into a mess of “you shouldn’t have said that”, “ah, they don’t mean it in a prejudiced way”, “you can’t call people that”. And maybe it’s just me but isn’t that an attempt to take away my freedom of speech? I don’t actually let out my views very often in social situations for that reason. I’ve seen a lot of people who have honest views even in a calm way be isolated for daring to speak their truth including by people in groups that they are actually standing up for which is incredibly ironic.

 

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There is also this idea that you are trying to change people when you disagree with their view. First of all, I have enough respect for the person I would be debating with to not think they would be weak-headed enough to change their views because of me. The people that say that clearly think they must be. Secondly I don’t exactly think I have that much influence over people! And lastly if I was out to change someone’s views I would go about it a lot more diplomatically than just being honest about what I think. People are more inclined after all to change views with a soft-softy approach than an honest approach. All I want in a situation like that is to put my own point across but it seems to be very hard for people to believe that’s all a person wants to do. Discourse is great. And uncensored discourse is brilliant. As long as both parties are calm, I don’t believe it’s right to tell people how they should speak in any discourse situation.

 

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But I’m cynical of the motives of those involved in campaigning for freedom of speech. If it was genuinely a movement for freedom of speech, all types of freedom of speech would be included not just the middle ground like my views which are positive about both minority and majority groups and the views of people who feel negative about minority groups but also those who feel negative about majority groups and those who feel negative about both. When they don’t say that I don’t believe them and I don’t believe their motives. If their tactics were different and they were sincere with those tactics my feelings would be completely different. The question for me is not between freedom of speech and the feelings of people in minority groups when faced with prejudices about who they are as is often the debate put across. For me, it’s more about not singling out minority groups to be spoken of freely in a negative way by people in majority groups but rather allowing both minority and majority groups to speak freely in a negative way about each other and campaigning for both minority and majority groups’ right to do so. Are majority groups that special that they can’t be spoken about negatively like everyone else?

 

 

Letting Go Of Prejudices & Becoming A Better Person

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Ignorance. Lately it seems to be the most overused excuse for getting out of bother. If I had a cent for every time someone said ‘it’s ignorance, not prejudice’, I wouldn’t have to do the Lotto. But the thing is that prejudice often comes from ignorance. The two are often a side of the one coin. And there is a very big difference between the ignorance of not knowing something which is ok and the ignorance of believing prejudiced myths. For example asking, ‘What is pansexuality?” does not mean the same as ‘Does that mean you are promiscuous?” I suppose in short, it’s common sense to only ask what you wouldn’t mind answering yourself the opposite way around.

 

Now that I’ve spoken about the terms, let me get to what I want to discuss in this post. I have in the past had a few prejudices of my own which I apologise for and regret. I used to judge what a person’s gender was from their presentation, what their pronouns were, assuming their gender from their pronouns or words like brother and sister and from their voices and though deep in heart I always knew that was wrong, I done it because I was very brainwashed by the society in which I lived. I also used to use the term ‘coloured’ to describe people of colour until I realised it was an offensive term. There was a mixture of brainwashing and ignorance leading to prejudice thinking and speaking in that one. The latter I stopped immediately. It wasn’t as deeply indented me as the first one but I eventually got rid of the two thankfully and apologised in my mind for them as thank god I never actually used any of these prejudices in front of anyone I could hurt. And I guess the point why I’m writing all this is that the reason I got out of them is because I admitted to myself that I was acting in a prejudiced manner and that’s the problem with a lot of people with prejudices, they don’t admit it to themselves and that makes their journey to making themselves better people longer and sometimes they don’t even get there. It is a hard thing to admit but when you do, while of course you feel bad about it, it starts you on your way to recovery.

 

The problem is that a lot of people get defensive and what that leads to is people making out the way they are thinking is ‘ignorant but a natural way of thinking’ and it is not a natural way of thinking. It all ties in with that ‘everyone is prejudiced’ get out of jail card. Not everyone is and a lot of people have never had any prejudices in their life so that is really used to make a person who has prejudices feel better about themselves. To get out of having prejudices you have to take responsibility. Whether something is the reason or not for you thinking that, that reason doesn’t excuse your prejudices. You need to take responsibility for your prejudices and stop the pity party, the whole victim party and the whole feeling sorry for yourself because someone was upset by what you said. Yes I believe most people in this situation hate upsetting people but I find they hate upsetting themselves more and that’s not a good place to start from.

 

In addition and I think this is the bit that annoys me the most, they blame people for taking offense to what they’ve said when the most natural feeling in the world when someone is prejudiced towards you or you see someone being prejudiced towards people is to be offended and not like it. People aren’t robots with no emotions and I think people in this situation often forget that or conveniently do depending on the person. They want people to understand them being prejudiced. There’s a massive irony in there. And actually it’s more important to understand that you shouldn’t be prejudiced than to understand prejudice and why people are acting and thinking in a prejudiced way. I’ve actually heard people say that people who get upset about prejudice, even prejudice about themselves, need to ‘grow and mature’. As I said there is much irony in the things people say. Because when you have prejudiced feelings there is an immaturity and a lack of growth in that aspect of who you are. There is also a repression of peoples’ natural emotions here. It’s getting a stage now that feels very unhealthy where people are almost being forced to not take things personally that they do feel personally. When they think people ‘grow and mature’, what people are often doing is adapting to the situation to avoid hassle and the guilt-tripping of ‘the terrible struggle I’m going through because I’m only ignorant and you should understand that.’ Well this is tough love, nobody has to understand you acting in a prejudice way, stop your goddamn moaning and educate yourself and be adult enough to admit to yourself that what you are doing is having prejudices and that it’s desperately wrong. Would you be so understanding if people said prejudiced things about something about you?

 

If you honestly want to change this aspect of yourself, taking responsibility for your feelings and educating yourself is how you do it. Running away from your prejudices isn’t going to help you. Face them head on. They are there whether you ignore them or not so be brave and when you have got to a point where you are out of the sickness of prejudice apologise to those you’ve hurt or offended and if that isn’t possible apologise in your own mind. Then leave it in the past and don’t fuck up again. Forgive yourself. You will still have regrets but forgive yourself. Face these things you’re scared of feeling head on. I promise you that you won’t regret it.

Why Shouldn’t There Be A Straight Pride Pin?

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I missed this story and I was reading it recently. It’s the story of the Straight Pride Pin sold by 1000 Flags and which was taken down from Amazon and the company’s website back in April of this year.

 

If I’m being honest I don’t know what the problem with it was. While I am the first person who will say a Straight or/and Cis Pride Festival would be a daft idea I genuinely do not see what the problem would be with a Straight Pride pin or flag or a Cis Pride pin or flag or a combination of both. The reason for LGBTQ+ Pride in it’s history was because of the oppression LGBTQ+ people faced. That’s the origins of it and straight cis people have never faced oppression and that’s why I think the festival and parade would be a stupid idea. However I think of pins, badges, flags and the like as something personal to a person because they are proud of who they are and I don’t think that pride of feeling is only reserved for people who have faced oppression. I’m proud of being pansexual but I’m not against any other sexuality. I’m proud of being cisgender but I have nothing against transgender people. I’m proud of being white but I have nothing against people of colour. I’m proud of being working-class but I have nothing against people of any other class. I’m proud of being female but I have nothing against any other gender. I guess in short what I’m trying to say is that everybody should be able to feel pride about all the various parts that make them them while respecting the various parts that make up somebody else. And to stop somebody from buying a Straight Pride pin is to stop a straight person from expressing pride about who they are which I believe they should be able to feel and express as much as anyone of any other sexuality.

 

Being pansexual I felt guilt when I read about it. What people forget is that to a straight person their sexuality is as personal and important to them as to anyone else and the prejudice I read in this case towards straight people was horrible. If a straight person wanted to buy a Straight Pride pin, I say let them buy the bloody pin in peace. All the things about it being Anti-LGBTQ+ was ridiculous. It has actually has nothing to do with LGBTQ+ people or issues and no one is being hurt by a straight person buying a Straight Pride pin. I personally believe everyone of every sexuality, everyone whether they are trans or cis, everyone of every gender, race, religion, lack of religion, nationality, class, etc … should be encouraged to be proud of who they are and express that in whatever way they want to and should be encouraged to speak about what it means to them. Whether we are in a majority group or a minority group in any situation it is an important part of who we are and to laugh about or be bored by someone expressing and talking about what it means to them is insulting.

 

Let’s not divide from each other. Let’s all express what we want to express in whatever way we want to and let’s respect each other as complete equals in every way.

The Supreme Court Ruling On Wedding Cake Brings Us Briefly Back To The 18th Century

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The Supreme Court have ruled in favour of a baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for the wedding of a gay couple in 2012. The ruling was 7-2 in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop argued that his religious beliefs as a Christian would be violated by making the cake for husbands-to-be David Mullins and Charlie Craig. The ruling which had originally ruled in favour of the couple was overturned by the Supreme Court.

I find it all very sad. I actually get sick to my teeth of that ole chestnut of using your religion to discriminate against people. It actually seems very in fashion nowadays and it actually makes no sense. I think we all know Christians who are very open-minded, kind people and I think the box these people like Phillips put them in is very wrong. And if not all Christians are like Phillips then it’s obvious that it’s something to do with people like this and not their religion as they claim.

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I don’t own a business but if I did I would be professional in my dealings. For instance if someone wanted a cake for a rally of narrow-minded persuasion I would bake the cake because it would be my job, not because I believed in the cause. It’s an open service to everyone and the old mantra is that the customer is always right. It’s the first thing anyone going into a business learns. What you believe is irrelevant to the needs of your customers. I find it massively strange this whole religious beliefs fight because people are asked to bake a cake, not attend the occasion.

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Everyone should be able to go into a place of business and be treated the same as everyone else and no exceptions in any way to that rule. If you’re going to be unprofessional in anything you do you might as well not be doing it. Your opinions are your own personal beliefs. They should never come into your work but apparently the Supreme Court in Colorado thinks they should. I do feel sorry for Mullins and Craig in this ruling. Essentially what’s being put forward is that people can openly discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in services and the law will back them up. But I admire them for bringing the case and highlighting this prejudice that still goes on in our society and I wish them both a very happy life together.

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Image result for colorado wedding cake case

 

 

Just one other thing I read about the case. Non-surprisingly the Trump Administration was all behind Phillips and Solicitor General Noel Francisco said the following,

“A custom wedding cake is not an ordinary baked good; its function is more communicative and artistic than utilitarian. Accordingly, the government may not enact content-based laws commanding a speaker to engage in protected expression: An artist cannot be forced to paint, a musician cannot be forced to play, and a poet cannot be forced to write.”

Now, I’m a writer and I would agree no one in a creative sphere should have to create something they don’t believe in. But it’s the creative sphere. It’s a solitary profession where you are creating something that people can either look at or ignore. There is a massive difference when you are running a business where customers are coming to you looking for the same service and you pick and choose who you serve what to. If Phillips wants to bring a social issues part into his work maybe he should have became a writer but if someone becomes a baker they can’t have their cake and eat it but essentially the Supreme Court said Phillips could do that.

Republic Of Ireland Vote Yes In Abortion Referendum

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Today is yet another historic day here in the Republic of Ireland.

 

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Image result for abortion referendum ireland

 

Image result for abortion referendum ireland

We have voted yes on the Abortion Referendum here. It is such a fantastic day for human rights and freedom for trans men, cis women, non-binary people, intersex people and basically for anyone who can give birth. Now we have choice after a resounding victory in favour of amending the constitution. Today we stand together and I thank all the people who couldn’t be affected by this decision for coming out and standing with us by voting yesterday in favour of our choices. Thank you so much.

 

It was a very proud moment for me voting yes yesterday. After the madness of the stigma put on people for having abortions for so many years where people who did would be made out to be “murderers” and people faced 14 years in prison for having an abortion, this day is liberating and historic. Today, like the day of the Marriage Referendum result in 2015, I feel emotional and immensely proud of my country. I was terrified about the result as it’s such a divisive issue and I’m so relieved and happy today.

 

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But today has much sadness in it too. I think of Savita Halappanavar who died in 2012 after been denied an abortion and hearing the crowd at Dublin Castle on the news chanting her name following the result, seeing people at the mural of her and seeing her father’s message was very emotional. Her husband and family are in my thoughts very much today.

 

Rest in peace Savita.

The Double Standards Of Political Correctness

 

 

I have a problem with the term Politically correct. Mainly because it’s always used when somebody shows ordinary decent respect for people from minority groups. But when someone shows the same ordinary decent respect for people from majority groups when does anyone ever say they are being Politically correct for doing so?

 

This kind of attitude shows to me a deeper problem with certain parts of society. Many seem to take it as a given that people should treat everyone in majority groups with complete respect. Yet see it as debatable whether that same complete respect should be given to people in minority groups. As humans, we’re all equal so the way I see it is that it has to be one way or the other. If I’m being Politically correct for example when I call a transgender woman she then surely I’m being Politically correct when I call a cisgender woman she. But is anyone going to say that I’m Politically correct in the second situation?

 

Taking myself as an example and various parts of who I am. Many wouldn’t say it was Politically correct for someone to be respectful towards me for being white and cisgender but they would say someone was being Politically correct for being respectful towards me for being female or pansexual. And that leaves you wondering, what does that mean exactly? That minority groups are so unlikable that to show ordinary decent respect would have to be Political correctness? That it couldn’t god forbid, be sincere?

 

I’m a very big believer in freedom of speech. But I think the way people talk about freedom of speech nowadays is very misleading. Everyone who seems to speak about it seems to parrot the same thing about how freedom of speech is being took away from people who want to have negative opinions about minority groups and I can’t take that argument seriously if they never say they believe in it for people to have negative opinions about majority groups. They say they want debates on whether minority groups live right. When do they ever say let’s have debates on whether majority groups live right? These people to me want freedom of speech and protection all in one go and they don’t seem to want people in minority groups to have either. So while I’m all for freedom of speech I think majority groups should be just as fair game to be spoken about negatively just like everybody else.

Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2015 100 Global Thinkers Event Takes Place In Washington

tumblr_nyqvppkxeq1rar94xo1_1280The Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2015 100 Global Thinkers event took place on Tuesday, December 1 in Washington. Coming before the Foreign Policy’s annual 100 Global Thinkers issue, the event surrounded a panel discussion entitled, “The Fourth Unsolvable Problem: The Future of Activism”.

Global Thinkers on the panel included supermodel Andreja Pejic, WITNESS’ Associate Director of Communications and Engagement Matisse Bustos-Hawkes, activist Jim Obergefell, rapper Sonita Alizadeh, photographer Robin Hammond, artist Adejoke Tugbiyele and co-founder and executive chairman of GiveDirectly Michael Faye.