Last night at the Human Rights Campaign’s Time to THRIVE conference in Las Vegas, dedicated to LGBT youth, actress Ellen Page came out as gay.
In a great speech that shows the difficulties of being yourself and having to deal with the scrutiny of the media, Page talks about her own issues she’s had throughout the years. She talks about the fear and worry that others in similar situations have to deal with, and also mentions how websites focus too much on the wrong idea of beauty:
“I try not to read gossip as a rule, but the other day a website ran an article with a picture of me wearing sweatpants on the way to the gym. The writer asked, “Why does (this) petite beauty insist upon dressing like a massive man?”
“Because I like to be comfortable. There are pervasive stereotypes about masculinity and femininity that define how we are all supposed to act, dress and speak. They serve no one. Anyone who defies these so-called ‘norms’ becomes worthy of comment and scrutiny. The LGBT community knows this all too well.”
As redditor /u/NoPantsOClock points out, the site she mentions is E! Online and they’ve already removed the article post to cover up their guilt while already praising Page’s bravery.
Personally, I’m happy that Page has done this, and hopefully it gives some strength to people who are still struggling with their LGBT identity. At times, it may seem like the whole world is against you, but if you look around, you’ll find someone who will stand with you and respect you.
In what is being called a “strong message of opposition to Russia’s anti-gay laws,” President Obama announced yesterday that Billie Jean King, an openly gay former tennis player, would be the White House and US delegate for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics held in Sochi. Caitlin Cahow, a US ice hockey player who is also openly gay, will be joining a stream of other athletes for the ceremonies as delegates that “represent the diversity that is the United States.”
The White House made a statement that Obama’s schedule wouldn’t allow him to travel to the games this coming winter, but it conveniently also will not allow for Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, or any other cabinet members to travel to the games either. It could be protest against Russia’s treatment of the LGBT community or it could be the ill feelings that the US has towards Russia for harboring Edward Snowden. My guess is both. Many other presidents, including the French and German presidents, have stated that they will also not be attending the Sochi games.
Either way, it’s at least somewhat of a strong statement to make at a time when Russia seems to be cracking down on laws as they pertain to homosexuality. Gay rights groups view it as a strong statement from Obama. ”It’s hard to look at this delegation without seeing it as a criticism of Putin’s anti-gay laws. … What it’s doing is showing the true power of the Olympics, the ability to move people, to change people’s minds and open them up to new ways of thinking. The delegation is shining a light on the values of the Olympics,” said Andre Banks, the executive director of advocacy group All Out.
Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord appeared on MSNBC to talk about the delegations and potential ways that the delegates can represent the US, while still sending a message of acceptance and equal rights.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in Russia come February. I, for one, have readied my popcorn.
First, the letter from the parent:
I recently discovered that my son, who is 17, is a homosexual.
We are part of a church group and I fear that if people in that group find out they will make fun of me for having a gay child.
He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay. I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years – I have a busy work schedule.
Please help him make the right choice in life by not being gay. He won’t listen to me, so maybe he will listen to you.
- Feeling Betrayed
And then the beautiful response from Amy Dickinson of Press And Sun, a paper in Birmingham, New York:
You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your sexuality to show him how easy it is.
Try it for the next year or so: Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person’s sexuality is a matter of choice – to be dictated by one’s parents, the parents’ church and social pressure.
I assume that my suggestion will evoke a reaction that your sexuality is at the core of who you are. The same is true for your son. He has a right to be accepted by his parents for being exactly who he is.
When you ‘forget’ a child’s birthday, you are basically negating him as a person. It is as if you are saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world. How very sad for him.
Pressuring your son to change his sexuality is wrong.
If you cannot learn to accept him as he is, it might be safest for him to live elsewhere.
A group that could help you and your family figure out how to navigate this is PFLAG.org. This organization is founded for parents, families, friends and allies of LGBT people, and has helped countless families through this challenge. Please research and connect with a local chapter.
Another day, another case of bigotry from close-minded people.
Jeydon Loredo, a La Feria high school student in La Feria, Texas, says that his school and the school district won’t allow his photo in the yearbook simply because he is wearing a tux. Though born a female, Jeydon identifies as male and naturally wore a tux for his senior photos.
His mother, Stella Loredo, told reporters that the superintendent said Jeydon’s photo would only be allowed if Jeydon wore a drape or a blouse instead.
The Human Rights Campaign and Stella Loredo have since come together to fight to have Jeydon’s photo displayed in the yearbook. The HRC says that not only does this action from the high school violate the first amendment, “it also violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which protects the student from discrimination, as well as Title IX, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex by any educational institution receiving federal money.” They will be bringing the matter up at a board meeting on December 8th, which is also the deadline for yearbook photo submissions.
“I just want to be in the yearbook to be remembered years down the road because people are going to forget their classmates, and that’s going to be the only way to remember each other… so that’s all I want,” Jeydon said.
It is certainly sad that behavior like this continues to go on in our culture today.
A 20-year-old waiter at Carraba’s Italian Grill in Overland Park, Kansas received a rather nasty note and a blank where a tip should have been on a receipt from one of his tables, despite the fact that the customers thought he did an excellent job at serving them. The note read:
Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’S love, but none shall be spared for fags. May GOD have mercy on you.
Yep. Nothing like calling someone a “fag” to really show them God’s love, amirite? Way to really shine Christ’s light on their heart. I bet these people are the same kinds of people who leave Bible tracts instead of tips too. Ugh, those are the worst.
Carrabba’s has since issued a statement, saying, “We do not tolerate discrimination–from either our employees or our guests. We embrace diversity and believe in treating everyone with respect.”
Thankfully, almost all of the regular customers who have since heard about this have gone in to support the young man, offering him generous tips and sticking up for the waiter.
It’s worth nothing that Overland Park is only an hour away from Westboro Baptist Church’s headquarters, so it could have been one of those awful excuses for human beings doing this trolling. They haven’t claimed it as their own, however, so perhaps it’s just another waste of human existence being a terrible person and using their religious beliefs to cover up their own hatred.
The second episode of Stephen Fry’s two-part documentary Out There aired on BBC2 and it is applause-inducing. The documentary series essentially explores the important topic of homophobia and for the second part, Fry ventured into the very traditional Russia to gain some insight from its occupants and its lawmakers who have recently instituted archaic and homophobic laws.
In this clip, Fry goes head to head with the original drafter of the vague and dangerous “promotion of homosexuality” law Vitaly Milonov. Watching Milonov squirm in his seat while Fry cuts straight to the point in how ridiculous the laws and Milonov’s bigotry actually are is a thing of absolute beauty.
Stephen Fry should just do all the things.
YOU GO, GRANDPA!
I have my fingers crossed that this is an actual letter and not something fake the internet drummed up. A girl can dream, amirite? Because if this letter to Christine is the real deal, then some young gay man out there has the best grandpa in the entire world. Well, second best, because my grandpa has naked sailor girls tattooed on his forearms and has a kegerator in his garage…you really can’t top that.
Anyway, let’s all just pretend that this is 100% legitimate and bask in the glory of a hateful mother getting scolded by her dad.