Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
I shared this on my Facebook feed from Lizzy the Lezzy’s page, thinking that it was just a funny little thing to post because it’s true for those in the community that they have been bashed by people who claim to be Christians. However, I didn’t realize that this simple little comic was going to be hijacked, and that a storm was going to ensue. Because, to me, the only people who are going to be offended by this are the ones who do this or the ones who don’t realize the reality that many of those in the LGBTQ+ community face, even for those who are Christians themselves! Other Christians have denied their Christianity, just because of who they are. However, this is the gist of what happened:
I posted this comic with a statement saying ‘This is 100% accurate,’ because this is 100% accurate for those in the community who have experienced this real thing. Again, many LGBTQ+ Christian individuals have been denied their Christianity because of hardcore Christians like this. And I would like to say these aren’t real Christians, because they aren’t, but these no-real Christians are also part of like-minded groups, so it’s hard to deny their Christianity when they are part of larger groups that will defend them. Not to mention that Christians have been the historical oppressors of LGBTQ+ individuals. So, not all Christians, but Christians–hardcore, let me be specific–are the ones who do this sort of thing. Of course, I thought this message would be clear, until someone came in and had the gall to basically say, ‘Not all Christians are like this, and I’m disgusted by this comic!’
There is a very real problem with what this person did. For those in the community, gays know that this is a reality (and I’m not using ‘we’ this time, because while some asexuals have come across Christians who do tell them their lifestyles are sinful, it’s gays who are more commonly met with this, at least as far as we know for now). I’ll bet you just about every gay person in America has come across a Christian who has done this exact thing to them. While this is a caricature, it is unfortunately a very real thing. But it was made as a caricature so those in the community could laugh at it. Because what else is there to do but laugh? Get angry? People in the community are tired of getting angry at stuff like this, so you have a person like Lizzy the Lezzy who made a comedic FB page to poke fun at stuff like this so those in the community could have something to laugh at.
Laughter is a lot healthier than anger.
I tried to reason with her by pointing out this comic wasn’t talking about her, that she can feel offended all she wants, but at the end of the day, there is no reason for her to get offended by something that, you know, actually happens to these people. There was no reason for her to come in to defend Christians, or to even come in to defend herself, when this comic wasn’t speaking about all Christians or even her. If you’re not a Christian who does this, then great. Keep doing what you’re doing. But I’m not giving you cookies, brownies, gold stars, unicorn glitter, a million dollars, or anything for being a decent person. I don’t care if you’re a Christian or not. What I cared about when posting that comic at the time was making some of my gay friends laugh, because many of them know this is true. Because, again, it is, and I have no idea how many times I have to post that this comic is true right down to the last letter before someone gets it.
Then another issue arose. Someone came in to defend her, and while he was considering my points more than she was, he tried to tell me he doesn’t like to treat people as a group, but instead likes to look at them as individuals to figure out why these individuals are doing this thing. I do too! In fact, I’ll admit that the reason #YesAllWomen (in case you happened to see me floating around about this) got a rise out of me is because of false statistics being thrown around about rates of violence, using biased sources. The women’s stories themselves didn’t get a rise out of me, because #YesAllWomen DO face sexual harassment, and it is usually by males. Do all men do it? Absolutely not! But when it does happen, what do they all have in common? They happen to be male. So sometimes it is important to look at people as a group to understand why they use this one particular thing as an excuse to do these things.
For example, you have two groups who love one color: blue and red. There are some nice blues and reds, but let’s say blues have been historically oppressed by the reds. So the reds have been mean to them. ‘Not all reds!’ you say? Well, the reds that are oppressing the blues are oppressing the blues because they like the color red and they want the blues to like the color red, too. And, again, what do they have in common? They all happen to like the color red. So why do they feel the need to use the color red as an excuse to hate on the blues? Why do they feel the need to convert these people from blue to red? Should the nice reds apologize for the bad reds’ behavior? Absolutely not, because they’re not doing it, and their apology doesn’t mean anything because it’s not going to fix what those bad reds are doing.
This is the same issue. Why are there people out there who feel the need to use Christianity as an excuse to hate on groups of people? It doesn’t matter that it’s not all Christians. What matters is that when gay people are the subject of hatred and bigotry, it just so happens to be self-proclaimed Christians publicly spewing their bigotry. And I say publicly, because not all people who bully gays are self-proclaimed Christians and do so in public discourse. However, when talking about gay rights in public discourse, self-proclaimed Christians are the first to jump on board in the fight to deny them their rights.
Now let’s talk about the last panel. It is very true that when those in the community, or their Allies, point out their bigotry, they will cry that they are being oppressed. I have personally seen this, as have many gays who have experienced this. You try to tell them that what they’re saying is hateful, and they’ll tell you that they’re not being hateful, that they just want to “save” you, all in the name of being Christian. Then they’ll proceed to tell you you’re oppressing them, some using the example that as a Christian, they can get fired from their jobs for saying unpopular things about gays. Do you know why they can get fired? Because it’s considered hate speech now, and no employer has to put up with that. See it in the lens of racism and sexism. Would you really want to keep an employee who speaks poorly of all people of color or women or even men or whites or any group of people? No. Then why would you want to keep an employee who speaks poorly of the LGBTQ+ community? Those people often create toxic, uncomfortable environments for others, environments no one should have to put up with. They’re not firing you for being “Christian.” They’re firing you for hate speech.
They also get upset because they feel like you’re infringing on their right to have an opinion, and so they feel like that is oppression. Me calling out your bigotry is not oppression. What you’re saying is oppressive, and I’m calling you out on it and trying to make you understand why your comments are hateful. But they’ll still continue to cry oppression, then argue that Christians are a minority in America, when a simple Google search will tell you that 73-77% of Americans are Christian. That’s a large group of people, but luckily a great deal of Americans are in favor of LGBTQ+ rights.
The people most vocal about wanting to deny LGBTQ+ people their rights happen to be Christian. Do you understand what I’m saying?
After I deleted the post because of the derailment, she went on to post that hate comes from both sides, and that it’s not okay. She also mentioned in my post, rather unfairly, thus further derailing the point, that it’s not politically correct for other groups to insult gays, but it’s okay for gays to insult other groups. She’s right. Hate does come from both sides, but it’s not fair to derail something like this to point out a matter that was a non-issue when I was trying to explain the truthiness of this comic. Because, again, IT’S TRUE.
THIS COMIC IS TRUE.
By considering the comic hateful and trying to point out that hate comes from both sides, some people are completely missing the point of the comic, either because they’re too wrapped up in their own feelings, or because they aren’t aware that something like this is completely true and 100% accurate. Notice that the girl (or even boy) in the comic isn’t being hateful. All he or she is saying to this person is to stop doing what he’s doing. That’s it. There is no hate coming from this victim.
It’s also not fair to imply that I was being politically correct by trying to point out why her derailment was wrong. When someone is saying something blatantly ignorant or bigoted, I point it out, not out of political correctness, but because that’s the right thing to do. That puts humanity on the right course. By remaining silent about it, that puts humanity on the wrong course. Or I could be reading her wrong and she’s pointing out my supposed politically correctness because she may have misunderstood me and thought I was supporting hate speech. Again. The comic was not hate speech.
Also by crying that this comic is hateful, these people are essentially telling gays to shut up about their experiences, to not tell their stories, all because they seem to think the comic is accusing all Christians of this. That’s not right. That’s wrong, very wrong. This comic is one way to tell the story of a collective experience that occurs among all gays, and to cast it in a humorous light so a situation like this doesn’t hold so much power over them.
A situation like this is actually harmful. The comic makes it funny, but, in reality, it is not funny.
So if someone is offended by this comic, it is mere annoyance. But what occurs in this comic is real and the people experiencing this feel beyond annoyed–so beyond annoyed that they’re not-even-in-our-universe-anymore annoyed. Their hurt. They feel bullied–and are being bullied. And such actions can lead to other dangerous things. One commenter on another post of mine pointed out that opinions aren’t oppressive. Words are oppressive. Remember that all horrible things that happened in our world started out as an opinion and grew from there.