When my friend suggested I participate in this blog hop many months ago I had no idea the impact it would have on me at the time. It seemed like something fun that could have a positive effect, something that I could have a part in. Now I realize that this effort has much greater ramifications than I first thought, and for many different reasons. Because of that, this post is not what it was originally intended to be, and for that this author offers her humble apologies to her friends, and to her readers.
When we hear the words bigots and bigotry, I believe many of my fellow Americans think of the Civil Rights era and the rampant racism towards blacks in this country during that time. But bigots are intolerant of any groups that are different than them. It’s not just ethnicity that faces bigotry and discrimination.
Discrimination can be subtle and devious too. It can sneak into conversations and facial expressions as well as the tone of voice and body language. When we think of discrimination, we often think of the blatant examples we’ve all seen, heard or experienced. However, there is another more insidious form of discrimination, and oftentimes people don’t realize they are doing it.
Some of the staunchest “Equal Rights” supporters I know have been guilty of this subtly. How many times have we heard someone say, “Have you met my gay friend Bob?” Or what about, “This is Susan, and her wife Mary. They’re gay.” I would never introduced a straight couple, “This is Jill and her husband Jack. They’re straight.” Another one that I’ve overheard that makes me cringe and grind my teeth is, “I love gay (guys, girls)!” Or, why do so many straight people feel the need to prove that they’re “gay-friendly” by pointing out how supportive they are?
It’s disconcerting that so many of my friends are categorized first by their sexuality and then second as a person, especially when I wouldn’t want anyone to do the same to me. In trying to show support for gay rights or by being super “gay-friendly” often times the exact opposite occurs and we are, in fact, quite guilty of some subtle discrimination, even if it is unwittingly.
Ultimately, I feel everyone wants to be accepted and welcomed because of who they are as a person, not what demographic they may or may not fit into. Focusing on the things that make us different doesn’t bring us together, it only forces us further apart.
Thanks for stopping by. If you wish to be entered in a drawing for a free copy of my novella, Wings of Fire, please comment below with your email address. Drawing will be held after May 20th, 2012, notification will be posted here and novella will be sent via email at that time.
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