International Day Against Homophobia

Harvey Milk – an American politician and gay rights activists once said, “all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.”

Homophobia is all the negative attitudes that can lead to rejection and to direct or indirect discrimination towards gays, lesbians, and bisexual, transsexual or transgender people or toward anyone whose physical appearance or behaviour does not fit masculine or feminine stereotypes.

It saddens me on some level that a day like this even needs to be identified; that there are places in our community and our culture where anybody feels unsafe or unwelcome because of our orientation or identity – or for any reason.  We can do better than this – and we should. 

I believe that our humanity is at risk when we have lost our ability to care, when we can no longer nurture, love, accept and tolerate.  I don’t think it is asking too much for our schools, our workplaces and our homes to be places where we can all feel safe from the damaging and debilitating effects of harmful, negative language and behaviours that marginalize any of us.

There is presently a campaign called, “It Gets Better.”  Created by Dan Savage, the intent of the movement is to give hope to LGBT youth who are experiencing harrassment.  Although I could honestly look into the eyes of these young people and tell them I know from my own experience that it does get better – my heart tells me they shouldn’t be deprived of that “better” now.  Nobody has the right to damage the soul, and break the spirit of a human being.

And so – I hope we can all make a commitment right now – to make it get better NOW – make our schools and offices safe, supportive environments in which we can all achieve our full potential – no matter who we are – NOW.  Maybe we can create our own video series with the message “It’s Great – NOW”

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