Make noise

This is why I came out.  This is why I will not be quiet.  This is why I make all of these annoying posts that have chased away so many people in my family and so many of my friends.  I will not be silent.  I will not stand by and watch injustice happen.

So many people have turned away from me because of this.  So many have unfriended me, blocked me, or have just simply ignored me, because they don't think that what's happening is wrong, or because they think that I'm too annoying or too vocal.

I will not tolerate bullying--for myself or for any other person.  I will not tolerate bigotry.  I will call out bigotry as often as I see it happening, and I will speak against it.  I look forward to a brighter future.  I look forward to a world in which all people are treated with respect and love.

I have personally only been a very minor target for all of the horrible things that happen to people.  I have had some people call me names, one or two tell me that I'm going to hell, and a couple others that have made violent threats.  But, none of this matters to me.  Nor do I even think to use this as a reason to set myself up as a victim or a martyr for any cause.  No, there are people out there who are really suffering--people who are bullied in school every day, people who are physically abused by their parents, by people at their church, by people in their community.  There are people whose spirits are broken and whose will to live itself is extinguished by hateful comments, by fear-mongering, and by misunderstandings.

I will not tolerate the hateful things spoken every day by religious people against those they perceive as sinners.  I will not tolerate all of the bigotry and prejudice spread by organizations such as the National Organization for Marriage, the Westboro Baptist Church, Focus on the Family, and many others.

I care about my fellow human beings.  I think all people should be treated with love and with acceptance. I don't think anyone has the right to judge someone else based on their race, their sex, their sexual orientation, or any personal opinions they might hold.  I will fight for the right of every person to be treated with love and respect, to live a life of peace--free of the fear of being attacked physically, verbally, or emotionally.

Perhaps my hope is too great.  Perhaps my goals are too lofty.  Perhaps the vision I have is impossible, and will never happen.  Perhaps there never will be a day when people are mature enough to live and let live.  But, I will not rest before that day comes.  I will not be silent.  I will not cease to stand up for people who are pushed to the point of suicide.

This is why I came out as a gay man, and it is why I came out as an atheist.  If I were silent, I would only be an enabler to all of the wrongs committed against people who are different.  If I were to remain silent, my conscience would plague me forever with the guilt of every teen who commits suicide.

Anyone who does not feel compassion for bullied people, for people who are suicidal, for people who have committed suicide, for the families and friends of people who have committed suicide is, in my opinion, completely heartless.

The injustices against atheist people, the injustices against gay people, against transgendered people, against women, against those of other races, against people who speak different languages, against any single individual--for whatever reason--must be stopped.  The oppression must end.  Are we not an enlightened people?  Have we not seen enough bloodshed?  Is our thirst for blood so great?  Is our sadism so insatiable?  What will it take to finally end all of the horror?  Was Pearl Harbor not a great enough casualty?  3,000 died.  Will we continue to kill innocent people?  Were the 60,000 deaths in Nagasaki and the 90,000 in Hiroshima insufficient?  Are the hundreds of thousands killed in the Iraq War insufficient?  Do we need to kill millions before we're satisfied?  Or billions?  Will we not lose our lust for blood until the entire human race is extinct?  Will we not lose our hatred for those who are different until everyone has committed suicide?

I call for humanity.  I call for love.  I call for peace.  I call for forgiveness.  I call for understanding.  I call for building bridges.  I call for tolerance for all peoples.  I call for open-mindedness.  I call for compassion.  And I'll do it very loudly.  I'll make noise.  If that offends you, search your own heart and ask why that is.