It's fear. They're just scared that's all.
You have to remember for a lot of people, they never really have to evaluate much in their lives. The social structure of our culture and history
supports and re-inforces them, constantly. Everything they see and hear around them from birth tells them they are doing it right.
Then they see people who are living different ways of life, taking different choices or having to make a different choice because of factors outside
their own choice (sexuality). This scares them. People doing something not part of the masses, but outside it, either alone or as a smaller group. It
makes them think 'what if it was the other way around and I was in the smaller group?' -- Well they've never experienced that feeling before, and
it terrifies them. So the easiest way to deal with this kind of fear, is to project it onto the people who are mirroring back these feelings of fear,
they think to beat down these outsiders, their fears will go away.
People need that boogeyman to project their fears on to, to blame it on someone else so they don't have to look inside themselves for the answers to
their questions and doubts. A lot of smart, but unscrupulous people in the media and politics exploit this dynamic for their own gains. This is why
everything from muslims, homosexuals and single mothers to the internet, video games and pop music are demonised and blamed for all kinds of social
problems. It is easier to blame someone else.
It's easy for the media, religious fringe and politicians to exploit this. A tactic always bound to work is linking these fears with children. Think
of any boogeyman and you can bet it will have been used to exploit fears in parents they have for the safety of children.
I could list dozens of examples, but I'll stick to one relating to gay marriage and parenting. People often express the opinion that children of gay
parents will be bullied at school. Well first of all, bullying didn't begin with gay parenting. Kids get bullied for being fat, thin, short, tall,
poor, rich, too stupid, too intelligent, anything. How would you combat bullying of kids with gay parents? By eliminating gay parenting completely, or
making it more acceptable, thus eliminating the fear of the unknown? You can't elimate gay parents - people have kids, people feel the desire to
procreate, regardless of sexuality. Making gay parenting more acceptable doesn't negate heterosexual parenting. Difference is nothing to fear,
someone who is different doesn't belittle you.
See it all comes back to fear. These kids who bully, they're experiencing the exact same fears as those adults who discriminate and name call.
Fear is not hate. You can't fight fire with fire, so getting angry at these people is useless. Your anger justifies their fears. Fear is borne out of
ignorance, so you fight fear with education.
Stop listening to the media and politicians, they want you scared so they can offer the solution to your fears. But I think we all know their
solutions are lies.
Social changes like gay civil partnership and equal rights are slow and they take a long time, longer than a generations lifetime, longer than 2 or 3
maybe. We still have racism, we still have sexism, we still have all kinds of intollerance and discrimination. But, we have to keep trucking on.
Educate the people around you, simply just through living your own life, they will see that we're all the same, and there's nothing to be scared of.
And I also think sometimes people just need to hear that they're OK. You're OK. We're all OK. We're all just trying to live our lives with the
people we love and find a little happiness in our short time here.
[edit on 30-5-2008 by VelvetSplash]