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Open Letter to Phil Robertson

Dear Mr. Robertson,

Since the release of your remarks on race and homosexuality, I have found myself literally hurt by your comments. For days now, I have been so mad at you. You see, I occasionally watch Duck Dynasty, ONLY because my gay son is a fan.

My son was born gay, and that does not make him a sinner. This is something he could not change no matter how hard he tried. You may not believe that, because you believe scripture says homosexuality is a sin. But what other reference do you have for making that judgment? Do you even know (I mean personally know) a member of the LGBT community? Have you ever read what the American Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, or the American Psychological Association have to say after many years of research on the subject? I know you don’t condone selling your daughters into slavery, so you must use other references in making moral decisions.

Not long after my son starting walking, I started to suspect he might be gay. It became apparent when he started putting on every pair of women’s shoes he saw by the age of 3. He always preferred  what society considers girl toys. When he developed a fascination with Batman, I was thrilled. Every time we went to Wal-Mart, he got a new batman. Grandma made him a cape and he wore it everywhere. I finally realized, the cape represented a dress. I hated it and struggled with it, often seeing my son disappointed because of the “boy” toys I continued to buy and encourage him to play with.

While I had gay friends, I was still uneducated about homosexuality and feared the stigma this would bring to my son’s life, and (selfishly) to mine. Having been raised in rural, Conservative-Christian East Texas, I still believed homosexuality was a sin – though at this point, I was having serious struggles with my Christian faith as well. I eventually reconnected with an old high school classmate who was female to male transgender. Thank the Universe I did. I fear the damage I would have done to my son if this person had not come into my life.

My old high school classmate became my friend. In high school, while he was living as a female, he was miserable. I barely knew “Lisa” and couldn’t even remember her saying more than a few words, but “Mitch” was a happy, healthy, very outspoken grown-man. As he told me the struggles that “Lisa” endured, including a suicide attempt, I felt so much guilt. I had contributed to “Lisa’s” pain. “Mitch” forgives me, but I’m not sure I will ever forgive myself.

As I began to realize that I could not change my son’s sexual orientation, I decided the best course of action was to instill in him the confidence and strength to be exactly who he is. There is no need to change my son, because there is nothing wrong with him. My son is almost 17 now and never had to “come-out” to me or his father.

Even with the confidence he has, growing up in the rural southeast has not been easy for him. More than one of his teachers has made remarks similar to yours, Mr. Robertson, in an effort to make him believe something is wrong with him. Many LGBT children must deal with that rejection at home also, and face merciless bullying by their peers because of this inaccurate portrayal of homosexuality. Therefore we have an extremely high suicide rate in the LGBT community.

Now, my son had to watch yet another person – Phil Robertson – tell him something is wrong with him, when he knows this is something he cannot change – nor should he want to. Because there is absolutely nothing wrong with him.

Please, Mr. Robertson, educate yourself.

Sincerely,

Concerned parent

Which side of the fence?

I received this email a few years ago from a former friend of mine. While reading this, keep in mind my friend was a single working mother receiving food stamps, state-funded health insurance and disability benefits for her daughter. In no way do I fault her for receiving the benefits. She did not abuse her benefits, she did not drink or use drugs. Her daughter was severely mentally disabled and was a handful. The mother worked hard, had an associate’s degree in drafting and made $9.00 per hour. This demographic, along with veterans and seniors are the majority, not the minority, of government benefit recipients. At the time, I also was a single working mother, although I only had 2 children to her 4. I never received any state benefits and provided insurance for me and my children through my job – because I was able to, just as she would have if she had been able. Imagine my shock and surprise, as a registered Democrat, to receive this from her.

Which side of the fence?If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Democrats demand that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a Republican reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A Democrat will delete it because he’s “offended”.

Well, I forwarded it.

I didn’t respond to her, but I wrote something to get it off my chest. Well, guess what? Today I received this email from another “friend”. So today, I’m posting it…to get it off my chest.

Which side of the fence?

I never wonder, because I’m too informed to vote for the current group called Republicans.

If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. The main reason so many gun owners are Republican is because they believe this lie below.
If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed. Reasonable gun control is not outlawing guns, and it does work. Another Fox News lie (just one of a million)

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone. Only a Republican would believe this.

If a Republican is homosexual, he demands legislated respect. If a Republican is not a homosexual, he demands a law to make it illegal.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands equal protections and benefits under the law as guaranteed in the US Constitution.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he points fingers because it is NEVER his fault.
A Democrat wonders how to better not only his situation, but the situation of others.

If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he demands that they be shut down.
Democrats just switch channels.

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church, and he remains very quiet about his religious status, and when asked, usually pretends to be a Christian.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion kept out of our SECULAR government, as instructed in the Constitution.

If a Republican decides he needs health care, he just lowers his employee wages or cheats someone to cover the cost, thereby making everyone else pay his way.
A Democrat works and pays for his.

If a Republican reads this, he’ll forward it because his friends are also uninformed.
A Democrat will revise it… because it is so inaccurate.

Well, I revised it.

Research Before You Rant

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This election was exhausting for me. There was so much information and not enough people willing to sift through it all. People were repeating stories they had read on The Onion, and the never-ending birther claims. What about The Donald? That guy should be embarrassed.

I live in Tennessee where almost 60% of the vote went to Mitt Romney. My Obama sign was stolen from my yard. Our lawn service thought no one was home, but they were seen putting my sign in their truck. The next week, I left a sympathy card with my payment. Above the “Sorry for your loss,” I wrote in “inevitable”. Then, “in the upcoming election. Your services are no longer needed.” I know it was childish, but man it felt good. Feels even better now that I’m right.

For this reason, I NEVER talk politics at work. Everyone knows I’m a Liberal. My truck has two Obama campaign bumper stickers, and my car has a HRC bumper sticker. I am very vocal about LGBT rights and my non-religious status, but only when faced with obvious prejudice against either. I also make it known that the “N” word is unacceptable to me.

Yes, it still happens often in the south, though it has improved since my childhood. The day after the election, one of my co-workers came into my office ranting about President Obama. I told him I respectfully disagreed, and he called me an Obama-lover, which felt a lot like “N” lover.

A former co-worker of mine, an older white man, consistently posts rants about President Obama and Liberals. Once he posted an Onion story about President Obama’s 19 year old son with a former lover who was present at the Democratic convention. He didn’t even know the Onion is satirical. Later in the election season, he posted another false claim that the President had signed 937 Executive Orders. When I worked with this man, he was a very vocal Liberal.

Another friend posts things like “Women don’t want free abortions and contraception, we want jobs.” Nobody is suggesting the government pay for abortions. We only want them to be legal. That choice should be made by a woman and her doctor and no one else. Woman should not have to prove to anyone they need an abortion or that they have been raped. Woman should not have to discuss that choice with anyone or undergo any unnecessary procedures to have an abortion. Provide affordable and accessible contraception and it is very likely the abortion rate goes down.

There is just so much information available that I cannot understand why so many people are so uninformed. This flood of information in the internet age is overwhelming making it hard to know what to believe. My approach is to try to stick to a few reputable news sources, cross-reference for accuracy, and research before I rant.

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