Thursday, August 5, 2010

Straight With Gay Pride?

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GO For Pride & Tolerance.
Straight people with HUGE Gay Pride? It's OK!
More people of all walks of life reject intolerance & actively join Pride celebrations. Look at any Pride Parade and its full of children, families, grandparent and friends celebrating along side with gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered (GLBT) people.

Everyone seems to be on the Pride wagon, with some "straight" people demonstrating more pride then GLBT people themselves. What happened?

It was time to ask some local people on what all this Straight Pride was? I asked our local MLA Nicholas Simons, Powell River - Sunshine Coast; Kera Mchugh, owner of the Wild Bistro in Gibsons; Stevo Knauff, President of the Sunshine Coast Labour Council; and life long resident and Mom, Christine Moore about Pride and Tolerance.

Why Pride and why tolerance?

Gibsons and Sechelt, BC proclaimed the 2nd weekend of August as an official pride celebration on the Sunshine Coast and the community itself has embraced many outstanding GLBT leaders in politics, media, arts, business, sports and more.

Seems to be that people have realized that people are people and Love is Love. If God created gay people, why on earth would She have created them to be hated, if all that God made is good, as Dr. Wayne Dyer often points out?

Seems some people "say" we are all family, but act as though some are more family then others. They always need a scapegoat to rally the troops.

Its changing though. The two thousand years of dark ages for women and GLBT people is waning and they have been regaining their rightful place in the Spirit of humanity, not to be treated poorly, but embraced and celebrated.

How do we know? A Pink Shirt Day Anti-Bullying Sunshine Coast, BC facebook page for example has over 600 people who clicked "attending" and almost 400 "maybe attending". That's almost 1,000 people on the coast who have stood together for tolerance and acceptance.

Pink Shirt Day Anti-Bullying Sunshine Coast, BC

The psychiatrist I saw back in my early 20's, once explained sexual orientation to me as a wheel and not a line, that settles out in different spokes of the wheel for some, that it is not as black and white as it seems, and anyone having major issues with someone's sexual orientation, are really revealing they have them with themselves.

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How can you really blame them for being angry with themselves and others when so much hate is drilled into their heads from an early age by homophobes and doctrine.

Reminds me of the scene in the movie Brokeback Mountain where the young boy sees the Gay Cowboy tortured to death for living with his boyfriend, then internalizes that fear and hatred towards his own sexual orientation. The tagline for that movie? "Love Is A Force Of Nature." The movie starring Heather Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, is based on the 'E. Annie Proulx' story about a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys and their lives over the years.

More and more people have said enough is enough and actively join in and get involved in Pride: straight, bi, gay, lesbian and transgendered. We are all family.

Locally, there is a Dance and a Family Picnic organized for Sunshine Coast Pride Weekend the 2nd weekend of August that everyone is invited to. Its an inclusive event. The Vancouver Pride celebrations are the 1st weekend of August, the city is about a 40 min ferry cruise to Langdale and Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast, BC Canada.

Last year I attended a "Rainbow" celebration for Pride Weekend at the Wild Bistro in Gibsons, BC to take photos for one of our local newspapers. Low and behold, it was mainly straight people who came out to celebrate Pride and the photo I took which was printed in the newspaper got a scathing Letter to the Editor for having Straight people in it for a gay event.

Got me to thinking about how many straight people actively seek out and love Pride and their gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered friends, and I thought to myself, with a chuckle, wait a minute, some of them are more Gay Pride then gay people!

I asked Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River - Sunshine Coast why Pride has become so mainstream popular? He says "Giving people a time and place to demonstrate their support for the GLTB community - and to have a good time while they're at it - is the best thing about Pride. There's something for everyone, young, old, straight, queer... Tolerance is ok, but appreciation, respect and affection is way better."

Kera Mchugh, who owned Wild Bistro with her husband Ian Backs, says tolerance is important because "we are all one on this big-ass planet, and if i am intolerant of my neighbour - who demonstrates that they are a good person, upstanding in the community, responsible, kind, thoughtful, etc - simply because they choose to love differently than me, then the whole world is in a heap of trouble."

"It's none of my business who my neighbour wants to share their life with, and none of theirs about me..." Kera sais, "what SHOULD matter is whether or not we each can be counted on in times of need, express concern for the world we live in, contribute to the greater good, and make our communities safe, welcoming, inclusive places to live & work."

Kera feels "Pride is as important as Italian day, Caribbean festival, Earth Day, Black History Month, or any of the other "differences" we celebrate as a community. We should each be allowed to share our colours with our neighbours, without fear and without shame. It's not rocket science... it's humanity at its core."

Kera reflects a genuine and widely felt sentiment in the larger community of the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver and Canada. It is embraced more and more by high school students who recently started straight-gay alliances to help ensure a positive safe nurturing learning environment for GLBT youth who are marginalized, bullied and yes, murdered, tortured and sentenced to death still in many parts of the world.

The fear of fearing for your gay child's life is very taxing on the parents, unless of course, the parent rejects a homosexual child and abandons it, especially over doctrine. Even more devastating for the child.

Christine Moore is a Mother who grew up on the Sunshine Coast and she has seen a lot of changes here. She has raised two girls and a boy with her husband in Gibsons, BC.

I asked Christine why Pride and Tolerance, and she says "I guess for me it`s because of my son Brian! And the freedom to be who you are, and being honest with who you are and most important to yourself!"

"I used to worry about Brian and how people would treat him, but he was able to look after himself! (most of the time!). I would not want him to pretend to be someone he`s not and be unhappy!"

"It`s like John F. Kennedy said 'change the things we can and except the things we can`t change.' Some people are so closed minded!" she said.

Christine adds "They are afraid of what they don`t know! (ignorant) and they most likely don`t know the meaning! I always remind myself - (that old bible quote ) 'Do not judge unless you want to be judged yourself!'"

The fear Christine has for the safety of her gay child is quite common, but basically stems from hatred fostered in the name of God Himself. This often causes severe depression, drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, and robs communities of how much GLBT members have offered for thousands of years and will continue to do so in the future.

Look at the premiere tourism web portal of the Sunshine Coast run by Webmaster extraordinaire Laurie McConnell, a mom, business women, and she has a wonderful girlfriend. Her incredibly comprehensive tourism website brings huge amounts of dollars to the Sunshine Coast who is blessed by her creativity and brilliance. We should be so grateful and celebrate how she makes our community a better place for everyone. She even has a GLBT friendly accommodations section on her website visited by tens of thousands everyone month.

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Recently the Georgia Straight Magazine in Vancouver, BC published a Pride themed edition for Vancouver Pride, held the BC Day August Long Weekend. One article is about how rural BC is embracing Pride and changing its basic values and understanding of people who are GLBT in a positive way as more of them "come" out in their community. Another article is about the Sunshine Coast being a Gay friendly tourist destination, based on the positive nurturing community support for its GLBT members and leaders.

Gay folks rise up across B.C. for Pride festivities
By Carlito Pablo

Sunshine Coast offers gay-friendly small-town getaways
By Charlie Smith

I would encourage everyone to join their Gay, Lesbian, Bi, and Transgendered friends in celebrating Pride together.

Stevo Knauff, President of the Sunshine Coast Labour Council said, "Why does anyone have a problem with how people love each other? We should all be happy and proud that our country recognizes love in all its forms. We all have the right to be in love , and to experience love , it is no-ones business but our owns... certainly not the Governments. Love one another...right now....Happy Pride!"

A couple thousand years ago, GLBT and Women were often the centre of Spiritual reverence in a community and celebrated. In the last 2 thousand years they were murdered and tortured.

In 2010, many local communities, churches and religions are moving towards the third millennium and have become actively GLBT positive, but there is still hatred and ignorance out there, so below, with all due respect, I copied and pasted a humorous, poignant, yet sad statement on how some people pick and choose doctrines to promote intolerance and hate, entitled "Why can't I own a Canadian?"

First some comments on the article from facebook:

Ross Hastings
In my experience, some of my gay friends are more willing to tolerate homophobia because they're not announcing something they're not willing to make public yet by making a stand. When straight dudes stand up for our gay buddies, we're not ...putting anything personal on the line (except the opinions of a few hilbilly rednecks we could care less about) so it's a bit easier for us... that might be why straight people sometimes have more "pride" than our gay brothers. We're risking less. It took me a long time to understand that, and some of the people I love most in the world still live in secret because they feel it still isn't safe for them to be honest, and who can really blame them...?

David Williams
I sense alot of hostility in a article thats all about peace and love ;)

Kirk Gardner
We all need support sometimes....

Stevo Knauff
great article ya brutha

Laurie McConnell
Duane - what a beautiful story. I love how in depth it is, how personal and yet so broad, with input from so many people representing business, government, family and glbt people. Beautiful writing. Can I repost it with my story about pride up in the magazine?

Why can't I own a Canadian?
In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man, and posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16.

Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14) I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia
PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian)

My thanks to MLA Nicholas Simons, business women Kera Mchugh, labour leader Stevo Knauff, and Mom, Christine Moore for their invaluable contributions to this article "Straight With Gay Pride". Best Wishes, Duane Burnett


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  1. Duane! I love your socks. And your blog. Mainly your socks.

  2. "The fear of fearing for your gay child's life is very taxing on the parents especially the Mother"
    Yay - good to see sexism isnt incompatible with Gay Pride
    Otherwise gr8 article, love the leviticus stuff


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