This is the story of a unicorn with many names.
It’s the story of a unicorn who can change sex at the blink of an eye, or be both male and female at the same time.
This magical, mighty unicorn, its fur so soft and white, its pretty hooves with hoof fluff is platinum, its hair so silky and shimmering, its powerful horn so straight and gleaming – this gorgeous beast has a lyrical voice and when it sings to its enemy, inspiring, awe-striking words can be heard:
Go kill yourself
You’re an ignorant bigot, don’t procreate
You’re not on this train? By the looks of you, you need a cargo plane
Your generation is dying. You should do us a favour and end it early
And on hearing this magical song with it’s beautiful words and many more like it, the enemy falls to their knees and sheds tears, repenting for their wrong doing, begging forgiveness from this beautiful, just, wise creature.
It doesn’t matter which news site it’s on, I can’t remember which one I saw those words on, but it’s any new site that has a commenting system and it’s on any news site which has LGBT news.
You would expect those words from homophobes, it probably wouldn’t surprise you. What got to me is that they weren’t from the homophobes – they were from some in the LGBT community.
On one article, someone wrote that they weren’t on the LGBT train. They didn’t write anything more, they wrote the simple statement ‘it’s not a train I’ll be on’, and it got the above reaction, plus many more. All answers were as ugly as the last. This is only one example.
Do I agree with that person? No. It was a throw away comment that didn’t deserve a reply. But I didn’t agree with those who answered him – slamming him and bullying him, either.
This is a letter to those people: You are fighting for marriage equality, equal opportunity and acceptance. You have to deal with shallow minded people – maybe not every day – maybe not each one of you – but some of you do.
All those homophobes that you see on the internet, in real life? The ones that call you names? You’re just like them. When you tell them to kill themselves, when you fight fire with fire, you become one of them.
There isn’t a fine line between bullying and constructive argument. There’s a great big galoomphing wall – it’s not something that you can accidentally stumble across and say ‘oh bugger, I wonder how I got here.’ You’re going to know when you climb that wall.
In other words, you’re going to know when you’re being jerk.
Since when does insulting someone help? I have never seen anyone change their mind because they’ve been threatened and bullied into it. You might change their actions, through force, but not their minds.
I read a story of a black man who collected Ku Klux Klan robes. He made friends with the members, one by one and one by one they gave their robes to him and left the clan. He didn’t do it violently or aggressively, he didn’t try to force them to change. He helped them to change their minds by showing that he’s human and giving them what most – if not all – human’s want: friendship and trust.
You are not a magical unicorn, you are not untouchable just because of your sexual orientation, or because your fight has been given a public voice.
The thing is, we think that any community who has faced discrimination should be the better person – should be above the name calling, harassment and bullying. You think, because that community has gone through the same, it would be a lesson on how it feels to be the target, the one who is made to feel very small and inadequate and you think that would be enough to stop someone from treating another the same way.
But the truth is, we’re all human. We aren’t inherently good or inherently bad, we are both. None of us fit into neat and tidy boxes. Those labels and stereotypes we’re given are human-made, not nature-made. We might fit crookedly into one box but we sure as hell aren’t going to fit perfectly, unless you ignore the qualities in yourself which are a little strange or less desirable and then you would be lying to yourself.
We’re not going to agree on the same thing or love the same thing or hate the same thing or like the same thing. We’re not going to view the world in the same way; we’re going to see things with different perspectives, depending on upbringing, beliefs and personal taste.
Your greatest weakness will be someones strength.
You look at a provocative message on a news article and of course you’re going to react. Some will look away, others will handle it different, because we’re not all the same.
That doesn’t mean that bullying is okay… Just remember that the person on the other end of that message has their own strengths and weaknesses. One belief different from yours, one opinion different from yours, does not make them an inherently bad person.
It just makes them human like you.
Just because this is your fight, just because you now have that voice, the public platform, and are fighting to be recognised, that does NOT give you the right to be the bully.
It’s not a free pass.
No, they don’t have a free pass either.Embed from Getty Images
I was looking for images to use and came across this one. The title of it was “employee being bullied by angry manager”… but I thought it looked more like “man witnesses a basket of kittens in a bus of muppets watching youtube videos of cats drive straight off a cliff into a tornado and then eaten by sharks in a dramatic turn of events.”