Acceptable Differences

5

February 17, 2014 by bck1402

It’s an odd cycle, isn’t it?

Let’s see here, Ellen Page came out on Valentine’s Day at Time To Thrive, a conference held of the LGBT community, and probably others who were participating even if they didn’t fit into one of those letters. She made a really heartfelt speech and was absolutely amazing about it all. A part of her speech took a shot at the standards that celebrities like her seem to face, that they have to be a certain way, have a certain look, or behave a certain way that the public sometimes expect celebrities to be.

But it’s not just that, is it? We’ve sort of been here before.

It’s basically conforming to what society thinks is proper. And what society thinks is proper changes from time to time and we don’t really have to go very far back in time to see the varied changes that society has already gone through. Whatever was considered ‘acceptable’ or ‘normal’ at some point in time can be viewed as ‘abnormal’ or ‘horrendous’ at later points along the same timeline.

I want to get through this without being offensive, and I don’t know if that’s going to be possible. Because I really don’t mean to offend anyone here. This is just my views and I hope that it doesn’t get taken out of context.

I’m all for the LGBT folks, should they wish to announce their preferences or not. To me, they are being true to themselves, being who they want to be out in the open. They’re only asking for acceptance, right? We all want to be accepted for who we are, right? This usually means tolerance, as in we should acknowledge that they are who they are in terms of sexual preference and simply say, “We’re okay with that.”

And this doesn’t just apply to them, it applies to anyone else who has a different lifestyle from what is the perceived norm. Like those who want to live their life having come from some minority race or ethnicity, having been born with a physical or mental disability, having been raise following some particular religion, or even if deciding that following the tenets of something like Klingon culture is the right thing for themselves and their family.

Thing is, members of the same family may not have the same outlook on life. Everyone is different and there is such immense variety in the world that there would be certain individuals who would find similarities amongst themselves, view life the same way, face the same problems and then come together. And still, everyone is different.

And yet, everyone is the same.

We all want acceptance. Mainly, acceptance for who we are.

So, shouldn’t it be a two way thing?

Shouldn’t we accept people who seem to be have different sets of ‘moral values’ than what is considered ‘normal’? Not to specifically pick on the LGBT community, but just go back 30-40 years ago, and what is considered ‘normal’ now was backwards, wasn’t it? There wasn’t an LGBT community out in the open, and belonging to any one of those letters was considered abnormal.

Society at the time was very different too, and what passed for ‘normal’ then might be considered beyond ‘abnormal’ now. “Gay” still meant “joyous” or “happy” back then, and if it was used the way it’s used now, it was considered a slur. The word, “nigger” was already considered derogatory, and “negro” was already heading that way but somehow, the black community was using it more and more among themselves. Nowadays, you can’t really say that word anymore publicly. Even “black” was replaced with “African American” by the late 80s/early 90s, even though these Americans aren’t really from Africa anymore.

The same goes in the country I’m from where the Chinese aren’t really from China anymore even if we’re told to go back there if we don’t like how those in charge of the country are running things. Yet even here, the word “chink” did not mean “a narrow opening or gap”, but no one really uses that anymore either, do they? Not unless you grew up with it and never changed with the times. Then again, we’re a multi-lingual society here, so there are lots of other derogatory terms in other languages still in play, although not so much in the open anymore… except from the ruling party who seem hell-bent on raising racial tensions. Thank goodness for the cooler heads of the normal populace who know better, but still…

But that is part of the problem too. Some people have had such ‘values’ instilled in them that they can’t change or can’t accept. Or they can’t break out of it, thus making it a part of who they are. Now, should that be acceptable? These kind of people being who they are? How they were raised? How they were educated? Can we also accept them for who they are if they are true to themselves?

Even if we don’t agree with their viewpoints or their use of language or their actions?

Should we hate them?

People like Paula Deen who used the ’n’ word publicly?

Like Phil Robertson and his views on slavery or gays and lesbians?

Or how Vladimir Putin has used his power to have his country follow his views?

Okay, so maybe Putin’s actions are pushing it, but it’s not like he’s going to be in charge of the country forever. As most of us have witnessed, the times do change.

But again, should we hate such people?

(and excuse me for using the obvious international news-makers.)

Especially for those us who have been fighting against such hatred, fighting for acceptance so that we can be who we are… should we hate such people right back for being who they are?

The fight against persecution is a slow and long fight, because it takes generations and education to effect the change. And education is key. I have my experiences with such people who have such lifestyles ingrained into them since they were young, and you can’t shake them out of it. Not to say that it’s impossible, just really really really difficult. Their minds get so closed to that one idea that everything else is just wrong. And this is, in my own experience, applicable to either race or religion, or both in combination; that their way is the right way and I’m just wrong.

Everyone is different, yet everyone is the same.

We are individuals and we are who we are. As a whole, we are all human living in, and sharing, the same house. There really is nowhere else to go right now and we’ve already spent centuries fighting hate. Why should the cycle continue just because we don’t agree with another person’s antiquated views on life? They aren’t going to be around forever. Accept them and forgive them. Educate everybody else who is going to matter, i.e. the next generation to come and beyond.

Otherwise, they’re just going to be another minority group fighting for acceptance to have their voices heard as well.

[If anyone has been offended, I apologise. I really didn’t mean to. Was just trying to get a some thoughts across, not sure if there was actually a point.]

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5 thoughts on “Acceptable Differences

  1. charlypriest says:

    I´m offended because you´ve just made my two neurons, who by the way are fighting among themselves think.

    About Putin…don´t know, he does have a lot of power and he might be around for much more time that we might think.

    Phil Robertson, he´s old school believes in what he believes and you have to respect that. Plus the show cracks me up. Specially uncle Si.

    By the way the gays should be offended since they got they´re letter second, what´s up with that?

    Hate is one of the worst enemies one can have, since it doesn´t get you anywhere. I learned that some time ago. It only causes more of a headeache for one self. It´s a waste of my time. A time I can use to do more valuable things. About educating the next generation, I guess it will make an impact but yet again you can educate people and as you said everyone is different so some and quite some will disregard showing that tolerance or respect for others. And I believe that the LG….forgot the other words, should not want to seek acceptance. Nobody should seek acceptance, you are who you are and fuck everybody else who doesn´t agree with you or tolerate you. Although I won´t put in the same category the struggles black people went through compared with the Gays and Lesbians.

    My way of thinking is even though I might disagree with other´s viewpoints, unless they don´t intrude into my life, they can do whatever they want with their life, and I won´t give it too much thought since I already have enough in my life do deal with so why even bother with others.
    Except with Islamist extremist, I fought them twice and gladly would do it again.

    • bck1402 says:

      Yeh, it does look like Putin is going to be around much longer than anyone would expect, given the current situation in Crimea. Still, in the long run, society will change as will sensibilities, although what does pass for education will factor in what really changes and what stays the same.
      I’m all for religion even if I don’t follow any… because these hardcore religious people (and not just the Islamist, but the Christians too) really disturb me in the way they think.
      Really, they should just live their lives the way they like but don’t force it on anyone else, and accept that I may not agree with them.

  2. Steve Morris says:

    Well said. Hate is always the wrong answer.

    • bck1402 says:

      We really have to try hard not to go down that road, because I notice that there is tendency to turn to hate before anything else.

      Thank you for the comment.

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