Generation Why?

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Millennials get a bad wrap.

It isn’t unusual for younger generations to receive flack for being the new and up-and-coming age group. There’s blame, victimization, anger, confusion, and a whole lot of “shaking one’s fist in the air and yelling ‘Get off my lawn’.” An argument could be made as to why: older people become more settled in their ways and hate change; the evolution of technology makes it difficult to keep up; there’s possibly envy and jealousy; or maybe it’s a combination of all the above.

When I was younger, I remember hearing my grandparents complain about music tastes, manners, and general laziness in “today’s youth.” Since I’ve gotten older (I’ll be turning the big 3-0 this year), I’ve noticed the taunting becoming more severe, and the graphic above epitomizes almost every single issue.

Today’s society has an unfortunate outlook – survival mode. It’s all about “my piece of pie” as if there isn’t enough for everyone to go around. Plus, there’s immense disregard for future generations simply because “one doesn’t live forever, so why should I care what happens 100 years from now.”

I don’t know if Millennials are truly a sensitive generation capable of seeing the racial disparity, an immigration issue, LGBTQIA discrimination, ageism, ableism, a flawed legal system, prison and military industrial complexes, an oligarchy regime, and now a fascist regime. Or that we thankfully live in a time where brilliant minds are capable of sharing their thoughts and research using today’s social media platforms.

Whatever the case, it’s true that Millennials and younger peoples do reject typical values seen in previous age groups: religion, marriage, having children, corporate cultures, etc. Seeing our parents struggle, having to adapt to vast changes in technology, and wanting better for ourselves and children, we developed new ways of being a member to society. Using the tools developed – Hell, developing the tools really – we’ve been able to change the world.

Change can be very scary, especially in a time when everyone feels attacked.

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Laganja Estranja on Season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race – Untucked

Amusingly, the above gif (I say Jif because that’s how you fucking say it) shows a Millennial crying out, displaying behavior typically attributed to my generation. However, a lot of the older generations are the one being “snowflakes”:

  • “ALL LIVES MATTER – but I’m not going to ever show up to protest anyone’s death.”
  • “Women are objects. Grab ’em by the pussy.”
  • “I should be allowed to discriminate against faggots without any loss of business due to my religious beliefs. Baking a cake/selling a bouquet should only be for straight people.”
  • “My right to free speech is being infringed upon because people are calling me a Nazi, even though I prescribe to Nazi ideology. The very ideology that built a regime that eradicated any sense of ‘free speech’.”
  • “Why should I have to press ‘1’ for English? This is America, even though it was built on the backs of people of color who spoke different languages.”

At the end of the day, Millennials are the next generation in line. Yes, there’s growing up to be done, but that’s in every generation. Why attack someone instead of mentor to help integrate them?

I cannot guarantee that we’ll continue being the most progressive as we age. There’s already things in people younger that I would rather strangle than nurture. But I also know how it feels to be discriminated against due to the year I was born. I will try my best not to do the same to them as it was done to me.

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These colors don’t run.

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There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.
– Alexander Hamilton

Disclaimer: I cannot tell you what is right nor what is wrong.  This blog post will go over what I believe we must do in order to protect ourselves and the future LGBTQIA generations. However, only you know what you can and cannot do. After all, you must first take care of yourself before you can assist others. So, please do not take this a personal assault or that you are weak simply because you cannot do what is being asked. You are strong. You are loved. You are enough.

I did not vote for Hillary. I did not vote for Trump. I voted Jill Stein.

I knew Jill had very little ability to win, but I was tired of voting for the lesser, especially since I did not consider Hillary to be a lesser evil. Simply the same evil we’ve had in the White House since Reagan.

Either way, I knew, no matter the head of the administration, it would be a fight.

With Hillary, it would’ve been trying to pull our government free from the grips of corporatocracy and/or oligarchy. We would’ve remained in war with countries we have no business being in war with and possibly starting more wars. Meanwhile, the degeneration of the Middle Class would’ve continued as well.

With Trump, it’s the situation we have now: fight every piece of legislation he’s pushing out as Executive Orders while fighting to protect the Media, refugees, Muslims, LGBTQIA, women, and so forth.

Many will argue that I made a poor choice, that Hillary, though flawed, would’ve been a better choice. I disagree. She would’ve continued the status quo while Democrats voted Blue and Republicans voted Red. We need to round up the masses, get them out of their seats, and force them to hold the government accountable.

Of course, this ideology can be threatening. In fact, it’s caused a backlash on the rights of LGBTQIA peoples, as well as many other minorities and special interest groups. Muslims have taken the hardest brunt of the administration’s power. However, I cannot comment on the atrocities of what’s happening with Muslims or women, but I can speak to what I believe the LGBTQIA peoples as a whole must do now.

I know many people, most friends, willing to leave the country in fear of their lives. I understand. I wish it didn’t come to this, but this was always a possibility with our government. Even in the hands of a Democratic administration. President Clinton, after all, instituted both DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell). The arguments can be made these were poor choices made with inferior information, but it happened nonetheless. By people claiming to be our allies. So, there was a chance we may have needed to flee in previous administrations or future Democratic administrations.

However, it’s happening under Trump, and I can respect the anger and emotion felt across the country. Hell, I feel it. I can not vote for Hillary and still be pissed at the Trump Presidency.

I know many people want to go into hiding or run away. You either fight or fly. It’s an internal, biological human condition, right?

I’m asking, begging, pleading you try to talk yourself out of flying. After all, if it weren’t for “Friends of Dorothy” going against the idea of normalcy in society, if it wasn’t for the Transgender Females of Color who threw the first brick and fought police during Stonewall, if it wasn’t for the men and women going to the Supreme Court to fight for Equal Rights for LGBTQIA, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We wouldn’t have the rights and respect we have today or the clout to push for more.

It’s a scary thing to ask. I am a naturally rebellious person, so it’s built in my figurative DNA. But if more people can stand up, amass together, and stop the destruction of Equal Rights for all peoples, the stronger the possibility we can win.

However, if you cannot, I will not judge you. I will not call you out. I will not hold it against you. (As I shouldn’t anyway; nor do I have the right to.) I will wish you the best of luck on your journey, and I ask that you wish me, and your brothers and sisters, the best of luck in our fight.

For those who cannot leave or fight, please know I am here for you. I am fighting for you, for all of us. Stay strong. Surround yourself with loving people. Ignore the ignorant (I know, easier said than done). Take care of yourself. Hopefully, this ridiculousness will not last long.

Lastly, if you want to join the fight, look for local group gatherings. Donate to Progressive movements and candidates. Share information. I highly suggest leaving one’s house and going to at least one protest, especially when it will really count.

If you have other thoughts, feelings, opinions, complaints, please feel free to comment, write a counter post, Tweet me, or stalk me on Facebook.

‘Tonight, we lipsync for their lives.’

I’m frustrated, terrified, and overwhelmed by the tragedy which struck on Sunday, June 12th in Orlando, FL at Pulse, a small nightclub.

For those of you who may not know, a man walked into the club with an arsenal and began firing. At the end of the chaos, when he was brought down by a SWAT team after taking hostages, 49 ended up dead and 50+ injured.

Stories across the media came out showing videos from SnapChat and various social media by the nightclub patrons and victims. We’ve learned the names, ages, and ethnicities of everyone involved. ISIL claimed responsibility. Theories about the attacker’s sexuality and homophobia were raised. Rumors of more than one shooter or that some of the victims were shot by the infiltrating SWAT spread.

Debates began less than 24 hours: Islamaphobia, gun control, LGBTQIA rights, religious extremism, blood donation bans against gays, and so forth. Allies and enemies of LGBTQIA peoples became lost in the typical whirlwind that comes post-tragedy. Already, people forgot to mourn the dead and affected.

In Oklahoma, I came to work hearing people argue about frivolous matters. I suddenly felt unsafe. When someone mentioned a gun, my shoulders tensed and I became agitated. My supervisor mentioned “this incident” proved that the next President of the United States needed to eliminate ISIL, leaving me disgusted. I found it hard to remain professional.

I emailed HR.

Then, I remembered, as a gay man, I am not protected from being fired due to being homosexual. What if this email was used against me to fire me? Keep me from receiving a raise? Or a promotion? A different kind of anger brewed inside me.

The fight isn’t over.

Thankfully, my place of employment handled it quite well. They provided documentation reminding everyone how to conduct themselves after times of tragedy, including pamphlets on how to manage stress. I wasn’t fired. One less thing for me to worry about. In fact, my HR manager asked me to keep her informed should someone disregard the email.

I had to stop going onto Facebook. Religious friends, conservative family, allies, and the ignorant all had something to say. Articles upon news articles shared. Pastors and religious leaders thankful the incident happened. Miscellaneous information bombarded me. So, I switched it off, ignored the hatred, shared only things about the victims and reactions of love.

LGBTQIA people are scared. My generation has never had to see such an act of violence. We’re too young to fully comprehend what happened to Matthew Shepherd or the 80s AIDS epidemic when LGBTQIA brothers and sisters had to bury their brethren. It took vast amounts of protests before our government listened and passed legislation which helped protect our community.

Some want to go back in the closet our of fear. We cannot do it, no matter how scared we may be. Even if we see a gun in our faces. I know that sounds easier said than done. But we can’t let these people win. What kind of life is worth living in the shadows? No, Batman doesn’t count. We have to be the leaders and protectors of future generations. I beg that you please reconsider before you make your decision.

I’ll never forget seeing the mother on the news begging to know if her son lived or died, or the text messages another mother received from her son who hid in the bathroom as he heard his killer approaching, or the mother who shielded her son from being shot thus allowing him to survive. I don’t want to put that burden on my mother, but I also don’t want any other mother to have to go through what these women went through Sunday. I cannot, and will not, go back into the closet because I’m needed.

Men and women from early 20s to 50-years-of-age, black, white, and Latinx died. Let us mourn yet never forget them.

Everything else? The random chaos which comes before the storm?

Leave it for now.

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