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10/25/14

I was going to write about photography snobbery but I was recently inspired to cover a different issue instead, for now anyway.

I find it very disturbing when parents tell their children they are not allowed to be something. Telling ones child they can not be a pagan or an atheist or a Buddhist or even a Satanist and so on is actually telling them they can not come to you about important issues in their life. You are slamming a door to communication and you are losing a lot of  and maybe all influence you had with them. It may not be what you meant to do, but it’s exactly what you have done. The same goes for telling them they can’t be gay or bi or accept life styles you are uncomfortable with and likely your religion condemns.

Top-10-Places-Youre-Not-Allowed-to-Visit

If you’re kids decide to experiment with drugs and or alcohol and other harmful things it is important that the line of communication is open with your child. We all want to believe our children wouldn’t do such things, but we are not in their heads all the time, we don’t always know what they are facing and what they are feeling. If we tell them they can’t be this or that and we back it up with fear and rejection then we can’t be there for them when they need us most because they can’t trust us.

Letting our children know how we feel about certain subjects and the results of the actions people who chose to participate in those things may find as consequences or results is important. It’s all part of communicating. But once you put, “you are not allowed to be…” you are closing the communication line off. While you may rightful warn your child that having sex can cause pregnancy and STD’s and so on saying you will kick them out or they will go to hell for doing so means that if they do get pregnant or get an STD you won’t be the one they come to for help and you just might be the last person to find out.

If they chose a different lifestyle or a different religion or non religion, do you really want them to keep it from you? Telling them they aren’t allowed to is telling them that if they are gay or they are some other belief they have to hide it from you. They will take their questions and concerns elsewhere. You will no longer be their adviser or an influence.

who rules over you

People put down being “open minded” but when you can no longer communicate with your loved one because you were “closed minded” it isn’t so glorious anymore.

I highly suggest you have a serious conversation with yourself about this matter. Don’t tell your kid they can come to you about anything and everything until you have had this conversation with yourself and prepared yourself for it. You may not be able to get yourself to a place where you are free to accept all things, but you can get yourself to a place where you agree with yourself to take a few deep breaths before responding to what your child has said and not throw out an answer or accusation. Make a habit of researching things. When your child brings up an area of interest, even if it’s something their friend is going through, don’t just spat off the first thing that comes to mind. Tell your child you will do some research and look into it. Then do the research.

Do not just believe the first thing you find on a subject. Search various sights and outlooks, different sources. Because your pastor, priest, spiritual leader, favorite author or favorite blog writer says something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you and your child. You need to do your own homework. Consulting them may be helpful but it shouldn’t be the end of the line. Take an example from your kid, challenge your favorite source. They may end up right, but no ones perfect, they could also be wrong, or it may be wrong for you.

Some times we have habits of spatting off the first thing that comes to mind. I’ve been there. I was raised very Christian and remained so the first 38 years of my life. I was programmed with answers. I had done all kinds of research. My fault was that I only used Christian sources. Later after becoming aware that just because I didn’t believe in lying didn’t mean other Christians felt the same, this included those who put research materials together. I realized my information was tainted. So, when I found myself giving an answer to something I would stop myself and admit that I actually wasn’t sure because my resources were untrustworthy but that I would look into it and get back to them on it. After hearing yourself stop yourself and admit you don’t know, the habit will break. Then it evolved into taking place in my head. I could stop my comment before it left my head and instead of having to back paddle I would either remain silent or I would let my kid or who ever it was know I would look into it. It’s much less humbling that way. But the humility lessons were good for me and helped break the habit. Besides it’s good for your kids to hear you admit you could be wrong and that you are willing to find out. It’s a great example. If you can retrain yourself and better yourself, they’ll know they can too.

Sounds like a lot of work. Then again raising children is a lot of work. If you really love them, you’ll do the work. It can also be scary. Overcoming fear in order to be there for your kids is a wonderful act of love.

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(The images were found on Google Image Search.)

 

 

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Love, Ellen A Mother/Daughter Journey
by Betty DeGeneres
A Book Review By Lori

What a lovely delightful book.

Betty starts off taking the reader on a journey through her New Orleans style childhood. Though my parents childhood was different it’s close to the same era and brought back memories of the stories they told.

Betty, like myself, is a self examiner. She goes through her relationship history not only to tell her story but to help us understand why she reacted the way she did to various situations and to show how far she has come. Again like myself, she doesn’t just retell the stories to get attention and entertain, but to help others who can relate.

Later in the book she delves into her activism. She never set out to be an activist. It pretty much “fell in her lap” and she took up the gauntlet and went with it blessing all those in her wake.

Betty is often know as “Every Mom” and when getting to know her through her book one tends to want to adopt her. I appreciate her open gentle honesty and humble wisdom. This book is good for everyone to read and or hear.

Quotes from Love, Ellen A Mother/Daughter Journey by Betty DeGeneres

Prologue – Page 12

Coming out has been described as an earthquake that shakes the world not only of the person coming out but of everyone around him or her. It has also been described as less a declaration of sexuality to the rest of the world than a personal act of self-love. It is, without a doubt, a discovery of self and a rite of passage that should be celebrated – not only because your daughter or son has taken this courageous step toward being her or his own person, but because you are being given an opportunity to do the same.

Chapter 1 – Page 48 & 49

It was that remarkable woman, Helen Keller, who said that in the ancestry of every king can be found a slave, and in that of every slave, a king. A leveling thought, but true. Between those great differences in status is the vast army of men and woman who are our ancestors – each a contribution to what we are today and each life a story in itself.

In other words, we’re all related. We’re all family. Thank God for our differences.

Chapter 2 – Page 76

I countered, “Lots and lots of gay men and women are Christians and believers.” That brought the discussion to an end. After the caller signed off, I added another observation saying, “The Bible – or rather, the interpretation of the Bible – has been used through the years for whatever purposes certain groups have had. Scripture was used to condone slavery. It was used to keep woman from having the vote. And now it is being used vociferously for this purpose.”

Chapter 8 – Page 223

When an interviewer in Maine asked her about the rigors of touring and why she had decided to take breaks from stand-up, El answered very seriously:

I’ve learned that in life, it’s very important to be happy. If you do something that you’re not happy doing – no matter how much you try to fake it – that will eat you up from the inside, that’ll kill you.

Chapter 9 – Page 265

Many families, I was finding out, have a conspiracy of silence – not because of lack of love but because of lack of skill at talking. Ant not talking about being gay means staying in the closet. What’s wrong with staying in the closet? I knew that from Ellen DeGeneres – Ellen Morgan: It’s suffocating. Gay men and women have the same right to be out in the open, breath the same air, as any of us.

Chapter 10 – Page 313 & 314

To me, the true porfamily stance would be to recognize that what children need is a parent or two parents, who love them unconditionally, who give them a safe, loving home filled with joy and laughter and mental stimulation. Furthermore, unlike heterosexual couples, who often have unplanned pregnancies, gay couples must go to a greater deal of trouble to become parents. Their children are truly wanted, and they are part of a true family.

Since many dysfunctional, abusive households have a mother and a father present, it’s clear that being heterosexual is not necessarily a qualification for being a good parent.

Chapter 10 – Page 318

And they call themselves Christians? How could they be so heartless? How could so many have gone so far afield from the teachings of the One they profess to follow?

The activist Paul Monette wrote of “a world that wallows in holy wars and ethnic bloodbaths.” Regarding the movement toward greater visibility for gays and lesbians, he told of a friend who was “worried about the backlash, having an instinct for the savageries of which religion is capable” Monette used the term “Stepford Christians” and Christian Supremacists.”

Chapter 11 – Page 332 & 333

Why should I have to know other people’s sexual practices? You shouldn’t. And this is where people get confused. When you learn that someone you know is homosexual, you don’t know anything about his or her sexual practices. That is strictly none of our business – just as your own sexual practices are no ones else’s business. I’ve heard it said that with the word heterosexual” the accent is on “hetero” and with the word “homosexual” the accent “sexual.” What a shame that we, as a society, are so hung up on this. After so many generations, we are still, deep down, puritanical. Puritanical and hung up on sex – what a combination! I’m positive that for a committed, loving homosexual couple, sex is no more or less important than it is for a committed, loving heterosexual couple.

Not long ago, I heard the great writer Toni Morrison being interviewed on 60 Minutes. As an African-American, she said, “When you know somebody’s race, what do you really know about them? Nothing.” How true and this can be applied to sexuality. When you know somebody’s sexuality, what do you really know about them? Nothing. It should be just a fact and should not enter into the equation of the sum of that person.

Chapter 11 – Page 341

Is it possible to have a healthy dialog between people who disagree? As an incurable optimist, I’d say yes. And the old saying “You can disagree without being disagreeable” might be a good starting place. Also, respect helps tremendously – self respect and respect for others and their beliefs.

The qualities needed to accept diversity are the same qualities needed for a healthy dialogue about differences of any kind – race, religion, orientation, ideology, or whatever we can imagine that divides us. “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. “

Epilogue – Page 364

Not long ago, I was inspired by a short piece by Robert J. Hastings called “The Station.” He uses a train as a metaphor for our journey through life. He says that like many passengers on trains, instead of enjoying the sights and the scenery along the way, we think only of getting to the station – the station being, “when I get a promotion,” “when I pay off the mortgage,” “when I meet Prince Charming,” and so on. Hastings speaks of the importance of realizing that there is no station, that “the true joy of life is the trip.” What an important message.

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