Thursday, April 25, 2024
LGBTQ+ RightsNewsPoliticsPride

The New Warfare

In years past, wars were always a military endeavor. Some wars garnered massive public support, such as WWII.  Others, like the Vietnam War, polarized our country intensely.

 

Today, America is at war with itself. It is not a military battle, but one caused in part because of misinformation.  Years ago, before the internet, the media created a basis of truth in our society.  That basis exists no longer.  The world wide web was heralded as democratizing knowledge.  This thought was naive.  The internet democratized ​information​, only a fraction of which could be considered actual knowledge.  Since there was no easy way for people to know the validity of the information they received (ie: the truth) without strong, critical-thinking skills, people started to make their decisions based on falsehoods.  Some were promoted by the government, some pushed upon us by media outlets calling themselves news, and others by charlatans trying to make a buck by causing divisiveness.  This is particularly troubling for the LGBTQ community.

 

We have seen governing bodies exert their power over minorities, often via legislation.  This is why civil rights movements have been so crucial.  Today, despite the American Medical Association’s acceptance of LGBTQ folx, and trans people in particular, as a normal part of the human condition, many in conservative government and society have continued pushing falsehoods about the LGBTQ community.  They have often accomplished this through the use, and misuse, of both mainstream and other forms of media.

 

These falsehoods have become legal policy in regards to stopping gays from adopting children, getting job protection from the federal government, and serving in the military as a trans person.  Some politicians repeatedly continue to push the use of conversion therapy, a pseudoscientific practice of trying to alter one’s sexual orientation to heterosexual using mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual interventions, which completely flies in the face of medical reality.  Medical institutions have warned that this type of therapy has no scientific validity and is highly ineffective and potentially harmful.  It should be noted that currently 21 US states, plus the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and 79 municipalities have enacted full or partial bans on this unethical and discredited practice.  While religion has often been used as a way to marginalize people, there is not one iota of truth to back up the anti-LGBTQ policies adopted over the past three and a half years.  One way to combat this is through legislation that can reverse the hatred.  

 

An equally important way to change people’s actions is through empathy.  When folx want to support a group of people, not by force, but through understanding, that support comes from a place of personal choice.  They are then more willing to accept responsibility for their choice.  One way people gain that understanding is through connection.  If you know someone who identifies as LGBTQ, you’re more willing to consider their point of view.  Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician in California, often emphasized the importance of LGBTQ people being visible.  He felt the more queer visibility and representation there was, the sooner we could put an end to discrimination against them.  Other ways we can work on changing people’s attitudes are through direct outreach with the community and developing common connections.

 

With National Coming Out Day, October 11th, just around the corner, now is the time for showing a queer presence.  For LGBTQ folx who are ready, willing and can safely come out to friends, family, or co-workers, this may be your opportunity (though any time you’re comfortable may be the right time).  For straight allies, feel free to come out in support of your LGBTQ friends and family.  There are even “Coming Out” cards that folx can give to let those they are comfortable with know they are out and proud.  Plus there are “Thank You for Coming Out” cards that can be given to thank someone who has come out to you.  These are also great for supporters of LGBTQ rights or causes, as a way of saying thanks for coming out in solidarity.  Queery’s latest undertaking, Queermark, offers these specially designed cards just in time for NCOD.  Check out their GoFundMe project here.


These days, there is so much polarization, that it seems a change in government (and the legislation that could come with it) may be our only hope.  The need to battle the divisiveness, the mistreatment, the denial of rights is clear.  And as November nears, we need to come out to the polls and “Queer the Vote.”  Remember to cast your ballot at the polls or mail it in to support those who can uphold the rights of all.  You can visit Vote.org for any voting information you may need.  Isn’t it something worth hoping and fighting for?  It is definitely worth the effort, if we want to combat this 4-year long siege of misinformation our community is suffering from and make some positive changes for the future.

 

This article was Co-Authored by Geoff Peckman & Marc Resnik

Marc Resnik earned his Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication Theory from S.U.N.Y @ Albany, and considers community building an important social and political priority. He is excited to be contributing to the LGBTQ+ community through with Queer Forty. 

Geoff Peckman

Geoff Peckman is a Graphic Designer and Art Director for Queery. He’s over 40 (way over), gay and uses he/him/his pronouns. His creativity crosses from innovating distinct logos and artwork to writing entertaining and informative articles for the LGBTQ community.

Geoff Peckman has 16 posts and counting. See all posts by Geoff Peckman

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