Never in my lifetime did I believe that our country would become so divided; the he's and she's, us versus them, or that I would have to constantly change my voice to appease societal norms. But, each and every news story and every inch of cyberspace is proving otherwise.
When thinking about the future of LGBT youth in this country and around the world, I whole-heartedly believe significant strides have been made to make their world better. However, as I view every major news outlet and discover all of their so-called journalists surreptitiously (although sometimes blatantly) imbedding their agenda into reporting instead of fact, I cannot help but shake my head.
You see, honesty in political and journalistic realms has come to an unfortunate end. We are becoming a society that relies more on feeling than on fact. The internet, so-called journalists and social media have created a false reality, quickly breeding intolerance under the cloak of "I feel, and therefore you're wrong." Words, phrases, opinions and honesty are now deemed offensive.
Brendan Eich, former Mozilla CEO, should not have been corralled into stepping-down, plain and simple. His decision, his opinion, his voice, to donate to a campaign six years ago had nothing to do with his ability to lead a company -- a company in which he was chosen to lead. Ironically, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also shared his views at the time.
When I hear individuals argue how "public visibility and additional administrative power should make people take a longer view of his personal convictions," I have to wonder if every individual actually in a position of power -- from a small storeowner to the President of the United States -- would be willing to/deserve to be scrutinized for every decision they had made in the past or give explanation for every opinion they have voiced? I think not. Tammy Bruce and Andrew Sullivan are right in speaking-out, contrary to what the popular kids in the LGBT community playground may want to be said.
For a moment, lets consider if the shoe were on the opposite foot. What say Mr. Eich gave $1,000 against Proposition 8, and social conservatives were so outraged they forced his resignation. Now, would there be far greater criticism and action taken against conservatives? Guaranteed.
In regards to future LGBT youth I highlighted in the beginning of this piece, the message from OkCupid should raise alarm for all of us:
"OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure."
Enemies? Really? Are we at a point where we cannot have a discussion or debate and instead must shun everyone around us? This statement does not need explanation. It is awful and contradictory to what the LGBT movement truly represents: tolerance and acceptance, despite a dissenting opinion. "Go with the flow or go away." Is this really the message we want to send to our kids? Life is not all or nothing, or black and white. Grey reigns supreme; it is the golden ticket to the factory of change.
Sure, I (and many others) may not agree with what this man believes, but he should never be told he does not have the right to voice his opinion. A similar argument surfaced on The View several years ago when Barack Obama became President of the United States. Speaking about the President's policies, several Congressman spoke publicly regarding their desire for him "to fail." Now, we would never want the President of the United States to fail, as it points to the overall failure of the country. OkCupid, then, should not be wishing for the failure of anyone who disagrees with them. Statements like these may indeed be voiced out of frustration, but we cannot be grossly careless about closing off opposing points of view. Doesn't this in and of itself set the movement, the future of LGBT youth, up for disappointment, and at its worst, failure?
Recently the term homosexual has been deemed offensive. Again, really? I happen to cringe more when I hear members of the LGBT community referring to one another as "fag" or "queer," but, I digress. Hell, if being gay isn't helping me keep up with all of the rules and regulations of policing the English language, how in the world then do we expect someone who isn't part of our "community" to do the same? We often become angry and vicious, it is quickly turned into "us versus them," and we actually turn-away someone trying to understand who we are. The "I feel, and therefore you are wrong" mentality is not going to benefit our youth when it comes to playing hardball. Are we simply addicted to the adrenaline of protest?
We have a gross acceleration of political correctness (in many areas), which is a little like the previous housing bubble -- about to burst. My fear is that our youth are going to pay the price for our negligence in paying attention to all of our movements' details. We must learn to let go of our desire for instant gratification in all that we seek to accomplish. I could go into depth about how marriage equality must happen in this country, but that it needs to happen in the correct way, at the correct time, with it being done -- legally. When we do not agree with the decisions that our government, our leaders, our friends and family make, outrage is never a positive catalyst for change; focusing on education is where a true revolution begins.
Now, I happen to be conservative -- unapologetically so. And although I am often hammered for my points of view, I cannot help but believe that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. I keep as many friends as possible, both progressive and conservative, for many reasons. It keeps me grounded, informed and always trying to dismantle any assumption and hopefully encouraging a new perspective when needed. We have to consider that yes, certain circumstances have made our journey difficult, but we have the opportunity to make the choice not be perpetual victims. I am not telling you to stop using your voices, I am asking you to not silence the voices of others. The more discourse we have, even in disagreement, the better off the community, our movement, and our society will be.
We need to take a long look at where we are in the present before we can proceed to where we want to be in the future. Are we too sensitive? We most definitely are. And if every dissenting opinion is met with intolerance and hate, we can only expect a backlash the individuals before us fought so hard to remedy. Only this time, I believe the scope and reach of that hypothetical backlash is going to be much, much worse.