Published on July 1st, 2021 | by Randy Weeks0
The View From The Balcony: Pride and Prejudice
A couple of weeks ago I posted a video I made at “Out in the Grove: A Pride Celebration” held on June 12. The music was great, the event was well-attended, and quite a few organizations that serve and support people in the LGBTQAI community were represented.
Shortly after posting the video, an old college friend of mine sent me a GIF that read:
“Only in America can an ethnic group have Black Awareness Month, Black Holiday, Black only colleges, black only dating sites, black only bars and clubs, and turn around and call everyone else racist.”
I don’t know for certain that the two are connected, but the timing suggested to me that my friend wanted to make a statement about the LGBTQIA community in general, and my post in particular, without making a direct statement about either. Not wanting to jump to confusions* I decided to run my thoughts past my dear friend Jesus. He has amazing insight that’ll make your head spin all the way around.
We met on The Balcony around 2 am on Sunday, June 13. I don’t have a key, but locks aren’t an issue for Jesus. I wore one of my “Jesus Drank Wine” t-shirts and brought my second one (yes, I have two, thanks to my dear friend Amadaes) for Jesus as a joke. He rolled his eyes and gave a slight chuckle, then put it on. Lo and behold, his shirt then read “Jesus Drinks Wine.” Go figure.
I asked Jesus to confirm for me that my friend was trying to make a disparaging comment about the LGBTQIA community without actually doing so. Jesus said, “I dunno. I can’t read minds. But your logic is probably more on target on this than 98.6% of other times. And, if I may add, your deductions in this case are definitely 100% more on target than your deductions on your 2020 tax returns.”
Only in America…
First of all, the GIF wasn’t accurate regarding some of the groups identified as “black only.” There are no Black only colleges or universities in America. There are historically Black colleges and universities. There is no Black Awareness Month. There is a Black History Month. There is no Black Holiday. We do officially observe Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday and Juneteenth.
Only in America…
Now we circle back to the same tired ole thing. The recognition of minority groups is important to the promotion of equality. Minorities, due to their very nature, require certain legal protections due to disparities that continue to be oppressive/unfair for them as a group. That is why we don’t need a “Straight White Man Recognition Day.” We straight White men are already recognized as the dominating (emphasis on “dominating”) special interest group. That makes us even more responsible for working to eradicate legal and social disparities between us and people of color, women, LGBTQIA persons, those with disabilities, the poor, the disenfranchised, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Only in America…
We are allegedly a nation built on the ideal of equality that has historically not practiced equality. The belief that anyone can become anything they aspire to if they only work hard enough in the good ole U-S-of-A is a false belief. It’s a great ideal, but reality is that the cards are stacked against minorities. As long as I (the privileged) deal—and from the bottom of the deck—I get to stay at the top of the stack. The onus is on the privileged to level the playing field. One way we do that is to shed light on the least of these and to give up disproportionate power in the interest of all people being created equal.
I asked Jesus about the verses in the Bible that say that homosexuality is sinful. He gazed into the night for a while then turned back to me. “Context, Randy. Context. Look at the times—the cultures. Look at the reasons things were written. If you followed every word of the Bible literally you could stone your stoned teenagers to death. You could sell your daughters. You could… Look. People don’t have to agree on everything, but if you say you follow your Constitution you’d best treat everyone equally. More importantly, if you say you follow the religion of love, you’d best love—without limits. Feed my sheep.”
And that’s the view from The Balcony.
*(Eye no. Did it on porpoise. Makes cents to me.)
Randy Weeks is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Shamanic Life Coach. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.