International Day Against Homophobia is May 17th. To help spread the word and get people thinking about what homophobia is, what kinds of damage it can cause, and how we can all help to combat such discrimination and hatred, I’m participating in the Blog Hop Against Homophobia.
To view links to all the blogs participating in the hop and how you can enter each giveaway, go to http://hopagainsthomophobia.blogspot.com.
Keep reading for details on how to enter to win a copy of my latest eBook TAKE ME HOME.
SLOAN’S MESSAGE ABOUT HOMOPHOBIA
There are many ways people discriminate. One I’d like to share about today is discrimination through the support of laws that continue to ban gay marriage, or more precisely the act of discriminating by not supporting marriage equality.
There are many people who do not consider themselves to be homophobic. They know (and often love) gay men and women. They’re family and friends and coworkers and neighbors of LGBT people. They say they have no issues with gay relationships. Yet, they do not believe we need a federal law for marriage equality. They do not understand or acknowledge that gay and lesbian couples need the same protections afforded heterosexual marriages. Perhaps they are in favor of civil unions or some other designation for gays and lesbians, but are opposed to calling it marriage.
The thing is…Separate is not equal. Unequal leaves a lot of room for discrimination to occur, leaves room for legal interpretations that are not the same as the rights automatically granted to married couples.
A scenario like the video I’ve included below, and even worse—not being allowed to say good-bye or to care for my partner in an emergency—is a fear I live with every day. Without going into a long history of our lives, I’ll just say situations similar to what you’ll hear about in this video are a very real possibility in my life.
And yeah, that scares the hell out of me. Even after 20+ years of living with my partner, and no matter how many legal documents we sign, we are not married.
I have a roommate.
If you’re unsure about the federal government stepping in to legalize gay marriage, to protect gay and lesbian couples under the same rights as heterosexual marriages, please watch this video to the very end, and give it some thought.
What if that was you? What if that was your child?
Here’s what Shane says on the video’s YouTube page:
“It has been said that sharing personal stories is one of the most effective ways to change people’s hearts and minds. This is my story and I hope you are inspired to share it with others.”
For more information on combating homophobia, to donate to a worthy cause, or learn about more ways you can help, check out these sites:
- Americans for Marriage Equality
- The Coalition for Equal Marriage (UK)
- The Trevor Project
- Stop The Hate
- Straight But Not Narrow
- GLBT National Help Center
I’m giving away an ebook copy of Take Me Home for the Blog Hop Against Homophobia. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post stating you’d like to enter the giveaway. If you are unable to leave a comment for any reason, shoot me an email and I’ll add your comment for you.
Be sure to include a valid email address in the email form field in order to be entered in the drawing. Your email address is for my use only (in order to contact the winner). It will NOT be published on the blog or used for marketing/promotional purposes.
This contest ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 20th.
The winner will be randomly selected on May 21st and contacted via email. I’ll also post the winning name in a new post on the blog.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out Shane’s video!!
I have a dear friend who has spent many a Thanksgiving with my family. He is not homophobic, and he adores my moms. He, personally, can’t imagine any reason why my moms (or others like them) shouldn’t be able to legally marry each other.
However, he is also very religious. Because of that, he’s said if he is ever presented with an option to vote for or against gay marriage, he’ll vote against. Because the Bible says it’s wrong, he’s afraid to find out what God would do to us if we legalize it.
What do you say in response to that? What can you say?
In MN, there’s going to be a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November to ban gay marriage. It makes me so, so angry.
Love should always triumph over hate and I believe it always will :)
A wonderful giveaway and a wonderful post.
So sad that the states are trying to pass (and some have passed) legislation that actively discriminates against a large portion of our population. Makes me so angry.
I would like to be entered in the contest.
thank you for sharing this with us today.
Thank you for your blog Sloan. The more that people talk about it the more educated we all become and maybe someday it won’t even be an issue. Anyone and everyone should be able to marry the adult person they love.
Also thanks for giving away Take Me Home but I already have it as I do all your books so don’t include me in the contest. I just wanted to say I absolutely loved it and am looking forward to more of your wonderful work.
This video is really moving (I cried through 3/4 of it) and made me think more about marriage equality.
I just wanted to say that. I’m not entering the contest, because I have Take Me Home (enjoy the story very much).
I have seen this video before and it is just so sad that he was treated that way.
Please don’t enter me – I already have this book. :)
Great post. Living in Canada I don’t get it. If the people screaming about the world coming to an end would look beyond their own nose, they’d see plenty of prospering law-abiding countries that have not gone to hell in a hand basket due to gay marriage. Sigh.
I know a man that has been with his partner for more than 20 years. His entire family loves and accepts the relationship. They attended a family wedding recently and the family went nuts when they decided to dance together. They have never danced together in front of his family and I guess they won’t again. The saddest part is that they truly love each other and they were there to celebrate some else’s wedding. They can’t have their own wedding. It is just so wrong. Thanks for participating in the hop!
I’m Canadian. We have same-sex marriage. We’re doing OK here…no fire and brimstone raining down. ;)
I don’t get it. I just don’t see how 2 people loving each other, wanting to commit to each other, hurts ANYONE ELSE! How does it affect the grocer down the road, or the bank teller cashing their cheque, or the myriad other people they come in contact with each day? Yeah, I just don’t get it.
I saw that video a while ago…so heartbreaking.
Please enter me for the contest. :)
Thank you for the wonderful post, Sloan. * hugs*
I have shared and shared and shared this video, “It Could Happen To You”. It never ceases to break my heart. My son and I used it to discuss relationships at a very serious level. It’s just amazing that Shane had the compassion and bravery to put this out to help others during such a time of deep personal grieving and pain. If ever there was a message that ‘love is love’ and that there should be marriage equality, here it is.
No need for the contest here either, I have the book as well.
Thank you for sharing this Sloan. I just want to hug you and Shane. I wish you were going to GRL and I could smother you and SO with all my squishy hugs. I will keep fighting to help gain marriage equality. It is just the right thing to do.
I have all your books but this one, so if I can get it, then YAY, if not, I still send you all my snuggles.
Hugs and Love! Bella
OMG the things we take for granted. Up till now I thought it was about basics like taxes and day to day stuff. I didn’t think about loss & estates & being invisible. Thanks for sharing. Shane’s words. “I’ll keep talking” – if that’s what it takes. I’m glad that I live in Canada but the whole world needs to change. Don’t enter me. I have your book.
Thanks for a wonderful post. Watched that video of Shane and Tom yesterday and I lay awake last night with my heart aching for that man. So wrong. I have a cousin who has been with his partner for 18 years too but they’ve never been allowed to get married. It will take all of us to stand against this united.
Thank you for your sharing. I totally agree, separate is not equal. I have seen that video, and it made me cry. Thank for re-sharing it. Thank you for joining the HAH! —wtprater
This video was very difficult to watch. I had to pause it at times, and take a deep breath. I can only imagine what would be like to watch it if it could be my reality, as in your case.
I have a roommate.
This single sentence almost broke me. *hugs to both of you*
I already have this amazing book, I am just dropping by to say thank you for participating and sharing your post with us.
This video broke my heart, thank you so much for sharing it. I’ll never understand the mind-set of those who think same sex couples shouldn’t have the same rights as het couples. Love is love. Period. If you are lucky enough to find it, hang on tight with both hands and never let go.
Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments!! I’m in tears reading all of them. You have no idea how much hearing you share and offer your support means to me and Rosie. THANK YOU!!
jeayci: I’m very sorry that someone who means so much to you and is obviously otherwise supportive of your moms feels that way. Would it be possible to point out areas of the Bible that you know he doesn’t agree with/approve of/follow and use those to offer an alternative view for him? I’m not an expert on that book but I’m thinking Leviticus would have some good stuff to share about slavery and other “rules” of how to live that might work. I remember that Dr. Laura letter that was going around the Internet for a long time. That had some good stuff in it to argue the point about not taking the words in the Bible literally in today’s world. In any case, I imagine that is very frustrating for you and your family. hugs to you all!!
Chris: I hadn’t heard that one. How very sad. Some days I live in a nice gay-friendly bubble and I see progress all around me, and then I am reminded that in many ways we also keep taking huge steps backward. *hugs*
KimberlyFDR: Well said!! Thanks for stopping by and being a part of the blog hop. It means a lot.
Louise: I agree. It is so discouraging and frustrating and sad to see all this continued movement to pass legislation that blatantly discriminates. But I will say, I do have hope for the future. I believe positive change is coming. There are so many of us who “get it.” Especially in the younger generation. Even with all the news of bullying going on, I believe the kids today are more open and supportive of differences than ever before. I have hope!! Thanks again for sharing, Louise.
Andrea: you got it. Thanks so much for stopping by!
kerry: Appreciate you checking out the post and being a part of the hop!
Diana: I think we’re on our way. There’s been so much movement forward in the past twenty years. True, we seem to be going backward a lot lately, but I do believe good things are coming. Less legislation that discriminates, less bullying and violence against gay youth, less hatred and intolerance. It’s coming!! I have to believe it is. And thanks so much about my writing. So glad to hear you’re enjoying it.
Joan: Thanks for sharing. I cried too, my partner cried, then we watched it together and cried. We were a sobbing mess over here, but I think it’s an important one to share. Shane was brave enough to put his life and feelings out there and it illustrates so well one of the reasons we need marriage equality. Really glad you enjoyed Take Me Home. Thank you so much for sharing!
Susan R: Definitely a moving video that I hope makes a lot of people think. There are many people in the world who are good, decent, loving people who don’t want to discriminate but for whatever reason can’t get behind marriage equality. I hope Shane’s story helps them see it in a new way. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Tam: What a great point. You all are still standing strong. Heterosexual marriages in Canada haven’t been completely decimated, right? That’s such a good argument to point out to people. Thanks!!
Jen B: How very sad. They were among family and friends and should have felt supported. Hugs to them both!! Thanks for sharing that story and giving us another example of why it’s so important to show our support where we can. I remember after I officially came out my sis-in-law told me that Rosie and I made a great couple. She’s one of the only people who’ve ever said anything like that to me. No matter how much my family loves me, they just don’t talk about us as a “couple” much. Even little comments like what my sis-in-law said can mean a great deal, especially when you feel like your relationship is often “invisible” to others.
I don’t see how anyone could be against people wanting to commit to each other for life. Wonderful (if heartbreaking) post…
Maya: Very well said. I’ve never understood the argument about gay marriage ruining marriage or affecting other marriages in any way. I seriously don’t get it. Not sure I want to. Thanks for the comment!
Tara: Thanks! Really appreciate you checking it out. *hugs*
Karen: So glad to hear you’re sharing Shane’s video and that it was useful in talking with your son. It definitely deserves to be seen and talked about and cried over. Huge thanks to Shane for sharing his story with the world. Thanks for stopping by the blog!
Bella: You’re very welcome. Thank you for continuing to fight for marriage equality!! If we were going to be at GRL this year you’d be getting a huge hug right back. Hugs and love to you!
Mary G: Thank you so much for sharing. It means a lot that you’ll keep on talking about it. If we all keep thinking about it and talking with people about it and sharing stories like Shane’s, then we are bound to affect change in small ways with the people we come across in our lives who don’t want to vote for/support equality. I remember this one story I read years ago about a lesbian couple. They were on vacation with their young children somewhere here in the US (in a different state than where they lived). One was hurt (I can’t remember how) and was taken to the hospital. The hospital would not let her partner in to see her. She died and her partner never had a chance to say goodbye or be with her in her final moments. If I’m remembering correctly, they did have some sort of paperwork, maybe a health care power of attorney, but I don’t remember all the details. Honestly, that stories still scares the life out of me. Rosie is my everything, and if I couldn’t be there for her in the end, if I couldn’t be there to take care of her, I don’t know what I would do. I’m so glad we have our neighbor Canada as a wonderful example of what the US should be striving for. Thanks again for the comment, Mary.
Vona: You’re welcome. I was the same way when I watched it. My heart goes out to Shane and everyone else who’s had to live with this kind of pain and rejection on top of the loss and grief. Congrats to your cousin and his partner on their many years together. Here’s hoping they are “officially” married very soon.
William: You’re welcome and thanks so much for stopping by to check out my part of the hop.
Sarah: It was a tough one, wasn’t it? Glad you made it through the video. It’s so very touching and heartbreaking and that just shows how much of an amazing job Shane did with it. Hugs to you too! Thank you so much for your support!
NJ: Thanks for stopping by (and for the kind words about the book). Really appreciate you guys putting together an event around such an important topic. Thank you!
Sandym: You are so right when you said, “Love is love. Period. If you are lucky enough to find it, hang on tight with both hands and never let go.” So true!! I guess that’s the most frustrating part. I know how very lucky I am to have someone in my life who gets me, who loves me, who laughs with me and is there for me when I need ANYTHING. Who loves what I’m writing and helps me brainstorm solutions, who listens about my writing struggles (even when she has to put down her lesbian romance she’s reading to talk about my boys…LOL), who supports me every step of the way. Even when we are bickering or arguing she’s still the best part of my day. I want everyone to find love, and I would never begrudge their happiness. I would never want to make anything about that relationship difficult for them. Love is love. So true, Sandym. Isn’t life too short to believe otherwise? Thanks!
Trix: Thanks so much! Hard to understand, isn’t it? What is so bad about wanting to be married? Guess, we’ll just keep shacking up for now. LOL. Really appreciate you taking the time to check out the post and leave a comment.
Thank you for sharing your story & the video.
It was very moving. I TOTALLY AGREE, No matter who you love, you should have the right to have your relationship acknowledged legally as well as publicly.
Thank you again.
That is simply heartbreaking! I cannot believe Tom’s family, though I know folks like that exist. What a very potent message for equality.
I’ve seen this video before and its very moving. My heart ached for Shane. Could go on forever but we’re all the converted here – need to go out and convert others!!
I’d like in the comp pls
This is such a sad video. My heart goes out to that grieving young man. Let’s hope his message resonates through the hearts and consciences of those who oppose rights for same sex marriages and makes them think again.
I posted that video on my blot hop post. It still haunts me I can’t watch it again but I am concerned about Shane. I hope he is doing okay.
Thanks for posting Sloan. pLease enter me in your contest
yinyang1062 at yahoo dot com
Every time I see that video I want to cry. It makes me think of friends of mine who are committed to each other who worry about this. It makes me think of what I’ll have to endure one day. It’s heart breaking, it’s wrong and it makes me angry. That the misguided, mistranslated words of an ancient text, a religion that is all about love but has been so twisted and now represents bigotry and hatred and ignorance has the power to deny so many people the right to civil liberties, the right to love and be loved, to share their lives, legally, with whomever they choose to love, is beyond wrong. Thank you Sloan for sharing this video and for this post. We must make sure that we never stop fighting for equality.
*all teary* What a sad video. But he is right no one is gonna listen if we don’t talk. Thank you for sharing this.
Thanks for participating in the HOP.
I live in WA state where we will have marriage equality starting in early June. The bill was passed in February. I can’t tell you how happy I was when it passed. I just moved from IL where we have same-sex unions but not marriage. It breaks my heart that a partner can be banned from seeing their partner in the hospital.
Thank you for the lovely giveaway.
OMG, that video tore my heart out! How can people be so cruel and filled with hate? The family hated who their son was, but still wanted his body back? That doesn’t make sense.
I hope Shane sees the support and love that so many people are sending him and in some small way it helps.
Thank you for sharing.
I showed a bunch of these post to the teens in my family to show them how hurt some “innocent” remarks are to many others. I get so annoyed when my nephew says “you’re so gay”. ERRRR drove me crazy. I know he didn’t mean anything by it but it is so wrong to use that as a saying. I think that these post have helped. Thank you all for sharing with us!
Would love to enter the contest and thanks for sharing.
I have seen that video before and it really gets the message across.
I don’t see why people can’t understand that equal rights should be equal for everyone. It isn’t the most complicated concept for crying out loud.
I hope that one day things will change for the better.
And of course I would love to enter your contest. I adore your books.
Thanks so much for the video, needed to see it. I would love to be entered in the giveaway.
That video broke my heart! So brave of Shane to put it together in his situation! I can’t understand how people can be so cruel! This needs to stop! Nobody should ever have to face such a situation. This video really sums up what most straight people might not even realize: it’s not just a ceremony and a title and the benefits with taxes same sex couples are not allowed to have, marriage equality includes so much more! How can you be not allowed to stay with your loved one at the hospital? Thank you so much for sharing the video and your personal story.
Btw, I already have your books and enjoy them immensely!
Sloan, I don’t know if I could handle not being able to be recognized as my husband’s wife. I know that if something comes up I’m the first that they contact and it being any other way would just tick me off. I hate that you have to go through that with your love. It’s just not fair and it’s so wrong on so many levels.
Please enter me in the contest. That video was so moving, I shared it on my timeline on facebook. Waiting for my friends to tell me off for not warning them about the need for copious tissues but I hope it makes them really think about the marriage issue when it comes up again in Australia.
Thanks for sharing with, some of the things I’ve read on this hop are so sad but personal stories are necessary to open up people’s eyes. I would like to be entered in the contest.
Thanks for posting this Sloan – I’ve seen it a few places recently and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Unfortunately that little home town of Tom’s is just over the county line in the next county from where I live and I’m sorry to say I was not the least bit surprised about the reaction. There are far too many gun-toting homophobes in this state if you ask me. I makes me sick to see this kind of thing happening in the 21st century. Separate but equal is inherently unequal – something that should have been put to rest in 1954! But apparently we are very slow learners in this country.
Oh and please don’t enter me in the contest as I already own all your books :)
Meka: You’re welcome. Thank you so much for watching it and for all your support!
Eden: Wasn’t that just the hardest video to watch? I ache for Shane, and like you, just can’t believe how Tom’s family treated him. But you’re right, sadly there are people who would act that way. So very sad. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my post.
Suze: You’re so right. The numerous inherit benefits in a legalized marriage–that gay couples do not have access to–are definitely something I hope we can get more and more people to think about. The various ways non-married couples can be left out of each other’s lives (and sadly their deaths) is quite numerous. I once saw a pamphlet that listed all the rights granted a married couple in the US, but sadly, I don’t have a copy of it. It was quite a long list and things I hadn’t even considered. I think many people take for granted that everyone’s legal “next of kin” is someone they want it to be. But for many, that’s just not the case. I suppose that’s true for many single people too. :)
Jess: Very well said! I hope people really listen and hear his message.
Linda: So glad you shared this one too. Yeah, I can’t bring myself to watch it again either. I feel so awful for anyone who’s lost someone like that, but his story makes it even worse for people like him.
Vic: You’re so right about those words being twisted to represent bigotry and hatred. It is frightening how much power there is behind them, that people feel the need to hate and discriminate against others who only want to love who they love. Like you said, that’s why we must never stop fighting for equality. Thanks for sharing!
dorome: Wasn’t it brave of him to share his story? You’re right, we have to keep talking about it. Thanks for stopping by!
gigi: You’re welcome. Thanks for checking out the post!
StacieD: You’re welcome. I was so happy to hear about the passing of marriage equality in WA state. Every time it feels like a giant step forward for all of us. Thanks, Stacie!
Penumbra: That’s such a good point. The parents obviously didn’t have any understanding or love for who their son was. I too hope Shane knows that many people care about what he went through and want to fight so no one else has to be pushed aside like they are nothing. Thanks for sharing!
foretta: I’m so glad you think the posts are making a difference. Yay to you for sharing them with the teens in your life. If we are helping just a handful of people think before they speak and act, then this blog event has been totally worth it. Thanks for making a difference!
Yvette: Thanks so much for stopping by.
LM: Yes, I’m amazed at how complicated people make some issues. I do have high hopes for the future, though. I see glimpses of positive changes every day. Let’s keep on hoping.
Juliana: You’re welcome. Really appreciate you taking the time to watch Shane’s video.
StormyMonday: Isn’t it so very frustrating? Sometimes I have to turn my thoughts off it’s so hard to think about what Shane and others have gone through. It’s so frustrating that others can’t see it. But I won’t stop hoping and talking about it. Thanks for your support and comment. And thanks about my books too! That means a lot.
Leaundra: Thanks so much. You have no idea how wonderful it is to know we have so many people like you standing strong behind the LGBT community.
Kelsey: Thanks so much for sharing Shane’s video with others. It’s people like you and sharing personal stories like Shane’s who are going to make a difference with the people we can truly reach. Thank you!
Layladawna: You’re very welcome. Really appreciate you checking it out! And you’re right. The consequences of homophobia and sharing personal stories is something we really need to keep on doing.
Sadonna: You’re welcome. Sounds like it’s a good thing Tom was able to move away from that kind of environment and live his life the way he wanted for as long as he could. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.