Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and this year, I decided to take part in the Blog Hop that was started in 2012 as a way to spread awareness and to help unite our community. I had to. This issue runs near and dear to me, and has since I was nine years old.

See, my parents divorced when I was seven, and my mother moved all of us back to her home state, where the new male figure in my life was my uncle. He was my mother's younger brother, and I adored him for a whole spate of reasons. He was funny, creative, always had a smile for everyone, and best of all, he encouraged me to push my limits, to always try harder, and to never be afraid of taking a risk. I got to see him a lot since he lived with my grandmother and she babysat me and my siblings as my mother worked two jobs to support us.

Then, in 1978, my uncle came out. And my grandmother, a very religious, stubborn woman, kicked him out of the house, their business, and her life. She didn't speak to him for almost two years.

I didn't know the particulars right away. All I knew was that he had moved into town and all of a sudden, I didn't get to see him much anymore. It took some sneaking around to get the answers I wanted, and when I did, I was furious. His absence seemed completely unnecessary, her reaction unjustified. After all, he was her only son, and he was the same person he'd been before he'd come out. Unfortunately, as well as being angry, I was also completely impotent. I was a nine-year-old child living in my grandmother's house, and she ruled over the family with an iron fist. To go against her was impossible.

My uncle was too generous and kind to hold it against her, and eventually, my grandmother began to let him back into her life. He was never allowed to have his boyfriend around, though, and any mention of his personal life was strictly forbidden. To this day, my heart breaks for him. He was forced to deny a big part of who he was in order to have her approval.

That is just wrong.

Ignorance will prevail for as long as people refrain from speaking up against those who would spread their hatred and intolerance. It's up to us to teach our children that this kind of behavior is unacceptable, to understand that who we love does not define who we are, to know that every individual has the right to be whoever they wish.

Don't allow yourself to be held hostage by other people's hatred. Speak up.

GIVEAWAY: I am giving away an e-copy of my latest release, Aria of the Eclipse, to one random commenter. The winner will be announced on May 28th. Make sure you leave your address so I can contact you if you win!

For a complete list of all the participants, check out the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia blog!


KimberlyFDR said...

Thank you for taking part in the hop!

Anonymous said...

I think people telling their stories will be what wipes out homophobia and transphobia in the end.


K-lee Klein said...

As one of the organizers of the hop, thanks so much for taking part. Families are oftentimes the worst detractors for the decision to come out. It's really sad and I hope one day that won't be the case.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking part in this!
Great cause :)

mura32 at hotmail com

laurie said...

Thank you for taking part in the hop!

awindandbooks said...

Thank you for your great post. Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

awindandbooks at gmail dot com

JPadawan11 said...

Thank you so much for doing the hop! That was a great post.


Karl said...

Great that you are participating in the post. Please count me in.


Urb said...

The personal stories on this hop are fantastic! Thanks for sharing yours.
brendurbanist @gmail. com

nancy said...

I hate stories like this but they need to be told. Exposing them to the light shows them for what they are and hopefully shames the perpetrators.

ShirleyAnn said...

Great post so sorry about your Uncle. I hope in the future things will get better.

Sophie Bonaste said...

Thank you for sharing that post and taking place in this amazing hop!

Sophie Bonaste

H.B. said...

Thank you for sharing this story with us. It's unfortunate that your uncle has been subjected to this treatment by a loved one. I'm hopeful that more changes will be made and events like the one your uncle endures will occur less often.

humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

Crissy Morris said...

"Ignorance will prevail for as long as people refrain from speaking up against those who would spread their hatred and intolerance." This. This is why I stand up for what I believe in. This is what it's about. I have a "reach one, teach one" mentality. If we all can reach one person and they reach one person...and they reach one person and so on...then we will see change.

Lena Grey said...

hateful families is something i'll never understand. are their prejudices more important than the happiness of their loved one?

Peggy said...

Thank you for the great post.


Sherry said...

Thank you for taking part in the hop!
sstrode at scrtc dot com