June is recognized by most as Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community. This is a time for members of the LGBTQ+ community to reflect on and celebrate being part of this community. To strive to live an authentic life free of persecution, bigotry, hatred, and violence.
On June 1 I was told that people had been posting “Happy Pride” memes in the “Who Loves Rainbows” thread on R2R and that they were being deleted. I decided to add one of my own along with a few paragraphs behind my reasoning. It only took the mods a few minutes to edit my post and completely change the narrative. I would have had no problem if they had deleted my post but to change what I wrote? No, I’m not having that.
I don’t care what the administrators of that site think of me. Delete my posts, ban me, I don’t care. What I do care about is the younger people that are subjected to this hateful rhetoric.
The constant claim of being a “Family-friendly” site are in complete contradiction of their actions. As we used to say, “We’re Everywhere”. Meaning that one might not realize it but chances are that they have at least one family member or friend who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community. They also may be unaware of how their words and actions are affecting people around them who may have chosen to remain silent out of fear.
Kids and young adults who grow up hearing the type of hatred spewed by adults, often reinforced by religious doctrine, learn to live in fear. Studies show that LGBTQ+ youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth. LGBTQ+ youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth. Treating kids and young adults this way is far from “Family-friendly” and welcoming.
Will anything I say or do change the mind of the moderators over there, no. What I do hope is that anyone who feels threatened or helpless reaches out to someone who does care about what they’re going through. Be that me, or any other member of the wonderful reefing hobby that isn’t as close-minded.
I’m adding a link to The Trevor Project with the statistics on suicide I mentioned above. The Trevor Project is also an excellent place to find help, education, and other resources if you need it.
You are seen, you are valid, you are loved. Happy Pride!
Aquarist of the Year – 2020 – Marine Aquarium Society of America
The Trevor Project
Reefs.com Inclusion Forums
Good job. Thanks.
You’re welcome. I wish there wasn’t a need to even discuss this in the 21st Century but here we are.
So true. It has been incredibly disheartening seeing what is happening there. I was an avid supporting/partner member of R2R before the discrimination became clear. Particularly sad to see is all the major retailers that still support them despite the blatant discriminatory behavior. There are alternative forums available.
Sponsorship can be a complicated issue for some. We’ve contacted most sponsors and made them aware of the situation. Pressuring them to leave isn’t the best course of action but keeping them aware helps. Promoting businesses that do support the community and promoting other forums will help.
There is a psychological weapon imbedded in human cultures that has always been there, and has been useful to the development, acquisition, maintenance, and growth of power in human cultures since the very beginning of humankind. It is now, as it always has been, alive and well to various degrees in all human cultures. We don’t want to admit it, or even acknowledge it, but many of us; the ones that don’t realize what they do, the ones that just follow the leader, and the ones that know very well what it is and use it with relish. It goes by many names, very many names in all languages. Some of the most useful and most recognized are prejudice, belittlement, hatred, extortion, self-aggrandizement, demonization, slavery, godforsaken, evil, and even a designation of subhuman.
Religion is often a rationale for implementation of these attitudes and opinions, and in this guise, they may be cloaked in righteousness. It would be unfair to accuse all religious establishments and activities with such horrors, but it would also be erroneous not to admit that throughout ancient and modern history, some but not all religious activity embraces some of these dastardly concepts. These concepts are used usually to denigrate people that are different and often to appropriate something that is desired by the “ruling class”. Land, water, and labor in many forms are usually the objective, but being “different” is often a good enough reason for discrimination and persecution.
The response of violence to overt discrimination is often employed, but seldom, if ever, results in a workable solution. Nonviolence, even in oppressive situations, along with intelligent assertion of a humanity that must be recognized is the best response to cultural discrimination. And this is a long and difficult path. It is not a path with a comfortable resort at the end, but a path with no end, but it can be changed from a superhighway to just a narrow path through a few rocks and weeds that can be navigated with pride and success.