5 Ways to Respond to Anti-Gay Rhetoric on the Streets


In continued celebration of LGBT Pride month, today I’m hosting an article provided by Alyssa Miller from San Diego, about the importance of equality and how to respond to anti-gay rhetoric.

5 Ways to Respond to Anti-Gay Rhetoric on the Streets

As the discussion surrounding gay rights gets louder, the loudest representatives on opposite sides of the spectrum get the most airtime. At times, it appears we’re on the verge of another civil war.

Gay Rights are Human Rights

Photo by Flickr user ep_jhu

When we compare cable TV rhetoric to most of the actual conversation in bars, coffee shops and restaurants, we have reason for optimism about the chance for civil discussion. Still, some on both sides of the debate feel harsh words and loud screams are the best way to discuss our differences. Rather than joining the vitriol, gay advocates can set an example and approach hurtful opponents with respect.

Noble Silence is Often Louder Than Words

There’s much to be said about Fred Phelps of GodHatesFags.com and his God hates bigots brood. The logic is often difficult to follow as they stage anti-gay demonstrations — over 50,000 — at the Emmy Awards, celebrity funerals and most sadly, the memorials of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although despicable to most, Phelps’ clan have been upheld as free speech by the U.S. Supreme Court as recently as 2011, citing an article from CNN.com. Protesters who’ve organized to attest against Westboro Baptist Church have often led to chaos, violence and sheer stupidity. Recently, anti-Westboro demonstrators have begun to stage silent protests at the military funerals. Holding American flags, these non-vocal protesters formed a protective wall between the Westboro congregation and bereaved families. Not only did their behavior help underscore the shrill unreasonable chants of the anti-gay protesters, but their physical presence allows police to protect the families and silent protesters.

The Chick-fil-A Nonsense and the Conservative Chicken Fryers

Do you remember the guy who made fried chicken but also hated gay folks? Yes, we’re talking about Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy, who Time confirmed was ranked fourth as the “Top 10 Everything of 2012” scandals, who started a national controversy, or a nationwide Internet session.

Subsequent investigations by journalists revealed that significant portions of the company’s profits were used as donations to pro-family and anti-gay groups. This information and an appropriate response to it was lost in the debacle of LGBT’s meaningless and utterly unproductive Same-Sex Kiss Day demonstration. Not only did it fail to accomplish any goal or open a dialogue, it fed into the bias of the pro-family groups.

Don’t Object to Bias Selectively!

While it’s always easiest to argue against discrimination or bias that directly influences you or someone you care about, prejudice is prejudice because it’s wrong. Practice politely objecting to all forms of the bias you encounter, whether or not it directly influences you or your loved ones.

The History of Anti-Gay Activity and Gay Pride

As suggested by Huffington Post, celebrate the month’s designation as Gay Pride Month by learning about the history of gay discrimination and the genesis of the gay pride movement. A great deal of information to use in future battles can be found in the history of the gay pride movement.

Find a Friend!

Face-to-face, calm and forthright communication with someone with whom you disagree about an issue can be an eye-opening experience for you both. Agreeing to disagree, seek to explain your position(s) and vice versa. Agreement isn’t the goal — communication is.

How do you respond to anti-gay rhetoric?

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