[Guest Post] GLBTQ Community Grows, Deserves Respect

GUEST POST BY MATTHEW A. LEWIS. VISIT MATT’S SITE AT MATTALEWIS.COM.
If you search the term “gay” on the search engine Google, you get more than one billion results in less than a second. A number of those links are to news stories about Dharun Ravi. Here’s one. Here’s another. If you don’t know who Mr. Ravi is, read the links I provided. Personally I am appalled by Mr. Ravi’s attitude toward homosexuals. 
He should realize this community is growing exponentially. I’m not simply talking about homosexuals, but those who are friends and allies of those who are. I am not saying you have to become gay or even accept this movement as something you believe in, but please, for Christ’s sake understand that this is a community that has undergone some of the most difficult discrimination over the past few decades.
Yes women, blacks and latino/as as well as many others have also been targeted. At some point many of these folks have been subjected to physical and verbal abuse because of the “color of their skin and not the content of their character.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wished physical or outward appearances would no longer be the catalyst for how society judges a person or group of persons. I think we all have the goal in a way – aside from a small, fringe group of extreme radicals. So many have been so oppressed for so long that too many are taking their own lives for fear they will be castigated-in– and cast-out of– society. 
The numbers are widely publicized in the news and on blogs like these, so I will spare you the heart-wrenching facts and stick to something I do best – opinion. I saw a meme on Facebook the other day; it was something I really connected with. 
It said something to the effect of “The rights of gay people are not a political issue, but a human rights issue.”
This country has seen radical and rapid change in a relatively short period of time as compared with other significant changes as viewed through the lens of historical context. This is a good and bad thing. It is often forgotten that this country was not founded upon religious pretenses, but rather religious freedom. Our founding fathers and mothers were escaping a tyrannical system across the pond, which did not allow for political or religious freedom. In this country we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. 
I hope we never forget that. For those who don’t feel the freedom to “be who they are,” I hope you have the brave heart to take on those who are holding you back – and remember you have a friend and brother on the battlefield in me. I won’t lie to you and say it will get better in your lifetime like all those lackluster videos of the “It Gets Better” campaign. The truth is unless you change your own vantage point about this world and try your hardest to make it better, you are as much of a problem as you are part of the solution. 
It takes more than one person, yes. 
But it takes one person at one moment in time to start a revolution – for example George Washington. 
He fought to free our country and became the most powerful man of the newly freed world. When I read stories like the recent one from the Sydney Morning Herald that says that gay youths in Iraq are being beaten to death I start to wonder what purpose our occupation of Iraq served. We now have a country who hates us (more); one that we only invaded to take control their oil reserves. Do the people of Iraq have any more freedom now than they did before our government chose to invade? Was it even our place to invade? Some may argue yes. I argue no. 
Am I an expert? No. Should my political opinions matter? I suppose in some small context, but it likely will only be important to those who care what I have to say. If you don’t agree with what I have to say the let’s have a discussion. That is what this country and great ideas are made of – multiple discussions that lead to a “more common” goal. 
If I make you mad, then either try to convert me or leave me alone, please. I digress. So back on point, if you feel things aren’t improving fast enough, well simply look to America as a beacon of hope – again. The Los Angeles Times put together this map that shows the rights of gays throughout the United States of America. 
GUEST POST BY MATTHEW A. LEWIS. VISIT MATT’S SITE AT MATTALEWIS.COM.
To guest post on http://www.iREADray.com email Ray at rayceojr@gmail.com.

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