s someone who has bullied when I was younger, I know what it’s like to get harassed every day by for being gay. It sucks. As someone who has contemplated and attempted suicide because of that bullying, I know how that harassment can destroy ever bit of your worth as a person. To this day though, I not only remember my bully’s names and faces, I remember those who laughed with their jokes, and I remember those who said nothing at all. In those instances, when I was made fun for simply being me, I desperately wanted someone, anyone, to stand up for me.
No one ever did.
I had to learn how to stand up for myself.
In a recent Webinar I attended through my job working in a library, I learned about how stop bullying, using books. I was really excited to attend this Webinar, because I not only love to read, but bullying is something I have experienced personally. The main point that Emily Bazeldon, who spoke at the event and is the author of the book “Sticks and Stones: The Problem of Bullying and How to Stop It,” tried to get across was that it only takes one person standing up against the bullies. Just one person can stop the entire culture of bullying.
Whether it’s against bullies on the schoolyard, in the classroom, at lunch, in the library, or online, just one person can truly change the culture of what is acceptable and what’s not.
Well, today, the Maricopa County Democratic Party missed the opportunity to change the culture of what is acceptable and what’s not. In a decision to not stand up against a bully, and rather defend him, they chose to not only not change the culture of bullying, but to embrace it.
On Thursday evening, I called on them to barr anti-LGBT City Council candidate Warren Stewart, who is running for an open seat in district eight in the southern part of Central Phoenix, from attending a fundraiser. Instead, they gave me six reasons as to why they will not be barring him from attending a fundraiser they are throwing.
Their six reasons are as follows: 1) the Maricopa County Democratic party supports marriage equality; 2) they support equal opportunities for all; 3) they are not endorsing any candidate in the city council 8th district election; 4) they believe that open and civil dialogue strengthens the
It’s true that the Maricopa County Democratic party says they support marriage equality. They say it right in their own party platform, in a couple of places, actually.
But when I spoke the Maricopa County Party Chair about this matter, I was not only told they wouldn’t be barring him, because as they said, “he is a Democrat” but I was also accused of not doing enough by not working on his opponent’s campaigns (even though I have and will continue to support one Lawrence Robinson for the eighth district, as I have said on this blog).
I have said it once, and I will say it again, Warren Stewart is a bully. A bully we all should stand up against.
But instead of standing up against his principles in the matter, as the Maricopa County Democratic Party should, as their own party platform says they believe in, they instead sit by blankly, and let him continue to try to compete as a Democrat. The Maricopa County Democratic Party had a chance to denounce him, and instead, they chose to do nothing.
In March of this year Steven Simpson was burned together for being gay. He was covered in gasoline while his peers stood by. They stood they while he was lit on fire, yelled anti-gay slurs at, and burned to death.
The Maricopa County Democratic Party says that they believe that we are “our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers” but here we are, the LGBT community being metaphorically covered in gasoline by anti-gay statements made by Warren Stewart, here we are demanding better from our so-called brothers and sisters, and they are just standing by doing nothing.
The Maricopa Democratic Party is worse than a bully because they could do something, but instead they won’t. They might as well be like those who watched Simpson burn to death.