An argument that my younger brother and I always seem to get into happens anytime I mention LBGT rights or anything that I work for that could be consider activism. I get the usual answer of “I don’t want that *insert random LGBT affiliated word here* shoved down my throat, which is generally his way of saying it makes him uncomfortable and he doesn’t want to talk about it. I can respect this and I change the subject after teasing him a little.
The other day he asked me why would someone want to risk their life by coming out as gay. Wouldn’t it be better or easier to keep private matters to yourself rather than put your family at risk? For the most part I agree, your sexual orientation is between you and whomever you chose to be sexually involved in. It shouldn’t be anyone’s business, but that pesky little fact of having equal rights always seems to be a catch.
When you can legally be fired from your job, denied housing, discriminated against for services and a slew of other things just because of who you love, there’s a problem.
If I want to have sex with men and women, it’s my business. I don’t ask people to come watch me be intimate, I never have and I never will. You could even say that I’m a bit of a prude when it comes to sex, but that’s not the subject tonight.
I can understand that for some straight, cis-gendered people those of us that reside within concepts of gender non-conforming, transgender, bi-sexual, gay, lesbian or the vast spectrum that is gender identity and sexual orientation can make one feel a bit uncomfortable. I can completely understand, because this is how I feel several times a year when the Christians hijack my Pagan holidays, bastardize them then claim that they are their own.
First is Easter, or as well call it in the Pagan world, Ostara. Typically celebrated on the 21st of March, Ostara is a celebration of Spring, and can be represented by the Germanic Goddess Eostre. It’s a time of new beginnings, much like the celebration of Easter, which is when Christ supposedly rose from the dead. I don’t say supposedly because I’m trying to be disrespectful, it’s because a) there is really no historic presence of a man from Galilei anywhere outside of the bible and b) the similarity between Christ’s existence and countless deities or Gods before the rise of Christianity is too much to be just a coincidence. Plus, if you factor in the fact that the bible wasn’t written until at least 60 to 100 years after the death of Christ…well somehow I just can’t blindly believe in something written by man that constantly contradicts itself.
Back to Easter.
The baby bunnies, chicks and eggs are all representations of the Goddess Eostre and the Pagan holiday of Ostara, and, in fact have nothing to do with Christ or his resurrection from the grave.
Then you have Halloween or Samhain for us good Pagans, and even not so good. This holiday is losing its favor with the Christians more and more, but still it was claimed as theirs for a while. This is the Pagan New Year, it is the time when the veil between this world and the next are at its thinnest and contact with those that have passed on is easiest.
Costumes and dressing up started as a way to disguise yourself from the potentially evil spirits that walked the earth during this holy day. We used to fear evil, it seems now we just put it into power by electing them for government officials.
Whoops. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.
Next, and this is a BIG one for me, is Christmas.
Ah, nothing like the celebration of massive consumerism and total greed to celebrate the birth of a savior IN THE WRONG MONTH.
First of all, if you estimate the time of Christ’s actual birth, it would have been sometime in the fall, possibly September. There is NO WAY IN HELL, or heaven for that matter, that shepherds would have been in their fields with sheep during the winter. It would have been too cold and they would have been frozen rather than staring at stars in awe of a child’s birth that they wouldn’t meet until he was nearly grown.
Second, December 21st also known as Yule, was celebrated by a plethora of groups of people (not just the Pagans, but also Hindus and Asatru to name a couple) long before Christianity was ever “invented”. This holiday or a variation of it was celebrated by the Celts, Asians, Iranians, Norse, Egyptians, etc. During the rise of Christianity, Christmas or some form of it (Christ’s Mass) was put into place as a way to draw the Pagans away from their unruly and improper celebrations.
These Pagan holy days have been perverted into celebrations for another faith, their backgrounds completely denied and yet I don’t scream at people when they celebrate them. I don’t tell them that they are going to a hell of their faith’s creation because they have absconded with a Pagan holiday and made it their own.
When I’m wished Merry Christmas, Happy Easter or Happy Halloween, I simply smile and return the well wishes to the person because I respect their choices in life that don’t directly affect me.
I deal with the months of Christmas decorations every year, the people throwing fits because of “the war on Christmas” the blatant need for Christians to SHOVE THEIR RELIGION DOWN MY THROAT. Sound familiar?
So, if I have to deal with my holidays being taken and another religion I don’t practice constantly being forced at me by the masses, I think people can understand that for those of us that are LGBT, we deserve the same rights as everyone else. Just because you’ve drunk the kool-aid, doesn’t mean I have. If I can respect the fact that other people have different religions, sexual orientations, morals and such that are radically different from mine, then I damned well expect others to do the same.
(A little side note: I can get very passionate about things I care about at times and I may seem to go a little overboard. I really have nothing against Christians or their holidays, I’m just trying to make a point about respecting other people’s life choices. The concept of Christianity (the whole following the word of Jesus) is actually pretty nifty, and more people that call themselves Christian should follow the teachings of their savior, but that’s a completely different discussion. It was not my intention to make fun of or disrespect any faiths, as I believe that there is truth in all religions. )