The official advice and interactive forum for Read up, speak up, help out, reach out.

14th November 2012

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Great Song. Inspirational Message.

I have a gay friend in Switzerland. Two years ago, he wrote a song when he had his first boyfriend. As much as they were in love, he didn’t want to be seen in public with him. His lyrics talk about the stares and glances they got as they walked around holding hands. It’s very well written for someone who doesn’t speak English as a first language. He recently put it on YouTube. It’s called “Ghost Town” by SnowWhiteSnow. Please feel free to share with anyone needing to be inspired. <3

Tagged: coming outpersonal essayit gets bettersubmission

1st November 2012

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My small rant in response to my aunts homophobia

Begin Rant: It perplexes me how people can be so homophobic. If my religion states that you should not consume meat then I won’t eat meat and I wouldn’t make it illegal for YOU to consume meat. Don’t use your religion to justify taking my rights away. The main argument is YOU ARE GIVEN RIGHTS I DO NOT GET JUST FOR BEING GAY AND THAT IS NOT FAIR. Think about A FEW of the privileges you have for being a straight couple. 

1) Going wherever you wish and know that you will not be harassed, beaten, or killed because of your sexuality.
2) Public recognition and support for an intimate relationship (e.g., congratulations for an engagement).
3) Expressing affection in most social situations and not expecting hostile or violent reactions from others.
4) Living with your partner and doing so openly.
5) Learning about romance and relationships from fiction movies and television.
6) Having role models of your gender and sexual orientation.
7) Having positive and accurate media images of people with whom you can identify.
8) Expecting to be around others of your sexuality most of the time. Not worrying about being the only one of your sexuality in a class, on a job, or in a social situation.
9) Talking openly about your relationship, vacations, and family planning you and your lover/partner are doing.
10) Easily finding a neighborhood in which residents will accept how you have constituted your household.
11) Raise, adopt, and teach children without people believing that you will molest them or force them into your sexuality.
12) Working in traditionally male or female dominated job and not feeling as though you are a representative of your sexuality.
13) Not being asked “how does sex work for you?” or other too-personal questions by strangers.
14) Acting, dressing, or talking as you choose without it being a reflection on people of your sexuality.
15) The ability to teach about lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals without being seen as having a bias because of your sexuality or forcing a “homosexual agenda” on students.
16) Not worrying about being mistreated by the police or victimized by the criminal justice system because of your sexuality.
17) Legal marriage to the person you love.
18) Knowing that your basic civil rights will not be denied or outlawed because some people disapprove of your sexuality.
19) Expect that your children will be given texts in school that support your kind of family unit and they will not be taught that your sexuality is a “perversion.”
20) Belonging to the religious denomination of your choice and know that your sexuality will not be denounced by its religious leaders.
21) Knowing that you will not be fired from a job or denied a promotion based on your sexuality

I have been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years now and I still have to consciously be aware of my public displays of affection because I would never forgive myself if someone laid a finger on him. You may not agree with the idea of homosexuality and you may even say that you “WOULD NEVER ATTACK A GAY COUPLE”, but there are people out there that believe the same things you do, some may even be your friends, and they would have no problem with beating the crap out of me. Be accountable.

Tagged: coming outpersonal essayquotesit gets bettersubmission

23rd October 2012


Film Series, featuring queer characters

So we’re a group of students at the University of South Carolina.  Some of our gay and some of us allies, but all of us are passionate about telling narratives with LBGTQ characters.  As we all know there’s not nearly enough films out there with non-stereotypical gay characters, especially coming from the South. 

So we got together and created a series, which focused on these amazing characters, who just happen to also be queer.  We’re currently trying to raise funds for this project on Kickstarter, and would love it if everyone could help out.  Even just a dollar would help us out!  

 I can promise that this series will be like unlike anything you’ve seen before as we try to balance religion, patriarchal oppression and just how one can navigate a same-sex relationship in today’s society while also trying to provide an action-packed and visually striking series.  :) 

Tagged: personal essaysubmission

2nd September 2012

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Polite Hate-speech

I am writing this for the many friends, friends of friends, relatives, and acquaintances who feel attacked for their beliefs that homosexuality is wrong.  I have heard the complaint more times than I can count from people I know, sometimes people I respect.  Often it is directed at me.  ”It isn’t wrong to politely voice my religious views,” they say.  ”I have as much a right to them as you have to yours.  What makes your opinions more valid than mine?”

On the other hand, I will still condemn such statements as bigotry and even hate-speech.  I claim they are hurtful, destructive, and socially unacceptable.  Is that unreasonable?  When is it appropriate to politely say “I believe homosexuality is bad”?  Is it ever appropriate?  Why do gays seem to flip out so much over a simple, honest, calmly-stated opinion?

I strongly suspect the lack of understanding between us stems from a difference in our understanding of homosexuality.  If you believe that it is merely a chosen behavior, then it is open for criticism, much like eating habits, smoking, recreational drug use, and health choices.  The statement that homosexuality is wrong is merely a valid opinion on my lifestyle.  It is open for debate, but surely not very offensive.

However, I see my sexuality as an inseparable part of my being.  It is going to sound hateful and bigoted to call it wrong, just like saying “I don’t think being white is a good thing” or “I don’t think being female is as good as being male”. It is attacking an intrinsic quality that I have no ability to change and calling it inferior to yourself. It is rude and offensive. Of course, you may disagree on the nature of homosexuality, but you must at least recognize why many, myself included, will find your words very hurtful and hateful.

This isn’t to say that I see my entire personality as being defined by my “gayness”.  I am not obsessed with defining myself by my sexuality any more than I am obsessed with defining myself as being a woman, being white, being born in the USA or having a Mid-west accent. Those are just parts of me that have always been that way and I can’t change.  If anyone told me that any of those traits were inherently inferior to themselves, I would tell them they are an ignorant bigot and I think most people would agree with me. So why should my homosexuality be any different?

I should clarify that no one has a right to change or silence anyone else’s opinions.  Freedom of thought and speech is a great thing for a nation.  However, it is essential to understand that voicing these opinions is likely to be met with very justified anger.  No matter how politely and calmly you say “gay is wrong”, you are still landing yourself squarely in hate-speech territory because you are attacking an inherent, in-born trait that can’t be changed and calling it inferior to yourself. That doesn’t mean that people should abandon civility and return hateful words with hateful words, but it is certainly naïve to request that your “polite” hate speech be tolerated with openness and friendliness.

Requiring that you (or anyone) believe that homosexuality is good is equally ridiculous: everyone has a right to their opinion. Some opinions should not be voiced out loud, however… especially to the person they refer to. When your opinion is paramount to hate-speech to the individual you are directing it to, you would be wise to keep it to yourself. I snapped at someone who told me that, as a woman, I shouldn’t be in science like men. I snapped at someone who told me that being white means I can’t empathize with blacks. I will also be angry if someone tells me my sexuality is inferior to theirs. It doesn’t mean I am defined by my sexuality or that I am easily offended; it means I have self-respect.  Please respect that.

Tagged: personal essaysubmission

15th August 2012


Interesting Documentary!

This documentary shows just how far off religion is used to persecute LGBTQ. It’s appalling, but intriguing to see how idiotic some religious groups are! I love this BBC journalist by the way!

Thanks for sharing this! I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, but in the brief summary provided, this documentary summarizes the ways that Westboro Baptist Church spreads its messages of hate.

Tagged: quotessubmission

27th July 2012


Judging Judgments

As a disclaimer, I am aware that many people, not just Christians, have a problem with the concept of being judgmental.  I have seen pro-gay advocates and atheists throw the “don’t judge” bomb to shut down discussion as well as Christians.  However, only in Christian circles have I heard the complaint that people are “intolerant of my intolerance.”  This concept is absurd and any rational person should be ashamed to use it to skew an argument.  Let me give an example of an incident I was involved in to introduce this conflict.

I saw a link on my friend’s Facebook page mentioning Carrie Underwood’s claim that she does not believe her Christian faith condemns homosexuality.  My friend, a devout conservative Christian, noted beside the link that he did not know she claimed to be a Christian but “she has this all wrong.”  I made a comment on the link unrelated to homosexuality, pointing out that it seemed she did consider herself Christian since she’d written a popular Christian song “Jesus take the wheel.”  I had no intention of involving myself in controversy when he had not asked for my opinion.

Then a friend of his attacked, bellowing in all caps that Carrie Underwood was “crazy”, “stupid”, and “not a Christian”, along with anyone else who believes the same.  Naturally, I felt a little insulted since her vast categorization would include me, whether she knew it or not.  I wrote a breif and careful response, saying I didn’t want to involve her in an argument about the morality of homosexuality, but that claiming everyone who disagreed with her on this point was stupid, crazy, and non-Christian was judgmental and rude.  Then my own friend stepped in.

“Anna: Saying that it’s wrong to judge is judging.”  Instant shut-down of discussion.

Except it’s not, it shouldn’t be, and we should all know better.  Making moral judgments is not wrong.  Making judgments of someone’s character, past, or future based on almost no information IS wrong.  It is wrong because it is dishonest, hurtful, and breeds prejudice and injustice.  It is wrong because, as human beings and children of God, we’re created and called and have the capability to do better.

Perhaps I’ll ruffle some feathers here, but I have no problem with the opinion of my friend or the lady who offended me that homosexuality is morally wrong.  I disagree with them, but that judgment is theirs to make.  Before they preach their opinion as fact, it would be responsible for them to research both sides of the issue thoroughly.  I do not know if they have.  But, in the end, all people must make judgments of what is proper, moral, upright, and appropriate behavior.  We derive these opinons from the people around us, our culture, our faith, and what we are taught.  By necessity, we must judge our own behavior and the behavior of others by this standard.  We can then determine what actions we consider rude, unkind, or dangerous and we can avoid those behaviors and avoid or confront the people who engage in them.

But there is a world of difference between telling someone “I believe homosexual behavior is wrong” and telling them “and since you disagree with me, I have decided you are stupid, crazy, and not a Christian.”  THAT is the judgmental attitude that is a problem.

These sorts of unsubstantiated insults are no different than calling someone stupid because they dress in different clothes or they have a different accent.  Certainly, clothing choice and accent tell you something about a person, but not enough to paint them with a broad brush of dismissal.  When anyone makes such an assumption for any reason, I will call their comments out as judgmental.  They are welcome to disagree with me, but claiming that my disapproval of their behavior is equivalent to their attack on my character based on unsubstantiated evidence is simply absurd.  Instead, my disapproval is equivalent to their disapproval of homosexual behavior: an opinion that I have already said I will respect.

I will not respect judgmental claims.

Not ever.

So please, stop comparing the maligning of a person’s entire character based on a single trait to the disapproval of someone’s actions.  It is not the same.  Even more, I implore Christians to stop judging whether or not their fellow believers in Christ are, in fact, Christians.  That is the greatest, most harmful, and most un-Biblical insult a Christian could possibly throw at another.  No one has the right to alienate their fellow man from the blood of Christ by their own judgment.  There is only one Judge of that, and some day I intend to answer for myself before him.  No one else has the power to condemn me.

Tagged: personal essaysubmission

25th July 2012


It gets better (:

Hi ! I recently saw your post on Chick-Flick-A  and I already reblogged this under your post but I also want to share with you what our mayor wrote to them, banning them from opening a franchise! 

Enjoy ! (: 

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6th July 2012

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The World offers Hope (LGBT)

I rarely delve into the realm of sappy, sugary musings on the world.  When I feel driven to write, it is usually because something angered me or concerned me or I want to address a problem.  I write to make my voice heard when I feel something is wrong.  But maybe I need to spend a little more of my time writing about the things that I appreciate.  After all, in a few years, I will probably look back at my complaints about a certain law or person or idea that bothered me and feel it is a little outdated.  On the other hand, those things that made a positive, life-changing impression on me will stick with me for a lifetime.  This is one of those things.

A year and 7 months ago, I left my home country, the USA, to study abroad in Germany at an international school called Jacobs University.  I had completed my Bachelor degree just three months before and I was eager to dive into an all-new life with all-new experiences even bigger than those I’d had or imagined.  I got my wish, although not in the way I expected.

The Summer before I left, I fell in love with another woman.

The year and seven months that followed were a roller coaster ride of emotional highs and lows, fears, denial, rejection, pain, and heartbreak.  It changed the way I saw myself, my family, my religion.  It tore some old relationships apart and strengthened others.  It brought me to my knees, to the point that I wished to take my life.  It was certainly a huge distraction from my schooling.

Feeling rejected and condemned by my family, struggling with an overseas relationship, and fighting to fit in with a new culture and new social pressures all at the same time was an overwhelming obstacle.  I regretted coming to Jacobs University at such a time in my life.  Any other time would have been better, it seemed.  Anytime but now.

But blessings rarely announce themselves with fanfare and often they come in disguise.  Until I struggled so deeply with feelings of isolation, I could never have known what it felt like to be surrounded with people from all over the world who embrace me and support me.  The depth of encouragement and joy this has brought me is unlike anything I could have imagined.  Today have friends from Germany, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Iran, Syria, Romania, Algeria, India, Nepal, and Kenya, just to name some, who love me for who I am.  I have a whole world community who united with me in friendship and against prejudice at a time when I needed it the most.  They are my security and my confidence, and I am so grateful to them.  The least I can do, in return, is to spread some of the hope that they gave me to others out there struggling with the same fears of rejection as I did.

My friends in the LGBT community, you are loved.  You are loved by people all over the world.  It doesn’t matter where you are, what culture you come from, or how alone you feel, I promise you, there are friends out there.  Sometimes we just need to trust a little in the worth of our friends and the value of the humanity around us, and just wait and see how much they will exceed our expectations.  My friends did that for me.  I promise to do that for you.  We can all promise to do that for each other.  The world is uniting and changing.  To every man and woman out there who has been part of that change, I give my deepest, most heartfelt thanks.  You people, from all over the world, mean the world to me.

Tagged: coming outpersonal essayit gets bettersubmission

7th June 2012


Free-2-Love! SHOW SUPPORT!

Hey! Two girls from my College just graduated and are trying to start up this blog. Please, help support them and spread the word to your friends.

Blog  :  

Twitter  : @free2love1  

Email  :  

Please share your stories and listen to others!

Tagged: it gets bettersubmission

7th June 2012

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Westboro Baptist Church protest at Olympia, Washington.

Westboro Baptist Church protest at Olympia, Washington.

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