Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thoughts on controversy

Opinions abound...so please keep everything respectful!

Today Old Navy announced on their Facebook page that they are selling Gay Pride shirts in 26 selected stores across the country in support of June being Gay Pride Month. A few of the early comments fell along the lines of "Why select stores?" "Please make them available online", etc. Then came the more pointed comments. People on both sides of the issue were calling others names...and I can't help but be reminded of Thumper's Momma: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
People were asking why these people needed shirts and support--by the way, ON is donating 10% of each shirt to "It Gets Better"--because of their sexual orientation. Saying that they wanted a "Straight Pride" shirt....well, last time I checked straight people weren't harassed for the sole reason of their sexual orientation.
I want people to see others as PEOPLE. Not their sexual orientation, not their heritage, not how they dress or wear their hair. It seems to be worse on the internet where people can say whatever they want without having to look at the person they're speaking to...people forget that there is a person with feelings on the other side! I know that sometimes it's hard to get exactly what you mean across without tone, inflection, and body language, so sometimes things get taken the wrong way, but those times are honest mistakes or mis-communication.
Everyone has an opinion and we can disagree with each other and go on with life. I don't think ANYONE should force their opinions on anyone else, no matter what they are. State your opinion and why you think that, educate--sure. I'm ALL for education and shedding light on things that may not be widely known, but if someone still continues to disagree with you, respect them and their choice. I have strong opinions on how children should be raised and treated and will share them with others, but I will not tell another mother that she is wrong or a bad mom because she's doing something differently than me! I expect the same in return. I will gladly listen to another opinion, and when presented with facts and information, I will look at everything and possibly reevaluate my position.
See how this is about so much more than Gay Pride? It boils down to basic human respect. I hope that Munchkin grows up to be tolerant of other people and cultures, even if she doesn't agree with what they believe. I hope that if she has a friend that is gay (like Mommy does!), she will see them for their whole person, not just that part of them. I may not completely understand the lifestyle that others live, but they may not understand mine. I'm also reminded of another quote I've seen (and unfortunately, don't know who to credit) "Be nice to everyone, for they're fighting a battle you know nothing about." You do not know a strangers story--or even some of your friends, unless they choose to share it with you.
Also, just to let you know--ON's Pride shirt says "LOVE PROUDLY". I think that's something EVERYONE should do, regardless of who you love.

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