Voices In the Dark

voices-in-the-dark

Celebrating every type of person does NOT give you the right to bash or exclude certain types of people or a gender simply because they have historically had more power or more impact or more of a voice.

My voice shouldn’t drown out my husband’s voice. My black and awesome friend Marcellus’ voice shouldn’t drown out mine. My bi friend Sally’s voice shouldn’t drown out his. And my Hindu friend Kiran shouldn’t drown out Sally.

Every time individuals come together to promote one gender, one “race,” one differentiation of humanity as more important than another…Well you’ve successfully become just like the racists, misogynists, homophobes and all the other haters.

We. Humans. Are all equal in worth.

I don’t need a gender or a skin color to tell me how cool you are. (Although some gages and tattoos let me know we might be good friends. Possibly some unnatural hair colors, too.) The way we look shouldn’t divide us. The way we speak shouldn’t divide us.

Instead, we are divided because of our own selfish pride and need to be right. 

It’s great to show support to people who are suffering or being mistreated. It’s great to stand up to acts of brutality or obvious unfairness. It’s commendable to show friendship and love to people who hate you or are different from you.

But don’t do any of that at the expense of other people.

I’ll use my husband, Joshua, as an example. He grew up so poor that he lost out on 2 growth spurts because of malnutrition. He suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Because of the malnutrition he was taken away from his parents and put into the foster care system, where he bounced around a lot of different homes before being placed in a boy’s home. He was adopted as a late teenager by his great aunt on the condition that he work a part-time job while finishing high school. At 19 he joined the military and was deployed to Korea for a year and then to Iraq. When he was discharged from the military he tried to use the GI bill to pay for school, but ended up with lots of debt due to the bill only covering his first year of college. He works full time now in basically a data entry job and does artwork and comic books on the side (working toward this becoming a career).

He never had real supportive parents, although his parents weren’t the worst. He never got hand-outs. He was so poor at points in his adult life that he was washing his clothes in the bathtub.

He has white skin. His lineage is Irish, which is why he burns instantly in the sun.

He falls within the type of people on this planet that receive the most vehement hatred on this thing called the Internet. Most people would define him as a straight, white male and write him off as privileged and, by nature of his gender and skin color, a waste of space, a potential rapist, a hater, a misogynistic creep…many more.

Throughout his entire life Joshua has supported women, including the wonderful lady who finally adopted him and his fabulous Aunt Tina. He has made friends with people from all different backgrounds and nationalities, including a close friend from Korea. He has maintained healthy friendships, dialog and support with people with all different sexual orientations. He has never hated anyone simply for their looks.

Joshua has pale skin.

Joshua is a man.

Joshua is straight.

Joshua is a loving, real, suffering, genuine human being.

He is no less important just because there have been humans before him who were selfish tyrants intent on squashing anyone who was different.

When you devalue certain types of people as a group, you devalue a bright and beautiful man who has always striven to include the downtrodden, the different, and the rejected.

When you step onto your soapbox and blast an entire group in order to build up your own group, you become the thing you are criticizing and insulting. Welcome to the Nazi brotherhood, the Ku Klux Klan and the rest of the haters.

You’re just secured your membership by grinding a human being under your words.

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Writing in Public

Was sitting in that coffee place yesterday, working on a screenplay.  After a little while, my director dude, producer of all, man-in-charge showed up.  We proceeded to speak in-depth about the screenplay: story problems, actors, special effects, shooting time, budget and other things I might not remember at this moment.

We segued into an animated discussion of space travel and ship design and how long it takes to get to Venus.  With two such scifi nerds as us, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  I think we only heatedly disagreed on the age of the characters.

While we were talking, loudly and in public, the guy at the table next to us piped in.  He explained that he was retired military.  He informed us that the government never denied the existence of alien spacecraft and that way back when he was in the military they had things like iPads, except they were more advanced.  He concluded that there was advanced alien technology here on earth.

Okay, thanks.

I looked at my director/big cheese to gauge his reaction to all this.  He just smiled good-naturedly and thanked the man for his input.

It made me wonder, how many cultures in the world would allow perfect strangers the opportunity to converse about government conspiracies?  I happen to be writing a script about aliens.  He happens to be ex-military and know about aliens and UFOs.  What are the odds that we would sit next to each other in that coffee place?

This is another great reason to write in public.  You never know who you might meet.  They may make a better story than the one you’re slaving over.