Around here, sports are important… especially hockey. It’s a big part of Saskatchewan, and nowhere is that famous Prairie Machismo more apparent than in the locker room. Or so I’ve been told.
Gay jokes run rampant, along with comments about the prissy nature of certain plays or players. It’s a tough place to feel welcome as a member of the LGBTT2QIA community. Any time your personhood is called into question, even if it’s done in jest (sometimes, especially so) it breaks you down. After a while, it can all become too much.
In an effort to curtail this type of anti-gay banter and sentiment, Patrick Burke (in honor of his late brother, Brandon Burke) began a campaign we now know as “You Can Play”. At it’s very heart all it states is that if you can play, you can play. Nothing else matters. It’s something we all needed to hear, and continue to have reinforced.
I encourage you to take a minute to read this article Burke wrote about his brother, the decision to come out, and how it affected all their lives. It is well worth the read, every encouraging paragraph: Never Forgotten, Patrick Burke Remembers his Pioneering Brother.
For more on You Can Play, check out these links:
So next time you’re about to make a joke about how gay someone or something is, stop and think. Just because others do it, doesn’t make it okay. In fact, it’s NOT okay – and people are finally starting to get it. The locker room should be a place of camaraderie, of solidarity… not of exclusion and loathing.
I’m still out sick, officially, but this couldn’t wait:
The Ugandan Parliament is currently looking at a bill that would allow the death penalty for something called “aggravated homosexuality”. Sexual Minority and Gender Variant people in Uganda already face a dangerous rode, as Uganda is one of the few nations where homosexuality is illegal. Please take a minute to write to the Prime Minister, urging him to NOT pass this bill during their upcoming session.
Action must be taken immediately, with a deadline of April 2nd. So please, please take a moment to write a brief email or to send (with guaranteed delivery prior to the second) a letter to the Hon. Amama Mbabzi.
Facing judicial punishment for simply BEING is a human rights travesty, but the idea that an individual could be put to death for love? There are no words that are adequate.
Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi
Office of the Prime Minister
P.O. Box 341, Kampala, Uganda
For more information on this bill, and other human rights issues, please visit Amnesty International at http://www.amnesty.org/ and http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR59/001/2012/en/fa2f38d6-dc7e-44cc-b295-5016f57154c5/afr590012012en.html
So yesterday I didn’t post my photo. Sorry everyone. I wasn’t feeling great in the evening, and by the time we got home from doing a bit of grocery shopping (that we had to stop early because of how I felt) I just crashed right out. I did take a picture though, so am posting it now. 🙂 Believe it or not our little pumpkin head is still in one piece on our front step. LOL I guess he doesn’t have to join his “friends” in the compost just yet. 😉
Now onto something more serious…
I’m always surprised at the comments that people feel completely entitled to make as long as it’s prefaced with “I’m not racist, but…” or “I’m not homophobic, but…” or “I’m not _____, but…”. To some degree I’ve come to expect things like this from earlier generations, it still bothers me BUT I’ve come to accept it. I don’t agree with it, but I realize there is likely little I will do to change their views. However, to hear this from someone who is younger than I am just shocks me. Perhaps it shouldn’t, but it does.
Why do I bring this up? It’s been bugging me for a few days. I was having a polite conversation with an acquaintance who prefaced a statement with one of the aforementioned qualifiers… then proceeded to blurt out several racist stereotypes (which I won’t repeat). I probably had a completely dumbfounded look on my face as I stood there in shock for what felt like an eternity, because he nudged me and asked “ya know?”
Well… actually? I don’t know.
I really thought this type of thing was something people my age (and especially those younger than me) had moved beyond. The idea that someone who would have grown up in the same culture I had would still be holding onto ideas like this just totally threw me for a loop. You can complain about a specific person, a specific incident, without complaining about an entire race of people who are as diverse and eclectic as night and day.
I actually debated about whether to blog this or not. The fact that I’m still bothered by it a few days later is what decided it for me. It really hurt my heart. I hope these things aren’t something my daughter ever has to hear. The only “I’m not ____, but…” she should ever be faced with is this:
I’m not vegan, but I can’t argue with vegan baked goods… DELISH!
My rant over, here’s a picture for today. Marnie (the cream and white Chihuahua puppy) tattling that the other Chihuahuas (blue tri-colour Roo and black tri-colour Ned) won’t share the pillow.
In Saskatoon? Feel a need to be involved in something really important that could change lives for the better? Join us on Saturday evening for one hour in the park. Hold a candle, share a story, listen… and let kids know that IT GETS BETTER!