Saturday, December 06, 2008

Social change: yes, we can!

Fred Phelps and his hateful followers were planning a protest at a community college in a town about an hour north of me, because the college is putting on the play "The Laramie Project."

Several fearless feminist, progressive friends of mine (is that redundant?), who didn't think Phelps and his fellow assholes would show up, nevertheless went to the counter-protest supporting, well, the opposite of hate.

Phelps didn't show - but about 300 people against his hateful antics did!

I am amazed because this is a super conservative mill town (I used to work there. Guess who didn't fit in?) that's typically behind the social times by about 50 years.

My three friends were debating whether or not it was better to go or not to go, because to go would give Phelps attention if he and his minions showed up - but this was my (straight) friend's take:

My take on it is:
Fuck them.
This isn't for the Westboro Baptist Church; this is for all the good citizens of Cowlitz County who so dutifully rallied around the "Celebrate Diversity" mantra last year without even once mentioning the word "gay". This is for all the folks who marched in the diversity march because they so self-righteously stand behind rights for African Americans and yet feel that they can hide behind their religious beliefs in order to discriminate against gays.
As far as I'm concerned, it's more of an in-your-face "Accept all types of diversity or go stand on the other side of the street with the Phelpses, assholes!" message to this community.
There's absolutely no message that the Phelpses are going to hear and comprehend so I repeat--Fuck them.

I was proud of her.

And my god...if that many people can show up on a winter day to protest anti-gay hate, we are moving forward toward civil rights for all.

I am looking forward to that day.


Granny Annie said...

All protests are simply ways to avoid having to deal with the primary age old issue of discrimination against women. We are freely discriminated against regardless of race, sexual preference, religion, disability, etc.

Riot Kitty said...

Good point! It makes me mad, quite a lot. I was really lucky to have been raised by a feminist dad. I never doubted that I could do anything I wanted, AND I grew up hearing that women were superior and men were pigs!

Scarlet said...

Your (straight) friend makes a lot of sense.

leftcoast said...

I think that we're moving into a new era with the new presidential administration.

I agree with the President-elect that we're not gay Americans or straight Americans; we're just Americans. The churches that preach against gay rights, calling them "special" rights, are just plain un-Christian.

joel wyatt said...

Hell's yeah there's such a thing as special rights!!

I should know: as a straight, white male, I'm privy to most of 'em (not a Christian - so I'm left out there)

But for the record, I'm happy to share my special rights with anyone and everyone I can ; )

Hey, Riot Kitty - my S.O. is a regular commenter here. As a fellow writer - I'd love it if you gave my humble blog a look... mebbee even a link, if you're feelin' generous...

Riot Kitty said...

Joel: if your SO is Viva, I know you are lying about your age on your blog ;)

Riot Kitty said...

LeftCoast - you are awesome - everyone, she was the one who wrote the bit posted here, and went to the protest!

Green tea said...

I get so sick of people who think Gay's choose to be that life style,
I knew I was straight in first grade when a boy kissed me.
Can't imaging anyone choosing to be discriminated against.
Good for your friends...

Fireblossom said...

Phelps is just something that grew in a toxic waste dump someplace and sprang to life. I would counter protest, but I am too busy daydreaming about my girlfriend, who in my opinion, should be Queen of the World. :-)

Leslie said...

I covered the diversity march. One of the things that was great about it was that I saw people of several different ethnic groups, different religious persuasions (including Wiccan), gays and straights.

I was at the counterdemo vs. Westboro on my own time. I recognized a lot of the same faces from the diversity march.

This town does have a loud narrow-minded population, but there are also a lot of open-minded people who get excited at the chance to stand up and be counted.

BTW my niece, who's half Korean, played Shepard's lesbian friend, Romaine, in the play.

b said...

When I was an undergrad in Iowa, there was a counter Phelps protest when he showed up to protest some awards given in the name of Matthew Shepard. We outnumbered them by like 10:1. It was such a rallying day, people walking around hugging strangers and giving high fives, sitting on roofs and happily shouting to passers-by. The actual Phelps crowd was amazing to watch, though. They had signs that said shit like, "God blew up the space shuttle." What does that even mean?