By Donny Winter
© Diversity Rules Magazine and Donny Winter. All rights reserved.
Donny Winter is a gay rights activist on YouTube and recently graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in English and Anthropology. He’s aiming to publish a manuscript of LGBTQ-themed poetry and write a memoir of his high school days where he was a victim of frequent bullying.
I’ve stated it before and I’m stating it again that words can be powerful tools when it comes to creating a positive influence in someone else’s life. Like many tools, words can also be used as a weapon against individuals and groups of people. People in the LGBT community are no doubt aware of how destructive words can be. Even the most emotionally opaque person can fall victim to damaging words — it just erodes the self-esteem until it collapses like an unstable mountain.
I find it disturbing that so much hate is emanating from the states of North Carolina and Mississippi. Whether it is the North Carolinian pastor preaching that the gay should beat out of children or the Mississippian politician saying that gays deserve to die — we are receiving an inkling of the backlash against President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage. My question is how much backlash could our community expect from other people who strongly oppose same-sex marriage?
Regardless I’m sure we all have different opinions of the degree of backlash that could result from our forward progressing success in the realm of obtaining equality. The problem is that highly influential people are utilizing hateful word weaponry in order to get their point across, which, no doubt can sway those who listen. I’ve been asking myself for a few months whether or not hateful words are more powerful than supportive words. Sometimes the positive seems like a dull murmur compared to the knives many oppositional like to throw. Not to mention I know a lot of people in the LGBT community continually throw knives back at our attackers, but is that really the response we should give? Do we think we’re better or superior than these individuals casting hate in our direction only for us to do the same in return?
Perhaps our greatest weapon should be inspiring people to realize that we too are human beings that deserve the complete experience of loving a person while having the support of our peers and our country. Sharing experiences, providing medicinal words of support, and making people’s feelings known in a relatable fashion is our greatest strength and ally.
This memorable quote comes to mind when considering the predicament our community is in: “Many curse the rain that falls upon their heads, and know not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger.” – Saint Basil
Mud slinging will only throw a point so far; painting a picture with words is a much more effective tool that can inspire other minds to understand and feel what we feel. Instead of cursing our rain they’ll realize that our desire to love unconditionally will allow our cultural blossom to unfold.