GLBTQ Organization

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Aside

Bigotry wrapped in Prayer is still Bigotry

(Title of today’s post is from a sign on the outside of The First Congregational Church -United Church of Christ)

Today is Monday May 7th of 2012. A week has passed since Pastor Sean Harris gave his sermon many have said is filled with hatred and vileness. I sit here and I try to find something to write about for this blog and of course most people would say “Write about Harris”. I don’t want to though, I think the more attention this man gets the more others like him are going to take up arms and attack the community.

But, I do owe it to the organization and those who support it to write something on it and state the reasons why The Alliance was not part of the huge protest on Sunday down the street from Harris’s church.

On the first of May I was called by a reporter to ask if I had read the article being posted on facebook along with listening to the audio clips. I had not at that time because I was extremely busy and had not had any time to check much on facebook. So he sent me the link, of which I read and listened to that night when I returned home.

I was sickened, I was so disgusted and angry that I had to take some time to calm myself before responding, or else I would have said some very demeaning words and probably have put myself and The Alliance in a very bad situation.

I have had words of hate spat at me from many kinds of people, and yes some of those were of the clergy. However, I have never, ever heard anyone like that talk about laying harmful hands on any child in that age range.

Here is a link for those of you who have not heard, or seen anything about this man (of which I would be totally surprised about) http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/anti-gay-pastor-parents-must-squash-like-a-cockroach-the-gay-out-of-kids/politics/2012/05/01/38837

There are hundreds and I mean hundreds of links, articles, and videos about what this man said to a church full of people. About this time you can google the man’s name and find it all.

Now we have had hate crimes of people in the LGBTQ community. People bashing in the heads of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people and leaving them to die a lonely painful death. We have had young, and old alike kill themselves because of the way they were treated by the public. This is the first time I have heard anyone condone, or excuse me, suggest child abuse against someone so young.

Being a student of psychology I know that children of that age are exploring themselves and the world around them. They do not always “act” the gender they were put into at birth. I also know that a lot of people have a problem with that, they cannot stand to see their little boy playing with Barbie dolls or “gasp” putting on a tutu. So they are punished in some form or another. Some parents have admonished their child so badly that they certainly get the idea that anything different from what “society“thinks you should be doing is bad and not tolerated. Some parents have actually gone through the act of physically punishing them resulting in deaths, or at the very least years and years of therapy.

Right now there is so much anger and hatred being spewed across this state because tomorrow is the big day. Tomorrow all of the state of North Carolina gets to vote on whether we are going to have discrimination put into our constitution. Ok, let me step back a little and look at it from the other side. The amendment keeping same gender couples from marrying. Ok fine, tomorrow will be the day that the state of North Carolina will (all of the residents who can vote) vote on whether a same- gender couple can ever be married, or recognized as a legal married couple in this state. Umm… Where was the vote on whether other people could get married? When did Mr. Smith ask the state to allow him to marry Ms. Jones and make her Mrs. Smith? Where!?!

Ok forgive me if this post today seems a little scattered. There is just so so much to talk about here. Besides all of the things that Amendment One can and will do to all citizens of the state, there is also the sermon Harris gave.

Did you read it yet? Here let me help you out.

“Now one of the problems is this creeping into your theology, into our thinking, into our

world view. So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and

instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, “Man up, son, get that dress off

you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,” you get out the camera

and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to

YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid

is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.

You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male.  And when your

daughter starts acting to Butch you reign her in.  And you say, “Oh, no, sweetheart.  You

can play sports. Play them to the glory of God.  But sometimes you are going to act like a

girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are

going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.”

You say, “Can I take charge like that as a parent?”

Yeah, you can. You are authorized. I just gave you a special dispensation this morning to

do that.”

Ok so there has already been dozens of articles and interviews and one huge protest about this part of his sermon. I was even quoted as saying that “We have our very own Westboro Bapist Church forming in Fayetteville” and I stand by that.

Why? Because you need to listen or read the entire sermon. Not only does he talk about child abuse and encouraging it (though he says he does not) He talks about Muslims and them breeding so fast that they will take over. He talks about homosexuality in that we are sick and twisted and cannot possibly have the ability to work through a marriage, insinuating that it is too hard for us to work through it because we are not with Christ.

“Ultimately the question is: How important is it for us to stay married? I mean, when can I

just dismiss her? I mean, what does it take to give me the freedom to say, “Enough”?  I

mean, we have worked hard, but we are done. You can’t seem to figure out eggs over

medium.  They are either too easy or they are too hard. And I have had enough.  Is that an

acceptable idea? Or when do we stop working it out?  And please let’s recognize that

staying married is plain out hard work.  If you are not married, ask somebody who is

married.  It is hard work.  Take two sinners, jam them into the same house and say, “Love

each other and live together,” and you have got nothing but work.”

“And the bottom line is this. Any marriage in which they are on the road to divorce one or

more of the partners has got a hard heart. You take two soft hearts and you can work

things out. Two soft hearts can sit down. Two {?} believers can sit down. Two people

who are born again and led by the Holy Spirit can sit down and work it out. But you take

one or more people who harden their heart and you have got a problem right there. You

have got a problem. Heard heartedness.”

So because we (homosexuals, or transgenders) who are in a committed relationship are going to not be able to stay together and have the ability to work through the hard times because we are not with Christ.

Ok so what about the couple who started the publishing Naid Press. Barbara Grier had two partners in her life. The first one she spent 20 years with. The second one who she started a life with in 1970s was with her until Grier died last year at the age of 78. Two partners.. two.. Can we say two? Ok one more than one, but I would say that that is a pretty long time to be with one and I am sure that all of those years weren’t fight free or conflict free and I am sure they had to work just as hard as anyone else and they did it. I don’t know what their personal faith was, frankly it does not matter. I have some really really personal views on some of this that I will save for my personal blog, go there if you want to see the personal side of me on this http://stormsilvermane.wordpress.com/

At any rate this man doesn’t just go after children or homosexuals or transgender people. He goes after people of other faiths as well and it just sickens me as a person and as a member of The Alliance.

So, why didn’t the Alliance participate in the big protest?

“As an organization that is NON-Reglious and NON-Political I feel as though the organization would be perceived as attacking religion itself by protesting the church. Even though the protest is ¼ mile from the church, it is about Pastor Sean Harris and his sermon at the church last Sunday. It is even about the congregation that supports his sermon. This does not mean that I believe that everyone in the congregation agrees with his sermon, but I did hear laughing and “Amens” during his heated sermon. This would indicate that the people supported his sermon.

Regardless, it is for the protection of this organization and maintaining the protections for any future members who have had issues with religion to feel safe coming to us for help. We have members who are atheists, humanists, Christian, Jewish, Wiccan, Native American and other faith or non faith basis. This organization is not based on religion; it is based on supporting, advocating and educating the LGBTQ community.

I had made a statement about Berean Bapist Church becoming Fayetteville’s own Westboro Bapist Church and it was published in the Fayetteville Observer. I stand by that statement and I have more to say.

This is our official statement on the subject of Pastor Sean Harris and others who believe his words are something to follow.

The Alliance does not support, nor condone Harris’s words or actions. We also do not believe his retraction was sincere. Members of the organization’s board have read the sermon and watched the sermon and have heard all of the demeaning and discriminatory remarks Harris made about gays, lesbians, transgenders, and Muslims. In his retraction he says he is sorry, but then turns around and says he didn’t say certain things. Yet, it is caught on paper and it is caught on audio and video recordings. So, no we do not believe it is sincere. The Alliance also believes that Harris needs to be held accountable for his words of hatred towards other groups. Whether this will happen or not is yet to be seen.

The Alliance is really working on trying to bring peaceful support, education and advocacy to the LGBT community. We are trying to do this in the most positive way possible. We have not nor do we intend to discourage any of the members of the board, or of the organization from going to the protest.

The Alliance has been committed, from its inception, to keeping our message and our presence here positive. We feel that participating in this protest as an organization goes against that positive message because the atmosphere surrounding this type of protest will most likely be negative and draw negative feelings and attention. We want to be a safe place for ANYONE, including members of Harris’ congregation, to come if they have sincere questions and are willing to sit down and have peaceful discussions surrounding LGBT issues. We feel that participating in this protest as an organization has the potential for alienating those who might be willing to take part in these open discussions and that is counterproductive to the goals we committed to when forming the Alliance.

The Alliance encourages its members to voice their opinions and do what they feel they need to in order to bring attention to injustice and discrimination. Some decisions must be personal decisions. The decision to participate or not in the protest against Berean Baptist Church is one of those personal decisions. We will support any of our members, regardless of the personal decision they make regarding this issue and this protest.”

That was our official statement that I posted to the facebook page for The Alliance and I am posting it here for others who do not follow us on facebook.

I feel The Alliance needs to focus its attention on more positive things now. Tomorrow the state will vote and the world will watch as another state decides who I can marry and when I can marry. Yet, the battle is not done we will continue to bring positive messages and support to this community and we will continue to be here for anyone, young, or older to help them get through the troubles they may face as they come to realize who they are. Regardless of the violent, hated, vile words that come from others.

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Gratitude

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Have you ever felt that when you say “Thank you” it just isn’t enough? There have been a lot of thank yous coming from The Alliance lately and it just does not seem to be enough. We have been thanking vendors, individuals and small businesses for either buying a sponsorship package (in which they receive advertisement on our various sites), or exchanging items (again receive advertising)  to help fund our first annual Drag Queen and King Pageant. 

Now one might say, well why say thank you so much if they are getting advertising for their money or items? Well because some of these small businesses are giving a lot for that advertising. Is it just for advertising though? 

Let me tell you about a man, a sweet man, owner of Valentines Florist. His name is Wade, he does the designs for the floral arrangements. This man supports our community so much that he is giving  all of the flowers needed for the pageant for just a little advertising. And let me tell you something, if we could accept just donations, that man would not care if we ever said anything about his business because he just wants to support us so much. How do you tell a man like that thank you and think it is enough? He thinks it is enough, he thinks all the advertising we are doing for him is too much. We don’t though, in fact we think there should be more. Mutual gratitude is so wonderful, don’t you think?

Let’s not forget Scarlet Faith owner of Sensual Touch by Faith. Such a beautiful woman, inside and out. Do you know what she did? As soon as we thought to approach her (hey we don’t always operate on a full tank around here) she jumped on the chance to give some items in return for advertising. But again, here we go with the over abundance of stuff willing to give. She talked to Angel three or four times on the phone to work out things she wanted to do for the pageant, and then we ran into her at Tammy’s Thrift Shop where she has some of her stuff, and she wanted to talk to us about some more things. The excitement in her eyes, and the deep desire to make this the best pageant was just so wonderful to see. How do you say thank you enough to her? Can someone tell me? 

Thea from FX Warehouse, do you know this place? They are not even in this area, they carry some of the best supplies for makeup and what not. Do you know this woman was so excited about doing something with us that she emailed Angel immediately and offered anything we wanted for the pageant? How does one say thank you to that, other than trying to not be a pig about it and have her decide what to give to us in return for that advertising. But you know what, another one that didn’t care about how much advertising we did for her. What else can I do, she has said several times. How…. do.. you.. say .. thank you? 

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CNCAH (Central North Carolina Atheists and Humanists) bought a 100 dollar advertising package. Ok, so what did they give? Really do people not know about how much this group supports us? They have members at our events all the time. The advertise our events and encourage people to go to them. Whenever we need anything they are the first ones there to offer a helping hand and do not expect anything in return. How does one say thank you to that? Geri Weaver was President of CNCAH when I first was introduced to them. She offered me so much advice about how to get the organization organized, where to go to get things in order, and how to effectively run a meeting. Not only that, but when I was down and discouraged she cheered me on, and not to mention she introduced me to Leigh Anne who is the best VP one could ever ask for. 

How does one thank these people enough? 

This is not a list of people who I have to thank for helping the Alliance become what it is. That list would be a bit long don’t you think. But you know what, each of you have ever done anything to help the Alliance.. I thank you.. but it is not enough to just thank you. Though it is the best I can do for now. 

Misconceptions and Stereotypes

For anyone who does not know. I am the President of The Alliance, my name is Storm and I am human. As much as I like to keep things official and professional when dealing with anything concerning The Alliance I am again just human. With that being said, let me talk about Carson Daly and his mess up on public TV

Daly said

 “Most of the people were on their way to some sort of security conference in Las Vegas … it was like a bunch of dudes and well trained dudes … thank god.”

 He laughingly continued, “With my luck, it would be like … ‘this is the flight going to [the gay pride parade] in San Francisco … I mean, that would be my colleagues.”

Then, changing his voice to sound like a gay stereotype, Carson said, “Uh, we’re headed down to Vegas for the floral convention.” via   ON MAR 29, 2012 IN REAL TALK

So he has been apologizing for his statement ever since. He even was reprimanded by the mother of Mark Bingham. You remember him right? He was the young gay man who defended himself, the passengers,crew and his Country on United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. A gay man who founded his own company The Bingham Group. Mark’s mother states that he always brought her flowers on her birthday and on mother’s day. There is nothing about him being a florist, a queen, a clothes designer or anything of the sort. Besides so what if he was, does this mean he is not a strong person? A brave person? Someone who can kick butt when needed? 

Ok so Carson made a huge blunder and on TV, lets talk about society’s views on homosexuals and start breaking the pigeon holes open. 

What are some of the stereotypes and misconceptions about homosexuals and gender-morphic identity people ? 

Gay men are sissies? They arrange flowers, plan weddings, design clothes, dress in women’s clothing, give the best parties ever (actually that one might be true), drive Prius cars (Jeff Dunham joke) and have the utmost desire to have small dogs. 

Lesbian women are PE teachers? They work on cars, fix machines, teach gym class (oh I said that already, such a popular one) want to really be men, want to take all the straight women and make them lesbians, get toaster ovens for doing so, and have the utmost desire to have big dogs named Butch. 

Oh there are so many more, let’s not forget bisexuals

Bisexuals want the cake and eat it too? Can’t make up their minds, like to lead people on, have no idea what it means to be gay, oh and lets not forget, they must be poly amorous because they can’t just settle for one gender. 

Transgender people are all gay, You can tell a transwoman by the size of her hands.. MTFs are really just men, FTMs are really just women. 

Oh and lets not forget.. all homosexuals or gender-morphic identity people are predators, perverts and pedophiles. Oh and recently Demonically possessed. 

So where does this lead us? How do we prove that these stereotypes and misconceptions are all wrong?

Let’s go through it a little. Demonically possessed? Really? Are you seriously suggesting that someone who defends his country, people he doesn’t even know so that they can stay free is possessed by a demon? This statement covers Mark Bingham, every person that stood up for someone, and every gay and lesbian soldier who is or was in the service. I can’t even begin to say how ridiculous this statement is. 

Obviously we all know that the statements I made above (stereotypes and misconceptions) are all crap. 

I can sit here and give examples all day long. I am a transman, anyone who knows me knows I am certainly not a woman even with the equipment still attached to my chest I am not a woman. But you know what, people are going to look at me and think woman. Though plans are in progress to change that, it can never happen fast enough for me, and strangers have no idea what my life is like. So I cannot get mad at them right now nor fault them when they refer to me as a woman. 

I know many gay men who are very masculine and do not look gay in the least bit. Gay men who are lawyers, CPA’s, soldiers, construction workers and football players. But yes, I do also know many who arrange a mean floral arrangement, and perform in drag shows. But let me tell you something. This does not mean they cannot kick butt if need be. I would rather face a mother bear than face a Queen who is ticked off. 

Has anyone ever heard of lipstick lesbians? Oh I know the ones in the community and friends of have heard of them. But the general public sometimes have no idea. I know many lesbians who have no interest in fixing cars, don’t want grease on their hands and have no interest in turning a straight woman gay. No one has an interest in that and besides you cannot turn anyone gay, they either are, or aren’t. 

Lets get something else straight (no pun intended) Bisexuals are not sluts, whores, cheaters or anything of the sort. They have the amazing ability to look at a person and decide whether they like that person based on their personality and not their gender. Gender is pretty important to the rest of us. It may not be the sole purpose, but lets face it, it is pretty important. Will a gay man think about being with a female? Or a lesbian with a male? 

Now let’s talk about appearances. I know a young man, 18, wears jeans, t-shirts a hat with paint on it, and sports scruff on his face most days. Walk into the room at the right time and you will see this young man switch his hip and come out with “OH girl you did not!” Ahhh so this is a young budding Queen huh? 

Nope that is my son, straight, loves women and is not afraid to be effeminate. If anyone threatens me, or his family he is right there to try and protect. 

Some people just think they have it all figured out by looking at someone. 

I was in love with my middle school PE teacher.. guess what? She wasn’t a lesbian. Had a husband, three kids and very much into men. I won’t say how I know that. 

Everyone, the community, society,and individuals really need to work to get these misconceptions cleared up. Yes we have said it before, and we will say it again and again. Perseverance is a must in this task, I hope I have helped just a little bit.  

 

 

Progress is Wonderful

Hello again folks! We have been very busy lately, so much so that I have had barely any time to update our blog. Sad to say that, but I am getting better and I think I have a plan to which things will be updated more often. There are so many things to talk about these days, but one thing I would like to remind everyone about is the places to find The Alliance.

Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/groups/sandhillsglbtstraightalliance/

Twitter- @thealliancenc

Website- http://www.thealliancenc.net

Meetup- http://www.meetup.com/The-Alliance-NC/

Of course our blog here and NOW NEW NEXT Big thing is our online newsletter

Newsletter- http://thealliancenc1.blogspot.com/ – Changing Times

Come on out and be a part of The Alliance.

Do some of you not know who The Alliance is? We are a LGBTQ organization based in Fayetteville, NC (don’t worry you do not have to live here to be a part of us)

Our purpose is to educate, advocate and support the members of our community along with our straight allies. We have some awesome members working in the organization that are doing their utmost best to make things better for people here in our community.

We have had a meeting with the Humans Relations Committee to discuss ways we can work with the city to help certain areas learn about policies and to help change them. One of our upcoming events is to team up with Operation Bullyhorn to go to the open school board meeting and express our concerns with bullying and the efforts needed in place to help protect our LGBTQ youth.

As much as some of us have fun with the advocating part of our mission we also like to have some fun. In doing that our fun likes to be just a bit educating and supporting as we put together our First Spring Fling Drag Queen and King Pageant on April 20th 2012.

We will be discussing important issues such as Amendment One and how it affects us as well as encouraging people to get out and vote against the amendment.

We have another protest scheduled just days before the vote, since our first one on March 10th was so successful we decided we would have another one. This time I think I can say the press will be there for us as I talked to one of the reporters today. He seemed very excited about the idea of us having another since he missed the first one.

Want to hear about success?

Our first Silent Protest drew in a couple who were from Boston. They were in town to have lunch with their daughter, she was retiring from the Army after 32 years, they saw us on the Market Square and pulled over to join us.

How awesome is that?

So many things are coming up, if you want to see what we have planned just go to our meetup group (link above) sign up, and take a peek at what we have going on. Then join us in the events, we will be happy to meet you!

To all of the people who have worked so hard to help me and this organization I would like to say thank you so very much. Without you, this would not be possible.

Storm