The love day, February 14 has always been a time when "people need people." It's the time when many are rushing around finding special gifts, adding special touches to their realtionships, spending time with each other before they stop spending time with each other, and saying, "I love you," a extra time for affect. However, as we stop to love on this day, remember that spreading the love message comes in various forms and can be communicated in numerous measures. This forum, has been a labor of love for the past few years and my love for keeping you, dear reader on point and updated has been my pleasure. I hope that you will continue to feel our love as you share your love accross the rainbow. Ultimately, the nexus of finding true love actually comes from within and once you've given yourself that permission, then you'll find that you are ready to be loved by the universe. Remember people, "it's all about love and more..."
Showing Love: Speaking of love, have you shown some love today with your in-kind donation for our DNC delegate fund. I've filed to run to be a delegate from Arkansas to the Democractic National Convention in Denver, August, 25-28. The DNC has institued within it's delegate platform that their be representation from the GLBTQ community from each state. This caveat allows this community a chance to have direct participation within the process. Each delegate or represenative is charged with providing their own transportation, per diem, and lodging. I know that our goal of $2500.00 would be a solid foundation for our community to have a rainbow presence during this historic event. To date with the help of supporters, I've completed two important task as I approach the Special State Convention being held in Little Rock, March 8. Can I count on you to ChipIn, Today? Click on the posted icon, follow the prompts and show your pride.
COP Special: Since it's all about love, I felt that this item needed to be shared with the readers of this forum. It's from columnist Doug C. Cooper from our online partner, Kuttinedge.com Take a moment to open your mind, reflect, and empower your self. My self affirmation for the day is:
"nobody can be you but you..." Think about it and then show yourself some love.
Manifesto: A Cause for Life
By Doug Cooper- Spencer
Growing up gay is a challenge. From the day you first realize your difference, you immediately draw strategies of defense. Those measures can range anywhere from outright confrontation to secrecy and denial. Ostensibly, secrecy is usually the easiest road to take.
In an often hostile world that refuses to validate your existence, being gay or lesbian quite often requires giving up modes of self-validation and refuting self-worth. In the process, discourse that affirms a homosexual existence is usually lost, especially if those matters posit topics that affirm our humanity and our spiritual existence. In response to such challenges, I have offered this manifesto.
I assert that my homosexuality is no more exclusive than difference in height, or those who might have a natural tendency towards obesity as compared to some who cannot for the life of them gain weight. It is no different than those who are born to function primarily with their left hand while others cannot function with hands at all; or those who have near incomparable physical strength and those whose frailty allowed them to live only for a day.In nature’s tendency towards diversity we have been given people whose minds mainly grasp abstractions while others, logic. It is the will of the force of nature that deals in diversity, just look around at the different races that people this planet. If nature can offer such diversity, why then would it not offer homosexuality as a complement to its course? My homosexuality is no less an aberration than merely difference.
I reject the notion that my ‘difference’ causes pain. The pain is caused by ignorance, fear and bias, not my sexual nature. It’s the same pain that once made some cry out that the physically challenged be thrown to the wolves, or that the existence of other races be the agent behind social woes.Sadly, it’s never the pain brought on by my detractors’ own social or personal maladies that is investigated. Instead they choose to make others the source of their discomfort. Quite often, people will form fragile matrixes in which to house their own short comings.
As well, I refuse to allow my detractors to lump me in the category of rapists and molesters. Rapists and molesters harm. Heterosexual and homosexual rapists and molesters cause harm, not heterosexuality and homosexuality in and of themselves.
I refuse to believe my sexual orientation is unnatural. My homosexual orientation developed as a course of nature, it was not artificially induced. Therefore it is natural. Quite often, what is meant by those who use the terms, ‘unnatural’, or ‘not normal’, is that my sexual orientation does not match that person’s moral beliefs, just as it was used decades ago in matters of interracial marriage.That stated, I understand the implications of such an argument go further than it appears. It underscores the reasoning that homosexuality is a matter of choice (in that case, why not heterosexuality as well?). It’s the implication that since it is choice and not of nature, it is not of God; therefore it can be (and should be) undone.Only I know the depth and history of my feelings and I know it was not by choice. Only I know this, and I do not owe anyone else an explanation unless I choose to do so. Given the pain of disenfranchisement, even death that many of my sisters and brothers go through in life, I doubt many would have ‘chosen’ such a life. However, I say to them all love who you are just as you love the skin you’re in. It is the gift God gave you. It’s called Life. Yours.
Regarding morality. We think of morality as inflexible codes of conduct. But, in fact, our moral precepts are not so inflexible, they can be very pliant. History has shown us that. For instance, the difference between the moral standards that once viewed women as an adjunct to men, or ones that supported the belief of the inferiority of black people to whites are vastly different than moral standards of today. Morality can be used to protect and enlighten in the most divine way, or it can be actualized as an agent of great harm and destruction. Therefore, I will only accept those things in life that do not harm others or myself, and ones that nurture and create a positive energy for me and my environment. So unless it can truly be proven that being gay works against this positive force, I will embrace it with the warmth it deserves no matter what others might think.
God and religion. God is an abstract concept that humankind has honed to explain phenomena such as being, death and circumstance; inexplicable matters that govern life. There are many views, all of which claim divine providence.To say the concept of God is an abstraction is not to say It doesn’t exist. I, for one, believe God does exist. It’s just that our ability to fully understand God is greatly lacking. It is very difficult to understand something that cannot be fully realized as fact.Even to the point that we have come to apply anthropomorphic terms to describe God speaks of our desire to come to terms with It. In the end, we can only come to terms with It, not explain It. We cannot explain or understand something so powerful, so infinite as God. Beyond it all, this is where faith comes into play. So many people profess to have faith when all they really have is belief. Someone once described belief as wishing things to be as you are told they should be, and faith as a letting go of expectation, to be able to throw your arms open and accept what is not known or understood. Our beliefs are shaped by cultural, political and to some degree, personal influence, but very little faith. Belief taught me fear, but now, my faith informs me of love.Finally, regarding God, I cannot leave this discussion without addressing the idea that God does not condone homosexuality. I challenge such a notion to be proven. If God is omniscient, then He knew I was going to be gay.
I do not accept the idea of free will as an explanation of my homosexuality. That would be akin to accepting the argument of ‘choice’. Even the idea of free will as grace from God is arguable if it is set within the context of retribution. If God punishes us for our choice then free will was not given out of grace. I do not believe a divine entity that possesses omnipotence has need for free will. It would simply control what we do, not allowing us to fail, and would therefore not resort to retribution.
I refuse beliefs, borne, again, of culture and politic. I choose a faith that liberates me from such precepts and simply embraces the idea that everyone has the right to become self actualized towards a spirit that causes no harm to self or others, a nurturing spirit. Therefore, I choose to walk a spiritual path (stumbling sometimes as humans do), than a religious one. The two are not the same because religion is man-made and is prone to all the influences I stated above, while spirituality is the essence of God. Many seek religion (earthly power), but few seek spirituality.
Homosexuality and family. I refuse to believe homosexuality causes the destruction of the family and shuns procreation. First of all, if a family is firmly entrenched in love it will not allow the fact that one of its members is gay destroy it. If it does, then it needs to re-evaluate its shortcomings because matters of diversity as well as adversity will always arise within the family structure. That is the challenge of love.
I do not believe if those of us who are homosexual act on our nature, then everyone will become homosexual and procreation would cease. Everyone would not become homosexual if someone who is homosexual chooses to live his or her life. Humans are not that monolithic. Besides, if procreation is the prime reason for the validation of existence, then we are all in step to miss the fullness that makes us human. I believe the positive growth of our individual spirit (one imbued in love) is the prime agent of our individual lives, not the extension of the physical self. And given our tenuous relationship with the ecosystem, adoption would be a suitable fit.The propagation of life is a powerful force. We do not know that sexual intercourse is exclusively needed to procreate. All living beings don’t engage in sexual intercourse in order to procreate. Therefore, we should not assume humans, if given the fate of the cessation of intercourse would no longer generate offspring. Quite possibly it could happen through cellular division as it does in some life species on this planet. In a world that has offered the Immaculate Conception, such a notion is tenable.A final word about family; it has long been high time to redefine the concept of ‘family’. It’s been done before (for example, the Industrial Revolution), so why not again? The strongest glue to hold together a family is love.
I accept Love to be: “The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” (M. Scott Peck, ‘The Road Less Traveled’). I will love myself and seek this kind of love from others. I will demand it so I might know it. I have all the right in the world to seek the nurturance of my spirit free from the whims of others. I reject the games people play in their attempt to gain dominance over my life; it’s been done to many throughout the ages. I understand that when you learn to love yourself, you are able to love others, and you grow beyond the borders of religious doctrine and demagoguery towards a true spiritual journey. You become open to wondrous things about your life, about Life period. You become the person God meant you to be. This I understand. This I accept.In the end, I accept that the brilliance of ‘The Mystery’ we call Life will probably always continue, and will probably never be understood. And that ‘The Mystery’ is not as scary as it might sound. It is fear that holds most of us captive to lives of trepidation, hatred and inconsequence, not love.
This I accept.