A SYMBOL OF OPPRESSION IS FINALLY REMOVED!

There has been much controversy and discussion about the removal of the Confederate Flag lately.  Many claim that it is a symbol of victory and an important part of history but there is much violence, racism and hate associated with this flag:

Bree Newsome (with assistance of a friend) took the initiative and climbed the flag pole to take down the flag herself.  We all understand and know what transpired during the civil rights movement.  There was no equality for people of colour during that time.  People of colour couldn’t use the same fountains and washrooms of whites, they couldn’t go to the same schools.  And if you spoke or advocated for equality; you were beaten, degraded and even killed.

I applaud those who came before Bree Newsome and stood up to their oppressors, people who demanded respect and equality and who didn’t want to be treated like they were unworthy.  All over the world people like; Harriet Tubman, Representative John Lewis, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Booker T. Washington, Mohandas and Kasturba Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, Desmond Tutu, Bob Moses and Ella Baker fought their oppressors and demanded change around the world.

Today, this type of oppression continues by those who are supposed to serve and protect everyone.  It is common to see videos of white policeman beat and kill so many people of colour.  When politicians are debating creating barriers, fences and walls to keep immigrants out, what else are we supposed to conclude except that these same politicians are pandering to the white racist America.  If they are treating minorities from other countries this way, it isn’t inconceivable to believe that politicians and legislators want to keep America’s minorities disenfranchised, poor, uneducated and oppressed.

So, when you hear your friends say things like; “they do it to themselves”, “if they were not committing the crimes, they wouldn’t be in jail”, “they are supposed to listen to the police” and so many other ignorant statements, they are just regurgitating the sentiments expressed by corporate media to insure we keep those same minorities lucid and submissive.

The REVOLUTION OF LOVE continues – we are the many that have had enough of those few who want to continue this oppression.  Knowledge is power!  With knowledge, determination and passion POSITIVE CHANGE is inevitable.  So many have given their lives to ensure those people who have oppressed others and their symbols are removed but never forgotten.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

HERE IS WHAT LOVE and PASSION LOOK LIKE

I believe that our LOVE for the environment and our planet should be a real indication for our governments to lead the way to more sustainable and renewable energy sources.  Climate change is happening and REAL action is needed by our governments. If there was any time in history for a shift to happen in order to create positive change in the world – it is NOW.

Corrupt governments are afraid of environmental activists.  They brand them ‘hippies’ and ‘terrorists’, as a matter-of-fact, many governments want to ensure that any individual or group that speaks out or protests for environmental issues, against pipelines, fracking or oil drilling, be put in jail because it is a form of environmental terrorism.  Canada is proposing a bill (C-51) that would do just that.  Legislation like this says much about a government.  It would rather support the big oil tycoons in potentially creating environmental disasters versus protecting our forests, rivers, lakes and oceans. 

It is time for a new generation – time for governments to listen to people who don’t care about creating more wealth for those that have enough.  People want to focus on social issues, environmental issues and issues that would be inclusive to all and not just a few.  This generation that I am talking about is our future and they won’t have much of a future if governments don’t listen to the issues they care for the most like, the environment, affordable education, proper health care, a new economy plan that revolves around sustainable and renewable energy and not getting involved or starting wars.  We clearly see that the “old ways” don’t work.  Bailing out banks and the auto sector didn’t work, there is still much corruption in Wall Street and other financial centres around the world.  It’s time for new ideas that will not support and allow corporate greed to continue.  We need a more holistic and grass-roots movement to politics and it has to begin with all of us.

Here are photo examples of how many of us in the world want to create positive change in government politics, social issues, the environment, income inequality and human rights:

 800px-March_Against_Monsanto_Vancouver       

March against MONSANTO – Vancouver, Canada May 25, 2013.

PCM 2014 PeoplesClimateMarch2014

People’s CLIMATE MARCH – New York City, USA April 2014 ***The largest environmental march ever with an estimated 400,000 in attendance.

Womens Rights March 2009

Women’s Rights March – Washington D.C., USA 2009 ***marching against George W. Bush policies regarding women’s reproductive rights, including abortion.

TurkishProtestforAnimalProtection

ANIMAL RIGHTS MARCH – Istanbul, Turkey 2014 ***marching for the protection of animals.

1963 Civil Rights March

CIVIL RIGHTS MARCH – Washington D.C., USA 1963 ***marching for equality of black people during the civil rights movement in America. 

NoKXL

NO Keystone XL Pipeline MARCH – Washington D.C., USA ***marching for the eradication of the Keystone XL Pipeline bringing dirty oil from the Alberta Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada to the USA.

2015Montreal Montreal2015 2

AUSTERITY MARCH – Montreal Quebec, CANADA 2015 ***Students protesting government cuts.

Governments DO NOT want peaceful protests to happen because they want to keep people distracted from the issues that matter – ENVIRONMENT, INCOME INEQUALITY, WOMEN’S RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS, ANIMAL PROTECTION, CIVIL RIGHTS and any other rights that would not oppress people. 

The corrupt didn’t realize that more and more of us DO NOT want to be distracted anymore.  We want to hold our governments and big corporations accountable for their corruption.  We want governments to do the jobs they were elected for – not for the corporations but, for the people who elected them.  It’s time for a revolution of love.  It’s time for REAL change.  It’s time to have your voices heard.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

I HAVE A DREAM…ALSO.

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.  Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

There are so many individuals that have and continue to inspire me to help create positive change in the world, people like; Mohammed Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Jane Goodall, Louise L. Hay and Ingrid Newkirk, just to name a few.  These people have risked so much to raise awareness about the social injustices so many people (and animals) face on a daily basis.  In celebration of all he has accomplished in the Civil Rights movement and to honour Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 19 – here are some facts you may not have known about this very inspiring man:

  • Won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 at the age of 35.  To this day, he is still the youngest male to ever receive it.
  • His speech, Why I Oppose the War in Viet Nam, went on to win him a posthumous Grammy and he has also been awarded the Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honours an American civilian can receive.
  • As a result of helping organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott that lasted 385 days, King was not only arrested but his house was also bombed.
  • Martin Luther King Jr was not the only member in his family to be assassinated – his mother, Alberta Williams, was also tragically killed in her Atlanta church in 1974.
  • There are  two places outside of the United States that celebrate Martin Luther King Jr day:  Toronto, Ontario CANADA and Hiroshima, Japan.
  • Despite being enacted in 1983 all fifty states didn’t observe Martin Luther King Jr day until 17 years later.
  • His name was originally Michael, not Martin.
  • King convinced ‘Uhura’ on Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols, to continue on with the role after the first season.  Nichols (who later went to work for NASA) stated he told her not to leave the show because she was not only playing a black personas a main character on TV, but she was also playing a character that didn’t conform to the stereotypical black person of the day, usually portrayed.  Rather, Uhura was portrayed as an intelligent member of the crew and an equal to those around her.
  • There are over 700 streets in the United States named after Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Between 1957 and 1968, he traveled more than 6 million miles and spoke at more than 2,500 events.
  • U2’s song, “Pride (In The Name of Love)” was written about Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther Kings ‘I Have A Dream’ speech was delivered on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.  This speech inspired millions of people everywhere to stand for justice, equality and love.  Read the full speech here:

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

We must do our very best not to forget the amazing work people like Martin Luther King Jr. have done in order to ensure that all people are treated equally.  We must honour their legacy by spreading their passion in creating positive change in the world.  The world is a much better place knowing that Martin Luther King Jr’s words, actions and ultimately his life, created so much positivity in the world.

Martin-Luther-King-Jr_Call-to-Activism_HD_768x432-16x9

“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.  Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one.

WE ARE ALL ONE!

There is nothing complicated about ending discrimination in the workplace!  Whether the discrimination is against people of colour, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious beliefs – there is no place for it in the workplace.  So why are American companies finding it so difficult to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community in the workplace?  Could it be because many people still consider homosexuality a deviant behaviour and a choice people make?  Or is it simply because of peoples religious beliefs?

Writing as a human being who happens to be a homosexual, I don’t believe that I woke up one day and said, “I think I will try to have intercourse with a man today.”  I also didn’t ask for the constant bullying and verbal assaults by being called ‘faggot’, ‘gaylord’, ‘cocksucker’, ‘poof’, just to name a few.  I didn’t instigate it when a group of guys drove by and whipped bottles at me from their car just because I was walking in the ‘gay village’.  I would want to ensure this type of behaviour did not transfer into my work environment, why would I not be allowed this type of protection.

As a human being – I do my best to treat people as how I want to be treated; with respect, dignity and kindness, that isn’t too much to ask.  I give the same treatment that is given to me.  I can’t believe that so many people are still biased and show so much hate towards people who are no different than they are.  We may have different appearances but we are all derived from the same divine entity.  Religion is not the authority and should not dictate how a person should be treated.  You can’t ostracize women, people of colour, those who practice different religions or have different spiritual practices, homosexuals or anyone else who challenges religious ideologies – we should embrace this.  Engage in dialogue and come to a resolution that we are essentially the same and want to create positive change everywhere.  Those who feel different may have issues they need to resolve within themselves – racism, anger, fear, homophobia, etc.

The civil rights movement began because people of colour were being mistreated, disrespected and killed just because of the colour of their skin.  Rosa Parks didn’t sit at the front of the bus because her legs were tired – she sat at the front because she was tired of being treated as a lesser human than everyone else who wasn’t of colour.  Martin Luther King Jr., Mohammed Gandhi, Representative John Lewis, Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harriett Tubman and so many others were activists for peace, equality, justice and positive change.

Just like the civil rights movement, there have been many individuals who are directly and indirectly responsible in demanding equality for the LGBTQ community.  People like Barney Frank, Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, Tennessee Williams, Oscar Wilde, Roseanne Barr, Madonna, Cher, Harvey Milk, Tony Reis, Rosie O’Donnell, Bob Brown, Sven Robinson, Li Yinhe, Rama Yade, Magnus Hirschfeld, Shaleen Rakesh, Arsham Parsi, Patria Jiménez, Nikolay Alexeyev, David Kato, Jeremy Bentham – these individuals, and so many more, have given so much (even their lives) to ensure that gays, lesbians, trans-gendered, bisexual and queer people are treated with equality, dignity and respect.

Try not to look at people based on their colour, gender, what they believe or who they love.  Judge them based on their actions and how they treat others.  Do they show compassion, are they respectful and non-judgmental and are they caring?  LOVE, COMPASSION and CARING are attributes that create positive change in the world so let’s start a REVOLUTION OF LOVE!

Together, we can make the world a more postive one!

BRIEF BIOS OF GREAT PEOPLE and HOW THEY INSPIRED POSITIVE CHANGE

What inspires you to create positive change in the world?  Have you ever thought about the countless individuals who have risked and even gave their lives fighting for injustices around the world?  We all know their names:

Harriet Tubman:  Born enslaved, liberated herself and returned to the area of her birth many times to lead family, friends, and other enslaved African-Americans north to freedom.  Advocate for women, the Union and enslaved people.  A leader to the civil rights movement.  Escaped to freedom at the age of 27 in 1849.  Returned to Dorchester County, Maryland USA (her birthplace) approximately 13 times to liberate friends, family and other enslaved African-Americans via the Underground Railroad.

Dian Fossey:  Undertook an extensive study of gorilla groups over a period of 18 years.  Financed patrols to destroy poachers traps.  Helped in the arrest of several poachers.  Strongly opposed wildlife tourism, as gorillas are very susceptible to human anthroponotic diseases like influenza for which gorillas have no immunity.  Viewed the holding of animals in “prison” (zoos) for the entertainment of people as unethical.

Martin Luther King Jr.:  Born Michael Luther King Jr., later changed his name to Martin.  Graduated High School at the age of fifteen.  Received B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College and later received doctorate degree at Boston University in 1955.  In December of 1955, he accepted leadership of first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States.  During an 11 year period between 1957 – 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times.  He directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “I Have a Dream”.  He was awarded five honorary degrees and named ‘Man of the Year’ by Time magazine in 1963 and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.  At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King Jr. was the youngest man to have received The Nobel Peace Prize – when notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over his prize money of $54, 123 to further advance the civil rights movement.

Mother Teresa:  Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia in 1910.  At the age of twelve, she knew she had to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ.  At eighteen, she left Skopje and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India.  From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls had such a deep impression on her that in 1948, she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta.  In 1950, Mother Teresa received permission from the Holy See to start her own order, “The Missionaries of Charity”, whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after.

Nelson Mandela

Born on July 18, 1918 in Qunu, South Africa.  Son of a chief, Nelson Mandela studied law and became one of South Africa’s first black lawyers. Early in the 1950s he was elected leader of the youth wing of the ANC (African National Congress) liberation movement. When the country’s white minority government prohibited the ANC in 1960, Mandela became convinced that armed struggle was inevitable. Inspired by the guerrilla wars in Algeria and Cuba, he organized a military underground movement that engaged in sabotage. In 1962 he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment for high treason and conspiracy against the state.

From 1964 to 1982 he was confined to the notorious prison island Robben Island, together with several other resistance leaders. He was then moved to prison on the mainland until his release in 1990. During his imprisonment, Mandela became a rallying point for South Africa’s oppressed, and the world’s most famous political prisoner.

Nelson Mandela shared the Peace Prize with the man who had released him, President Frederik Willem de Klerk, because they had agreed on a peaceful transition to majority rule.

Harvey Milk:  Born on May 22, 1930 in Woodmere, New York.  Harvey graduated from New York College for Teachers (now State University of New York) and enlisted in the Navy in 1951.  Discharged in 1955 with the rank of lieutenant junior grade.  He worked as a public school teacher on Long Island, a stock analyst in New York City and production associate for Broadway musicals, including Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair.  During the 1960’s and 70’s he became more actively involved in politics and advocacy and he demonstrated against the Vietnam War.  In late 1972, Milk moved to San Francisco, where he opened a camera store on Castro Street, in the heart of the city’s growing gay community.  Just over a year later, he declared his candidacy for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors – he lost but emerged from the campaign as a force to be reckoned with in local politics.  In 1975, he ran and narrowly lost.  His close friend and ally Mayor George Mascone, appointed him to the city’s Board of Permit Appeals, making Milk the first openly gay city commissioner in the United States.  In 1977, he easily won his third bid, and was inaugurated as a San Francisco City-County Supervisor on January 9, 1978. 

Harvey Milk spoke out on state and national issues of interest to LGBT people, women, racial and ethnic minorities and other marginalized communities.  One of these was a California ballot initiative, Proposition 6, which would have mandated the firing of gay teachers in the state’s public schools. State Senator John Briggs, seeking to marshal anti-gay sentiment and an agenda of hate and diminishment for political gain, spearheaded the initiative. With strong, effective opposition from Milk and others, it was defeated at a time when other political attacks on gay people were being successfully waged around the US.

Princess Diana:  Born Lady Diana Frances Spencer on July 1, 1961 in Sandringham (Norfolk, England).  Married Prince Charles on July 29, 1981.  Princess Diana pulled out of being patroness or president of over 100 social institutions and charitable organizations.  She took her role as patron of the English National Ballet, the Leprosy Mission and the British AIDS Help seriously.  She was known for her humanitary and fund-raising work for international charities.  She received recognition for her charity work and for her support of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.  From 1989, she was the president of Great Ormond Street Hospital for children, in addition to dozens of other charities.

“I remember I used to sit on hospital beds and hold people’s hands.  People used to be sort of shocked, but to me it was quite a normal thing to do.  These people need hope.  They also need encouragement.”

Mahatma Gandhi:  Born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, more commonly known as ‘Mahatma’ (meaning ‘Great Soul’) in Porbandar, Gujarat, in NorthWest India on October 2, 1869.  Married (via arranged marriage) at the age of 13 to Kasturba Makhanji.  Began college at University of College London at age of 18 in September of 1888.  Determined to adhere to Hindu principles, which included vegetarianism as well as alcohol and sexual abstinence, he found London restrictive initially, but once he had found kindred spirits he flourished, and pursued the philosophical study of religions, including Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism and others, having professed no particular interest in religion up until then.  Following admission to the English Bar, and his return to India, he found work difficult to come by and, in 1893, accepted a year’s contract to work for an Indian firm in Natal, South Africa.  Despite arriving on a year’s contract, Gandhi spent the next 21 years living in South Africa, and railed against the injustice of racial segregation.  Witnessing the racial bias experienced by his countrymen served as a catalyst for his later activism, and he attempted to fight segregation at all levels.  He founded a political movement, known as Natal Indian Congress, and developed his theoretical belief in non-violent civil protest into a tangible political stance, when he opposed the introduction of registration for all Indians, within South Africa, via non-cooperation with relevant civic authorities.

David Suzuki:  Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.  David Suzuki is an award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster.  Dr. Suzuki is a geneticist.  He graduated from Amherst College (Massachusetts) in 1958 with an Honours BA in Biology, followed by a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961.  In 1972, he was awarded the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship for the outstanding research scientist in Canada under the age of 35 and held it for three years.  He holds 25 honorary degrees in Canada, the U.S. and Australia.  He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada and is a Companion of the Order of Canada.  Dr. Suzuki has written 52 books, including 19 for children.  His 1976 text-book An Introduction to Genetic Analysis (with A.J.F. Griffiths), remains the most widely used genetics text-book in the U.S. and has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Greek, Indonesian, Arabic, French and German.  Dr. Suzuki is also recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology. He is the recipient of UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for Science, the United Nations Environment Program Medal, UNEPs Global 500 and in 2009 won the Right Livelihood Award that is considered the Alternative Nobel Prize.

Ingrid Newkirk:  Animal rights activist, author and Co-Founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in 1980.  Born in Surrey, England.  Ingrid became an animal activist at the age of 21 after discovering that a neighbour abanded some kittens and decided to bring them to an animal shelter.  This life-changing experience let to her first job working in behalf of animals – cleaning kennels and investigating cruelty cases.  Ingrid served as deputy sheriff, a Maryland state law enforcement officer with the highest success rate in convicting animal abusers, the director of cruelty investigations for the second-oldest humane society in the U.S., and the chief of animal disease control for the Commission on Public Health in Washington, D.C.  Under Ingrid’s leadership, legislation was passed to create the first-ever spray-and-neuter clinic in Washington, D.C.  She coordinated the first arrest in U.S. history of a laboratory animal experiment on cruelty charges and helped achieve the first ever anti-cruelty law in Taiwan.  She spearheaded the closure of a Department of Defense underground “wound laboratory”, and she has initiated many other campaigns against animal abuse, including ending General Motors’ car-crash tests on animals.

Let the stories and actions of all the people mentioned above, inspire and motivate you to create positive change into our world and universe. 

Resources:

www.nobelprize.org

www.peta.org

www.gorillafund.org

www.royal.gov.uk

www.harriettubmanbiography.com

www.milkfoundation.org

www.princess-diana.com

www.davidsuzuki.org

www.ingridnewkirk.com

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

 

I AM GAY and I LOVE IT!!!

In celebration of the beginning of Gay Pride festivities around the world and Gay Pride month, I thought I would reflect on how society viewed me as a gay male and how I felt I had to oppress my feelings towards other men – ultimately oppressing my true authentic self.  First – let me say this:  I don’t remember choosing my sexuality, I just remember always being attracted to the same-sex. 

Here are some questions that people have asked me about my sexuality or comments people have made after I revealed that I was gay:

When did you realized you were gay?

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I knew that I was attracted to the same-sex.  I always knew that I was.  I enjoyed being around girls – but I didn’t feel the same way as I did when I was around the same-sex.

If you knew you were gay, why did you date girls?

Wanting to be accepted is very difficult.  Today – that concept doesn’t even matter to me but as a child, teenager and young adult, who didn’t want to be accepted and fit in?  I dated girls because I witnessed first hand how our society treated homosexuals – they were teased, bullied, mocked, threatened with violence and even threatened with death.  I didn’t want any of that to happen to me – so I thought, my best choice would be to blend in and do what everyone else was doing.  I didn’t have the strength and self-confidence I needed to be myself.  I dated girls in hopes to suppress who I truly was because society was telling me that what I was feeling was against everything.

Why didn’t you ‘come out’?

See above.  Also – coming out meant possibly losing your friends and family.  What would I do?  Where would I go?  How would I take care of myself?  

When did you decide to ‘come out’?

High school was tough.  I wasn’t unpopular but I wasn’t exactly the football jock either.  There were many guys who called me “faggot”, “homo”, “cocksucker”, “butt muncher” and “fairy” – just to name a few.  They didn’t call me those names because I was ‘out’ but because the majority of my friends consisted of girls.  I was envious of the kids who were comfortable enough to be ‘out’ and took my frustrations out on them by doing the exact same thing to them as what others were doing to me.

I suppressed my feelings and turned to alcohol – I was meeting guys secretly and became very withdrawn.  I discovered our gay community and started frequenting gay bars and began to meet other gay people.  I dated a few guys (secretly) and had “boyfriends” but I would always go back to my ‘straight’  and ‘fake’ lifestyle so that people would not discover my truth. 

I was at a bar one night and ran into a girl I used to date – I girl I thought I loved for all the wrong reasons only to realized that I love her for all the right reasons.  (It wasn’t a sexual thing but a very emotional one).  I ran into her at a very popular bar – I saw her throughout the night but didn’t want to approach her.  What would she think?  How will she react to seeing me at a gay bar?  We eventually connected and the issue wasn’t as difficult as I believed it to be.  Being truthful to someone else was great but it was even more exhilarating being truthful to myself.  This was the push I needed to begin living my true authentic life.

I met my first real boyfriend and decided to leave home and moved in with him at 21.  I never looked back.

How does it feel to be gay?

The same way it feels to be straight – I have to wake-up, go to work, pay bills, etc.  I sometimes fight with my significant other about the struggles of daily life.  I go to the bathroom the same way straight people do, I bleed the same way, I have the same feelings, dreams and goals. 

Homosexuality is a sin and an abomination.

I guess that I will wait to be judged by God.  That was my old answer.  Today, I simply allow people to believe what they want.  They can hide their ignorance behind religion and what men wrote in the Bible.  To me – God isn’t judgemental, He/She/It – isn’t hateful.  He/She/It encourages love and compassion.  I don’t answer to ‘heresay’ – I answer to how I want to live and how I want to treat others – to me that is God therefore I AM GOD, YOU ARE GOD, WE ARE ALL GOD.  So don’t hate yourself – embrace and love yourself because, loving yourself ensures you love everyone.

Why does there have to be a Gay Pride Parade – there isn’t straight pride?

Gay people – like African-Americans, didn’t have the same civil liberties as their peers.  Homosexuality is continues to be a death sentence in many countries.  Gays, lesbians, transgendered and bisexual individuals are still fighting for the right not to be discriminated against in the place they work, the right to benefit from marriage and to be deemed equals in the eyes of the law as to their straight counter-parts.  We don’t want to continue to be suppressed and oppressed – we want the right to live and to love, just like everyone else.

Gay Pride has become a corporate event.  It gives businesses the opportunity to make money and boost the local economy.  It increases tourism.  It is fun and is a party.  Gay Pride is also an opportunity to remember all those who have paved the way for those of us who are benefiting from their activism.  A time to reflect on the bath house raids of Stonewall in New York City and Toronto.  It is a time to reflect on the politicians who wanted equality and paid the price with their lives (thank you Harvey Milk).  It is a time to see mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and friends unite and celebrate each others diversity.  Gay Pride is a time of year to celebrate your sexuality and not be ashamed of it or your body.  It is a time to celebrate gay fathers, policemen, politicians, teachers, bus drivers, business men and women, and so many others living their authentic lives.

GAY PRIDE is inclusive and inspiring.  It allows others to see that we are the same as everyone else.  GAY PRIDE also gives those who are living a life that I previous lived – a life of oppression, suppression, hurt and pain and make them realize that they are not alone. 

HAPPY GAY PRIDE MONTH!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one! 

INSPIRING QUOTES

Here are some inspiring words from some of very inspiring people:

NELSON MANDELA

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination”

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur.  You take the front line when there is danger.  Then people will appreciate your leadership”

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”

DR. WAYNE DYER

Wayne Dyer, PH.D., is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He’s the author of over 30 books, has created many audio programs and videos, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows.

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours”

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”

“What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds”

LOUISE L. HAY

RECENTLY DUBBED “the closest thing to a living saint” by the Australian media, Louise L. Hay is also known as one of the founders of the self-help movement. Her first book, Heal Your Body, was published in 1976, long before it was fashionable to discuss the connection between the mind and body.

“I find that when we really love and accept and approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works”

“If you are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed”

“All the events you have experienced in your lifetime up to this moment have been created by your thoughts and beliefs you have held in the past. They were created by the thoughts and words you used yesterday, last week, last month, last year, 10, 20, 30, 40, or more years ago, depending on how old you are”

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON

Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Six of her ten published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. Four of these have been #1 New York Times Best Sellers. A Return to Love is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure...” is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.

“Forgiveness is not always easy.  At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it.  And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness”

“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world”

“Love is what we were born with.  Fear is what we learned”

BILL CLINTON

William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001.

“If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes.  But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person.  It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you.  The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit”

“Let me say this as clearly as I can:  No matter how sharp a grievance or how deep a hurt, there is no justification for killing innocents”

“We must teach our children to resolve their conflicts with words, not with weapons”

WARREN BUFFET

Warren Edward Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century.

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”

“Emotional makeup is more important than technical skill”

DAVID SUZUKI

David Takayoshi Suzuki, is a Japanese Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph. D in zoology from the University of Chicago  in 1961, and was a professor in the genetics department at the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001. Since the mid-1970s, Suzuki has been known for his TV and radio series and books about nature and the environment. He is best known as host of the popular and long-running CBC Television science magazine, The Nature of Things, seen in over forty nations. He is also well-known for criticizing governments for their lack of action to protect the environment.
 
“Education has failed in a very serious way to convey the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism”
 
“If we pollute the air, water and soil that keep us alive and well, and destroy the biodiversity that allows natural systems to function, no amount of money will save us”
 
“For the sake of our health, our children and grandchildren and even our economic well-being, we must make protecting the planet our top priority”
 
 
INGRID NEWKIRK
 
Ingrid Newkirk is an English-born British American animal rights activist and the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the world’s largest animal rights organization.
 
“When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy”
 
“Being asked to support humane meat means being asked to support the suffering of animals in transport, to approve of treatment that causes them palpable fear, their bodies shaking and their eyes wide as saucers, as they are slung by their legs into crates that are slammed onto the back of a truck”
 
“I think if you are against cruelty and you look at what happens to animals in slaughterhouses and on factory farms, you have to be completely against eating meat”
 
JOHN LENNON 
 
John Winston Ono Lennon, was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of the Beatles, the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in the history of popular music.
 
“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”
 
“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky.  I believe that what people call God is something in all of us.  I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right.  It’s just that the translations have gone wrong”
 
“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace”
 
WOODY HARRELSON
 
Actor, environmental activist, ethical vegan and raw foodist and supporter for the legalization of marijuana and hemp.
 
“The war against terrorism is terrorism”
 
“I think my best skill in this whole deal is as a conduit to try to bring people together, because I think it’s in our unity that we’ll have the greatest strength”
 
“The common man or women, whether they are Israeli or Palestinian or Catholic or Iraqi or American, the common man just wants to live in peace and justice in a clean environment.  When we look around the world and we see that is not the case, we know the will of the majority is not being listened to, that’s the first sign that our system is broken”
 
“There are a helluva lot more of us who care about our environment in the world than we realize.  We’re the majority, and we can do something about that” 
 
HARVEY MILK
 
Harvey Bernard Milk was an American politician who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
 
“Hope will never be silent”
 
“If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door”
 
“It takes no compromising to give people their rights.  It takes no money to respect the individual.  It takes no survey to remove repressions”
 
“Coming out is the most political thing you can do”
 
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN LEWIS
 
John Robert Lewis is an American politician and civil rights leader. He is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, serving since 1987, and is the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation.
 
“I say to people today, ‘You must be prepared if you believe in something.   If you believe in something, you have to go for it.  As individuals, we may not live to see the end”
 
“When I was 15 years old in the tenth grade, I heard Martin Luther King, Jr.  Three years later, when I was 18, I met Dr. King and we became friends.  Two years after that I became very involved in the civil rights movement.  I was in college at the time.  As I got more and more involved, I saw politics as a means of bringing about change”
 
“If you’re not hopeful and optimistic, then you just give up.  You have to take that long hard look and just believe that if your consistent, you will succeed”
 
These quotes and words come from people who were and continue to be passionate about what they strongly believe in, whether that is our environment, politics, animals, human rights and freedom – they have all been and continue to be conduits for positive change.
 

Together we can make the world a more positive one!

 

GAY MARRIAGE – IS IT THE END OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT?

I have been legally married to my partner of almost 20 years now for just over 6 years.  Our marriage has not brought down the ‘wrath of God’, it has not disrupted any of the lives of our friends or family and it certainly hasn’t inconvenienced any of those who adamantly opposed it for years.   In the eyes of Canadian law – my partnership/marriage is treated as equal as that of my sister and her husband’s partnership or the partnership of my mother and father.  As it should be.

The Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS) is preparing to hear arguments in the Prop 8 (Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment passed in November 2008 state elections.  The measure added a new provision, Section 7.5 of the Declaration of Rights, to the California Constitution, which provides that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California DOMA) and DOMA (Defence of Marriage Act).

It is my belief that if religious institutions don’t believe in gay marriage – they shouldn’t have to perform them and should not be forced to do so.  What I don’t agree with is when businesses deny their services or products to individuals because of their sexual orientation and religious beliefs.  I don’t understand why homosexuals would even support these religious institutions or businesses that blatantly discriminate against them because of who they love. 

Psychology Today listed Top 10 Reasons to Support Gay Marriage back in May 2012 – here is the Top 10:

  1. Discrimination frays the human spirit.
  2. Making committed human connections is good for physical and mental health.
  3. Forming families, traditional or not, is good for the soul.
  4. Marriage is a basic human right and an individual personal choice and the State should not interfere with same-gender couples who choose to marry.
  5. Homosexuality is a normal variant of adult sexuality; gay men and lesbians possess the same potential and desire for sustained loving and lasting relationships as heterosexuals including loving and parenting children.  This is supported by hard data, not just opinion.
  6. Discriminatory marriage laws deprive gay and lesbian couples of over 1000 federal rights and benefits.
  7. Deprivation of these benefits has demonstrable negative psychological and social impact on same-sex couples, their children and families.
  8. Change and adaptation make for a stronger and psychological richer society.
  9. Same-sex couples can teach heterosexual couples how couples in relationships lacking gender-based power dynamics often solve problems and make decisions with more respect and mutuality.
  10. Ending discrimination enhances the human spirit and makes all of our lives better.

(Some of these reasons are taken from the position statement of the American Psychoanalytic Association on gay marriage approved in 1997 and revised in 2008. To read the entire statement and other American psychoanalytic Association position statements on gay rights and other social issues, go to http://apsa.org/About_APsaA/Position_Statements.aspx)

Gay marriage or homosexuality – will not be the end of civilization.  Homosexuality has been around since the beginning of time and the world has been no different.  People tend to fear what they don’t know or understand.  If people don’t let go of their fears and come to understand that we are all the same – then they will never be able to let go of their ignorance and intolerance. 

Together, we can make the world a more positive one.