Equal Rights Blog Hop – the easy peasy, lemon squeezy bit

equalrightbloghop

I’m proud to blog today in support of the Equal Rights Blog Hop.

Mind you, I doubted my right to blog about the theme of the blog hop—that is, what it means to me to be a part of the LGBT community.  Because I’m not. As a writer of m/m romances, I’m barely on the edge of the communities that count themselves as LGBT, but I do count myself as a straight ally. That means, of course, that I have no direct experience of anti-LGBT prejudice. There’s what I read, of course, and see. And there’s what I know of my own privilege, things I don’t have to think about and dammit, that I should be thinking about and how the lack of that impacts my LGBT friends.

When I was single, it used to annoy the hell out of me how society is structured around couples. It was uncomfortable to go alone to concerts or the theatre, or walk into a pub on my own or a restaurant. Sometimes it was worse to be the gooseberry when generous friends invited me along so I wouldn’t be alone.

I might have worried a bit about what people thought when they saw me sitting alone at table, a book propped against my glass. Pity, do you think, for someone who was obviously a failure at meeting society’s expectations? A little self-congratulation that they weren’t so pathetic that they had to sit alone in a restaurant? You can see why it was a little uncomfortable for me.

But, by and large, it was **safe**.

I didn’t have to worry that the looks were not just pity, but contempt, hate and anger. I didn’t have to wonder if I’d be insulted and yelled at or spat upon as I ate my meal. I didn’t have to size up everyone looking at me to try and gauge the level of threat they offered, to wonder if that angry-looking bunch over there would jump me to put the boot in as I left the theatre.

Privilege. I had it then and didn’t know it. Now I realise how very lucky I was and am. How, even when single, I wasn’t ‘other’. How safe I was and am, and how risky it still is for gay, lesbian and transgendered men and women.

And then it was borne in on me that it’s wider than that. It’s not about rights for one part of our society but about ALL our rights. If, as a woman, I demand and expect all civil and human rights—and responsibilities—then that same principle applies to everyone. And if the rights of one group are threatened and denied, then all our rights are at risk of being threatened and denied.  We’re all in this together. To different degrees and coming at it from different angles,with different experiences and maybe with a different level of anger and hurt. Sure, that’s true. But this mess?  This is a *human* mess that we need to sort out, or we’re all diminished.

That’s what makes me an ally. It’s the least any rational human can do—sign petitions here, write to MPs there, support gay marriage whole heartedly, and support equality in every aspect of our lives, everything from council tenancies to pension rights. Whatever makes my life mine, makes my interactions safe, gives me my place in society—that by right belongs to everyone, not just the straight. Or the white. Or the able-bodied.

It’s probably not enough and I should do more. But it’s offered with love and respect. Because people matter, not their sexual orientation or their gender, their colour or their physical or mental abilities. Just their humanity matters. Whatever else in this battle is hard and painful, take that statement as the truth that should underpin it, the principle from which everything flows.

Every person matters, you see. That’s the bit that’s easy peasy.

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And to support this, I’m offering a free e-version of my novella, Flashwired. If you want to enter the giveaway, comment here with your email address and I’ll name the winner after the blog hop ends.

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As I said, I’m proud to support the blog hop today.  Go HERE to Queertown Abbey to see who else is participating and join in.  There are prizes to be won there.

Below are the authors who have joined us.

31 thoughts on “Equal Rights Blog Hop – the easy peasy, lemon squeezy bit

  1. That’s what makes me an ally. It’s the least any rational human can do—sign petitions here, write to MPs there, support gay marriage whole heartedly, and support equality in every aspect of our lives, everything from council tenancies to pension rights. Whatever makes my life mine, makes my interactions safe, gives me my place in society—that by right belongs to everyone, not just the straight. Or the white. Or the able-bodied.

    Beautifully said!

  2. As a single person myself, your post is very thought-provoking (love CONTACT SPORT, by the way)…

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

  3. I’m single and have been most of my life. There are times I think the sames thing you have but overall at the end I find that I don’t really care. What matters isn’t what other think of me but what I think of myself and the choices I’ve made or will be making.

    Thanks so much for the post and for participating in the hop.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  4. “Because people matter, not their sexual orientation or gender, their colour or their physical or mental abilities. Just their humanity matters.” Thank you for saying this and for adding those with physical and mental disabilities. Both of my children have autism & they struggle harder than I ever had to & they are 10 & 6.

    Wolphcall(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    • Hi Lisa
      I really believe that we shouldn’t compartmentalise rights because those who oppose one sector, threaten all. I have an uncle who has Asperger’s, although high functioning, so I have some (limited) understanding of your situation. I hope you get the support you need for your children and that they – and you! – thrive.

      Anna

  5. There’s always more we could be doing, but I hope if the smallest thing we do is speak up if anyone around you is displaying hatred and bigotry, boy, that would go a long way. I can’t help thinking that the people who are bigoted don’t have enough people in their life calling them on that behavior. Sure, some people wouldn’t change, but some people need someone to speak up and say, “hey, that’s not okay.” And maybe those people would start to listen to the stories that are all around us and maybe start to care a little more. Maybe I’m wrong, but the more people speak up, it seems like things get better and better.

    Thanks so much for being part of the hop and sharing with us, Anna!

    • Yes, this! It’s the whole thing about evil not needing positive action by evil men to thrive – all evil needs is the silence and inaction of good people. We all should learn to say “hey, that’s not okay” and stand for what, in our hearts, we must know is right.
      Thanks for reading, Carolyn. If you want to be included in the draw for FlashWired, please let me have an email addy.

      • Thank you so much for responding, Anna. I’ve really enjoyed reading all the dialogue that’s been opened up on yours and the other posts that are part of the hop. It’s wonderful to see people focused on equality and what it means for each of us.

        Carolyn
        caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com

  6. Beautifully said–thank you for sharing this with us. Slow to join the party here–I’ve been without power for a chunk of Friday and yesterday vanished when I spent most of the afternoon pretending to read (while ‘resting my eyes’). I’m more awake today and ready to roll up my sleeves and get back to work–because it’s never over, is it? We can’t rest on our laurels and say, “Hey, that battle’s been fought and won already!”

    There’s always someone waiting to take those rights back. Now that we’re making gains in GLBTQ rights in the US, I’m seeing a big backlash against heterosexual women. Which is why I say we’re all in this together. 🙂

  7. I know what you mean about the single thing. I go out to eat by myself and I live by myself, so I do a ton of stuff alone. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been given weird looks for being alone, but I haven’t gotten half as many as my friend and her girlfriend when they’re together. I think it’s sad that society has these prejudices and I’m glad you’re fighting against them as well. Thanks for sharing and for participating Anna!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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