Sunday, May 01, 2011

Anti-gay protesters

I've tried arguing with them. I've done it for years, even in the years where it reduced me to tears to do it.
I've learned in recent months that arguing and debating with these mooks is a pointless waste of time and just ruins my own enjoyment of my life.
Don't get me wrong, if someone comes at me and starts something I am going to defend myself and the rest of the GLBT community (even if I feel I don't really fit into that community most of the time). Also, my unwillingness to start up arguments with homophobes doesn't mean I've lost my taste for political, social and religious debates. I just got tired of getting angry and depressed every time I argued with idiots like the protesters at Phoenix Pride this year. I wrote about them in a blog that night.
A couple of nights ago I discovered the stats page on my blogger account (this switch to WordPress is very recent) and I was looking at the websites I'd received traffic from. Most of it was normal, some google searches on recent news I'd written about, links from my twitter and facebook pages and a few from Autostraddle where I post links to my blog whenever applicable to a conversation. However, one of the links was unfamiliar to me, so I did was any good internet stalker does...I followed it. It took me to a blog for the "Official Street Preachers" (I'm linking as proof, but visiting will do nothing except driving their visitor numbers up. You can't comment on their posts or anything like that. It's just more of the same religious homophobic bullshit.)
At first I wondered, "who are these street preachers and why are people visiting my blog from their website?" Then I realized. Their latest post (April 23rd) was about the "Phoenix Sodomite Parade" (their words, not mine, in case the quotes didn't give that away.) So, these were the morons I had written about. The crazy protesters from Tempe (they talk about that protest) and Pride (they have a whole 37 minute Youtube video about that. If you have high blood pressure don't watch it.) That still didn't answer why people were visiting my website through them though. So I read through the post until I got to this section.
Articles regarding our presence on the route:
Verbal Assaults rattled the 2011 Phoenix Pride Parade and Festival attendees“….On Saturday, April 17th the Pride parade goers were verbally assaulted as they attempted to enter the gates of Steel Indian School Park's Phoenix Pride Festival……"Slit your wrists…Commit suicide…God hates Homo Sex…You are going to Hell" are all the sentiments of Rubin Israel who is a self proclaimed official street preacher with the Bible Believers. It was his group that perpetrated the hate signs and sentiment….”

Spent the day at Phoenix Pride
“….Anyway, just as I was about to turn into to the park we saw...guess who.
That's right, the protestor's from the club the night before. I guess the night before was a warm-up for the real deal today? They were behind barricades, to protect them or us is anyone's guess. I found they amused me more than they enraged me. There we were, a long sidewalk full of GLBT people headed for Pride and these protestors (who were not nearly as annoying, frustrating or infuriating as Westboro Baptist. Clearly they need more practice.) are shouting about how we will have to pay a price for our sins and how we needed to find Jesus….” least they had to common decency to post a link and credit me for my post. This also explained one of the Google search results on my stats page. The one that read "Phoenix Pride protesters". So first they go Google stalking for blogs and news articles talking about them and then they post links. I'm confused. Neither of the links viewed them in a good light, the first calls them on their "verbal assaults" and the second (mine) is written by a lesbian political and social blogger. I guess they feel validated somehow because people are talking about them? Oh well, they can enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame. You would think by now that people like this would have realized that coming out to the club district or protesting at a Pride parade is never going to change people. If we are out enough and happy enough that we feel comfortable going to Pride, I think we are pretty much a lost cause at that point. Even my parents have that much figured out now. (My own dad picked me at a restaurant nearby Pride when I thought I had heat stroke. He didn't say a word, even though he "doesn't approve of my choices".)

The very fact that people like this persist, even though they are yelling at people who aren’t going to change, just tells me that their protests are no longer about “saving souls” they are about hate. Purely and simply…they hate us. They want to reduce us to anger and tears because that is the only power they have over us. We can’t let them win, so next time you see a crowd of protesters…just keep walking. Hold your head up high and don’t give them a response, because you’ll never change their minds. They hate you and they want you to hate yourself too, don’t give them the satisfaction of a response.

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