Sunday, October 24, 2010

Differences and Tolerance


My art is about expression. Expressing my feelings the best way I know how. While it might not convey to everyone the particular issue I am addressing at the moment, it is more than enough for me. I've heard that something always hits close to home when it affects a loved one, be it friend, family or spouse. Last weekend a problem the GLBT community has been facing hit especially close to home for me. Literally and figuratively. A family member of mine was gay bashed in my neighborhood. Around the corner where we live. Fortunately, he got away lightly by running for his life, no part of him broken or bloody. 

What's unfortunate is the NYPD, who finally showed after being repeatedly summoned but did nothing to apprehend the attackers a couple of us saw filing into a house nearby. The police officers told us to contact the detectives after my relative recovered from his attack. I was disappointed but unsurprised at the callous and lazy approach of these officers. But what truly blew me away was the powerless feeling that came over me when I saw the group of fifteen kids, yes kids, who were still looking for a fight after my relative ran away. What can one do when surrounded by such a large number?   

Anyway, this piece isn't really about my feelings of fear but came about after the incident. Any difference that is ridiculed, feared or misunderstood is still viewed as a threat. I had thought by now we lived in a society where tolerance had more or less replaced violence but it's such a naive thought. And any attempt to enlighten ignorance is deemed menacing. This post isn't meant to sound heavy-handed, nor am I trying to preach from atop the soapbox. Just the opposite. 

I have a hard time with words, so this is a bit difficult to write. But, if there is anyone reading this that is different in any way, please keep going no matter what. Don't let hopelessness overtake you despite what others say and do. Be yourself and don't give up.


Melbus said...

It's ridiculous the way our world is going now with all this gay bashing. They act as if they are the ones who are going home to people of the same sex and sleeping with them at night if people allowed homosexuality to thrive. All this senseless hating is just plain stupid.

And it doesn't help that it comes from adults who harbor these feelings in the first place and teach their young ones to judge and hate as well.

People just can't mind their own damn business and leave others alone. Nosiness is what's plaguing our people today too.

In addition, your post needs to be youtubed in Dan Savage's project.

ERICA said...

Great post... and artwork. Although I have never been the center of attack for being gay, my daughter has. She is constantly ridiculed day-after-day for having two moms. I just hope it makes her stronger and a better person for understanding everyone's differences.

Museless said...

Mel, yes - it's the hatred that's handed down these days and not much else.

Erica - thank you. Your daughter is strong for withstanding those attacks and if anything she always has great parents to turn to!