“Same Love” Musings
For those who pay attention, like… at all, you’ve probably already heard the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Mary Lambert) song, “Same Love”. Me being the person I am, avoiding the radio like the freaking plague most of the time, I only heard the song for the first time yesterday as I was driving to work. I know. It was out in 2012 in support of legalizing gay marriage in Washington state. I’m just clueless. I wasn’t even sure if there was a music video, so I just looked it up. Tada! 😀
There are a lot of things in this song that resonated with me. Here are a few snippets of the lyrics and what went through my mind (besides the whole “HELL FUCKING YEAH!” thought because, yeah, that’s a given ^_~).
The right wing conservatives think it’s a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made rewiring of a predisposition
I know I’ll totally be preaching to the choir here, but dude. How fucked up is it that people still think being non-cis-gendered or non-heterosexual is somehow a choice? People don’t wake up in the morning and go, “Hmm… I think I’d like to get a healthy dose of cruelty and ridicule today! Let me put on my transgender shirt, my gay sneakers, and heck, let’s slip into my minority pants. That’ll make for the best day evar!”
No. Just… no. We don’t choose our sexual or gender identities just like we don’t choose the skin color or hair and eye color that we’re born with. The only facet that can be chosen is in the realm of expression. Those conversion camps might try to suppress anything out of line with what is considered acceptable heterosexual masculinity and femininity, but all they’re doing is putting a mask onto people. They use religion as a crutch, usually so trained non-counselors can ‘guide’ you through activities any trained professional would question. -__-; I’m not down with that. I’m just glad someone wrote a song explicitly saying that they’re not down with it either.
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
Man, remember when gay was an expression for happiness? Something positive? Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Make the Yultide gay. (Yeah, before they changed the lyric like it was a dirty word. I could rant on that, too.) At least Don we now our gay apparel remains the same. (Side note: Gay was used a lot in Christmas carols… which were mostly written before 1960. Not saying non-het people had it easier back then; it’s just strange how words change over time.)
Now, you only get the whole “no homo” thing and a lot of people using the anonymity of the Internet to their advantage, spouting off all sorts of bile and stupidity because it’s so easy to write something and then take the sage advice of not reading the comments that typically stream after you when you behave like a dink.
I’m still hoping people will quit judging others for the dumb stuff like sex, gender, and sexuality/attraction, and spend more time judging people’s actions and, you know… actual character.
If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
Wish they’d kept that sort of message in mind when they preached at the churches I’ve been to over the years. Only one church I went to really did seem to accept people as they were. I enjoyed myself there because I felt that there wasn’t anything wrong with being myself and doing my best to be a better me. I got so tired of the whole “We don’t hate GLBT people! We don’t hate the sinners; we only hate the sin itself!” Uh… you’re still saying being non-het/non-cis is essentially a sin that you are deigning to forgive. Doesn’t exactly endear you as much as you probably want it to. ^_~
When kids are walking ’round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are
This one really got to me. I choked up a little when I heard that lyric on the radio. Someone actually addressing how toxic the environment has become to youth who identify outside what’s considered the ‘norm’. Or even are just perceived as identifying outside the ‘norm’. I was ridiculed in high school and called a lesbian and a dyke at times (mostly behind my back) by people who assumed that I was gay because I didn’t date or fuck around. Perhaps people saw that I had a crush on my female best friend–I can’t know for sure–but most just saw that I was an oddball, and so they tried to lash out and push me down by giving me a label they thought was an insult. It wasn’t an insult to me. My senior year of high school, I came out as bisexual (at least to some degree, since I didn’t even realize what genderqueerness was and probably wouldn’t have been ready to apply that label to myself, no matter how true it was). I let the grapevine do its thing; word spreads fast when you’re the drum major of the marching band. Only a couple had the balls to ask if the rumors about me being a lesbian were true, and I had no problem correcting them and talking to them.
I was lucky in a lot of ways. In the marching band, we have a lot of oddball people, a lot of different personalities, but we’re all generally considered geeks when compared to most other groups of kids/teens, so I think that put me in a better environment than a lot of other QUILTBAG youth. The boy I crushed on later on came out as gay, and my female best friend has questioned and experimented a bit since then as well. We were never dragged behind the bleachers and beaten up for being who we are. We might have faced a few insults being thrown our way, but to my knowledge, that was the extent of it beyond your typical relationship-based high school drama.
Things have gotten worse since I was in high school, thanks at least in part to the rise of social media and the pervasive presence of the Internet in everyday life. It has its pluses and minuses, and one of the minuses is the anonymity I mentioned earlier, enabling a LOT more bullying in a way that disconnects the bullies from their victims. It’s so easy to spread cruel rumors through a computer screen or type something truly scathing that you’d never dare say to someone’s face. You don’t have to deal with their reaction. Not really. You don’t have to see them cry or worry about them lashing out and hurting you physically. Being removed from the action allows for a lot more abuse that many parents aren’t even trying to regulate or stave off.
I wasn’t on the receiving end of that kind of vitriol, and I can only imagine what some QUILTBAG youth deal with these days. “A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are.” That’s what it’s come down to, and that hate is a systemic issue. The solution has to start with people who won’t stand for it, not from their teachers, not from fellow students, not from fellow parents, not from their children. It means engaging, though, and nothing is more frightening than engaging with those who are cruel to you when you feel they have all the power.
I’ve totally rambled, I know. But the end-note here is just that I heard the song and was happy that someone in hip-hop was speaking plainly about gay marriage and gayness in general in a really damn supportive tone. Now, of course, it didn’t mention bi, trans*, or non-cisgendered people, but I’m not really bitching. The time for those songs will come as well. One can only hope. ^_^