I have been on an unannounced hiatus to deal with my academics. I had two tests in the last week. I felt pretty good about the exams… until I took them. The Geography test was not that bad. Linear Algebra… I did some of the problems from the review and what was included in “The Secret Weapon.” Felt good… then I took the test. In short, I hate conceptual math. Application of math, that’s fine.
In the meantime, I have been absorbing current events and what has been taking place in a wide variety of topics. It is sometimes difficult to come up with a meaningful response with everything that is taking place all at once. So if things sound a little dated, I apologize.
In the last week, there has a trend of lack of compassion towards our fellow citizens that has been publicized in the media and among my loyal followers. It is time to speak up about that.
A week ago, according to the blog Joe My God, a 14-year old girl in La Crosse, WI was confronted and threatened with violence because she was carrying the LGBT Stars and Stripes flag in the town’s Maple Leaf Parade.
During the past week there have been a range of suicides in both the LGBT Youth Community (Rutgers college student, various teenagers across the country) and Veterans Community.
I have one word to say:
First, the attacks on LGBT Youths have to stop. To the man who attacked the 14-year old in Wisconsin, that is pretty low. For his actions, he should lose his Man Card for that.
Second, I think it has been established that I am not gay; however I know what it is like to struggle to find people who are accepting of the type of person you are. I have my family and found groups of people who care deeply about me. If I am faced with any kind of trouble, I have people who I can fall back on to help me out with my problems.
I understand what it is like to be in a place where things are not looking well. Earlier at the beginning of the year I had some struggles with both my personal and academic life that required some intervention from my mother. A combination of talking about it and medication has helped and things are slowly getting better. There are still some problems, but they are not as overwhelming as before.
To those that harass people based on their sexual identity or perceived sexual identity, you have to have a pretty low self esteem of yourself to do so. On top of that, it is possible that you yourself also have some unresolved sexual identity issues and in order to feel better about yourself, you need to go after those weaker than you.
If you feel the need to harass someone… come after me.
I witnessed this harassment firsthand two weeks ago. On September 18, my friend Stacey and I were entertaining some company who had come up from Austin to celebrate at the Dallas Pride Parade. Two of Stacey’s friends were already in the gayberhood waiting for our arrival. I was driving Stacey and two of her other friends from Austin who are both LGBT activists: Tiffany, a fellow Navy veteran; and Ambalika, a college student.
We were driving south on 35E approaching to where it meets with TX-183 at the Mockingbird Lane exit when all of a sudden there was a loud rumbling noise. I thought I hit a rough patch of pavement. Oh no… The back left tire blew out. Fortunately, there was no damage to the rim, but it stalled our arrival time. While Tiffany and I were working to get the spare on in the parking lot of an office complex at 35E and Mockingbird, Stacey and Ambalika attempted to locate a bathroom. The nearest bathroom was in a gas station at TX-183 and Mockingbird Lane.
Moments later Stacey and Ambalika came back recalling that they were not allowed to use the bathroom because first, they were women and second, they received cat calls both on the way to, in the gas station, and on the way back. Now, I agree this was neither the best time nor place to experience a breakdown; however (comma) the cat calls were unnecessary and de-humanizing. The gas station attendant suggested that Stacey and Ambalika use the bathroom in the adult video store a fourth of a mile down the frontage road. If you want to see pissed, those two were the definition of pissed.
The spare was on the car. We were about to head out when Ambalika exploded in rage. She was crying. I got out of the car, opened up Ambalika’s door, and told her to come give me a hug. I gave her a hug to let her know that not every man is a jerk. There are a few good guys out there who are trying to do the right thing.
I also did it because it could have easily been people I care about. I was angry. I wanted to confront the store owners about their behavior and how that was unacceptable. Fortunately, the place was closed up.
Finally, and this is my connecting point to all communities (Veteran, LGBT, College Student, Denton, etc). I remember something the Commander of the Fourth Stryker Brigade said when his unit returned from Iraq back in August. He told his troops something very important and I feel it is important to echo that. He told his troops that we have not lost anyone yet. The buddy system is in place. If something does not look right, report it to the chain-of-command. What he meant was that during their time in Iraq, the Fourth Stryker Brigade did not lose a single soldier on deployment. Even though the unit was back at home, that didn’t mean that its members were to stop looking after each other.
If you are contemplating harming yourself: don’t.
It is not the answer. As a fellow human being, I ask for you to seek help. Again, it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. I cannot count how many times I have asked for help with various problems. Some minor, but still, it is OK to ask for help. You don’t know what kind of resources you have at your disposal unless you ask for help.
If you know someone who is contemplating taking their own life, intervene even if it pisses them off. I’d rather have someone angry with me who is alive than someone who is dead. Doctors and nurses cannot cure dead. They can, however, treat emotional issues. They are pretty good at that.
Life is a difficult journey; it is not meant to be one taken alone.