Value in Life Style Choices

It is wonderful to be an individual, to really live as you want to live and love who you want to love. When you are being true to yourself, you are different.  Sadly, for too long, different has been a code word for wrong. Different does not give anyone permission to hate. And yet, we all know that it is our differences that people call us out on.

What happens to you if you realize that you are gay, transgendered or bi-sexual? Now you are at risk of being excluded, not solely because of yourself, but because of who you love. Since love and acceptance are basic needs it sets up a horrible conflict.  You can either love the people you are attracted to and risk being hated for that, or you can admire them from afar and forever be lonely and dissatisfied.

As the Military adjusts to the changes that the repeal of  “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” which allows Gays and Lesbians to serve openly in the military.  Society outside of the Military has to adjust too.

Lesbian tells her commanding officer she dated gay men to blend in during "Don't Ask Don't Tell."

How do we begin to find tolerance for one another? How do we erase years of being taught to hate anything that is different from ourselves? Can we learn to see what is?

Because bring LGBT was forbidden, anyone who felt those feelings was condemned. If anyone prayed on or abused LGBT the victim was regarded as deserving the pain inflicted on them. But if we see bullying, rape, and torture as always wrong then it is easy to see that punishing the perpetrators is always right.  There has been a change in consciousness brought about by those who have loved and lost people to hate.  In October 2009, President Obama signed into Law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the measure expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

What can be done to turn hate into love?  In December 1998, Judy and Dennis Shepard founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which supports diversity and tolerance in youth organizations.  In 2001, The Point Foundation was created as the first and largest national foundation to support academic achievement in higher education among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students by providing financial support, mentoring and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.

As individuals, we need to make peace both within ourselves and with those around us.  If you feel hate towards others because of their differences or if you feel hate toward yourself because you cannot be like others, consider working out your pain through the LifeLine Technique.  You are worthy of love and valuable in all you bring to the world.  Your unique gifts and talents will never be duplicated by anyone else.  Let your light shine.

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