The system is broken
Alright. Normally even my most serious of entries contain a healthy amount of depreciating humor that I'm just as eager to use on myself as I am on those around me. There's very little I approach without a quick wit. It's something of a coping mechanism that I use to deal with the world I find myself in. We all have to do what we have to do to survive, and I'm the same.
Because I'm approaching this without making a joke or an obscure reference that only Smeag or Wrack 'n' Ruin would get, I hope you all can appreciate just how serious I am about this. It's something I take extremely serious, and I hope all of you can respect that.
In case it isn't blatantly obvious, I am referring to a topic related to sexuality. Specifically I want to talk about BZPower's rules on the subject. While for the most part I've been happy with the ruling, but in the recent months I've become increasingly aware that it is an insidious double standard and one that simply must be done away if BZPower is to maintain its claim as being for equality.
This is a bold claim to be sure, but one that I am positive is demonstrable. The staff has claimed multiple times that sexuality is not a political nor a religious issue. I used to agree with them when it comes to this, and in many ways I still believe that claim. However ideals do not exist in a vacuum even if we want them to. While sexuality should neither be a political nor a religious issue, the sad fact is that sexuality is very much so both a political and a religious issue. To think otherwise would be to deny the reality that we find ourselves in. Sexuality is inexplicitly tied to both religion and politics even though it shouldn't be. My blog entries and the responses therein are a testament to this fact. An attempt to deal with sexuality as anything but a political/religious issue is an attempt doomed to failure. If we want real, permanent change we must accept this fact. To deny it is not only foolish. It is detrimental to progress.
I say it is time for the rules to change. The system is broken. The rules as they stand now do not line up with the virtues espoused and harbored by both the staff and the members. We stand for equality. We stand for the dignity of every single human being, regardless of their beliefs or orientation. If this is true, and I'm sure that we are believe in it, then I must pose this question: why am I being silenced alongside the bigots and the hateful?
There is no mistaking it. That is exactly what is happening. The rules that once kept the floodgates from breaking have become antiquated. They are suppressing those who are already suppressed. I am not allowed to voice events surrounding my rights and liberties. I am not allowed to talk about serious events that have a serious impact about me. Why? Because bigots might raise their voice. Because those who would seek to hate me for who I am would do exactly that. So to prevent them from doing so, I am prevented from talking. If I do wish to talk about these events, I am forced to do so in a manner that skirts around the issue at best and only thinly veils it at worst.
If you don't believe me, consult this entry. What exactly have I done wrong here? People were being supportive and there was no flaming or bigotry. Apparently mentioning the DOMA by name was the reason the entry was closed. Suppose I removed the reference. Suppose I said "Today some big event happened in relation to the GBLT community. I have mixed feelings." I suppose that would be an acceptable substitute in the eyes of the rules, but nothing as changed. It's clearly obvious as to what event I am mentioning, and it won't stop the bigots from coming in and being hateful. It's insulting to both parties to dance around the issue when it's cut and dry what we're really talking about.
In a twisted way I suppose it's a sense of equality. I'm not allowed to talk about serious events in relation to my sexuality, and the bigots aren't either. Then again the idea of silencing a person about their sexuality just because people won't take kindly to it doesn't exactly sit well with me. Mainly because it's erasure. Which is a bad thing.
It's for this reason I left staff a few months ago. At the time the current rules and their implementation didn't sit well with me, but I didn't quite understand why. I knew something was wrong. I didn't know what. Now I have realized the reason. I am being silenced alongside the bigots. Because my sexuality and reveling in progress might upset people. It might cause people to use hateful language. It might cause people to express bigotry.
Anywhere else this would be called victim blaming. On BZP we call this equality.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the staff are all monsters who are suppressing me. I was once staff. I've stood in their shoes. I know what it's like. You often have to make the best of an absolutely terrible situation, and it's rarely an easy thing to do. I really do emphasize with them, and they have my sympathies. However my empathy will not prevent me criticizing the really culprit here. The rules are to blame, and they need to be changed in a way that does not silence those who are oppressed.
If people are going to be bigots in response to my blog post about DOMA, then let them be punished for being bigots. Do not silence me because they might be bigots. Do not ask me to not talk about my sexuality. Do not try to hide behind the veil of 'equality' by silencing both parties. Do not insult me by offering me small, narrow gaps with which I can express my sexuality.
And don't tell me nothing good ever comes out of this. Kakaru stands as a shining example of the good that comes from confronting bigotry head on. He made some offhand remarks like how "My religion doesn't agree with your sexuality but I still like you." I challenged him on it. He changed. Change does happen when you don't silence people because of their sexuality.
My name is Gato, and I'm done putting up with this disgusting double standard.