While browsing social media the other day, I came across a post regarding Shane Dawson. I had never heard of him before, so I looked him up. Shane is a bisexual YouTuber, comedian, actor, etc., who suffers from body dysmorphic disorder. He has many followers, including many in the LGBTQ+ community. The controversy: He has worn blackface, used racial slurs, and spoken positively about both pedophilia and zoophilia.
Milo Yiannopoulos is another individual who identifies as LGBTQ+ and has generated a lot of social media posts. Besides being a conservative political commentator, he had a long history of racist, sexist, transphobic, and other bigoted comments. It wasn’t until he spoke positively about pedophilia that society seemed to make him persona non grata.
Several social media posts have recently renewed focus on the Chick-fil-A restaurant company and its support of anti-LGBTQ+ organizations. Since 2017, Chick-fil-A has donated just under $2 million to anti-LGBTQ groups, including several that promote conversion therapy. This has caused many people to boycott the fast-food chain.
About a month ago, I couldn’t get away from social media coverage on the United Methodist Church. The church recently renewed restrictions on LGBTQ clergy members, including prohibiting them from marrying same-sex couples and prohibiting same-sex wedding ceremonies from being held in Methodist buildings. This has turned away many LGBTQ individuals from not only the Methodist Church, but from Christianity in general.
Another hot-button social media story is the case of the apparent attack on Jussie Smollett. I remember when the now-debunked attack first happened and everyone called for justice. We all did what we should – we believed the victim. Now what are we supposed to do? It is a difficult, delicate situation. Individuals like Smollett – LGBTQ+ people of color – have faced and continue to face challenges that I will never know. So, how should I feel?
For me, it seems that I am connected to friends and others who are going to have strong opinions about any of these issues. It is inevitable. I would like to think that having a diverse set of friends makes me more worldly, more well-rounded. I certainly do not want to get into a situation where groupthink permeates my life.
But I feel that groupthink does take over many times in the LGBTQ+ community. We have a tendency to pass judgment: either damnation or deliverance. Sometimes we pass this judgment without examining all the facts or considering the implications of this judgment. Let’s face it: It is easier for us to be silent and just accept what society – or the LGBTQ+ community – is telling us.
I would posit that we should take time to become educated. We shouldn’t just follow along with peers. We should weigh the facts. We should examine our biases. And we should make our own judgments.
Although it is easier to go along with our peers, I believe that we all should challenge ourselves to look into these controversial topics more closely. We should make our own damnation vs. deliverance judgment. Then we should be ready to engage in a healthy dialogue with those who disagree with us.
How do you feel about this? Drop me a line and let me know your opinion at OUTvoices Editor.