Pride Blog Series Day 24 – Diane Marina

bio_pic_diane-marinaAs we all know, June is Pride Month. It’s not only a time to party and attend parades, but a time to reflect on how much we’ve accomplished and what still needs to be done. This year especially, we in the US have lots to be proud of. State after state after state has been overturning gay marriage bans (even some states that frankly, I never thought would pass anything in our favor). We have a President and a Supreme Court who support our rights, and we can finally take pride in our justice system.  Slowly, we are moving in the right direction of becoming accepted by the “mainstream”.

Despite these advances in becoming accepted, there is one area that we should not be proud of, and that is our lack of acceptance for others.  Of course, I’m generalizing here and not pointing the finger at all in our community, but I have most definitely come across quite a few who have not been tolerant of anyone who is considered outside the periphery of being 100% lesbian.  These people judge and scoff at anyone who doesn’t fit the mold. Straight? Forget about it. Bisexual? You’re not worth my time. Transgendered? You’re not a “real” lesbian. When did this behavior become acceptable?

Years ago, my brother-in-law was starring in a local production of Rocky Horror Picture Show. My wife and I thought it would be fun to get a group of friends together to go to the show. We invited a mix of friends, predominantly straight, and a few lesbian friends. We attended the show, and throughout, one of our lesbian friends continually had a scowl on her face.  We didn’t have the chance to speak privately that night, but soon afterwards, she said, “we had fun, but I don’t understand why you invited so many straight people. Why would you want to be friends with straight people?” I was speechless. This woman fit into many categories that faced discrimination – she was African American, she was a lesbian, and she was part of an inter-racial couple. How could she point the finger at someone who was not 100% like her? How could she discriminate against others, knowing very well how it felt to be discriminated against?  She and her partner thought less of us because we chose to include our straight friends in our evening out.  They were soon dropped from our list of friends.

I’ve seen comments online belittling those who have come out as bisexual. These women are considered inferior because they “can’t make up their minds”. Some feel these women have no right to declare themselves part of our community even though they actively support our rights by donating time and money toward worthy organizations.

I would like to see this “us vs. them” mentality fade away. I would like to think that by knowing how it feels to be treated as outsiders, we would work toward eliminating the same behavior in ourselves, within our own community. By discriminating against those who are not 100% one thing or another, we are just setting ourselves back further from equality. If we want equality, shouldn’t we also practice it? If we all dropped these ridiculous notions of finding our differences, we would see just how much we all have in common – much more than our differences. Now wouldn’t that be something we could all be proud of?

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8 thoughts on “Pride Blog Series Day 24 – Diane Marina

  1. I could not agree more. If the LGBTQ community is only 10% of the population (though I think it is likely more) our equality is dependent on ALL of us sticking together AND the straight folk who support us. The strides that have been made so far have required this. If we cannot embrace diversity, we will never experience equality.
    Thank you for speaking out!

  2. Well said, well said, indeed! I was totally shocked some time ago when I personally discovered how lesbians think they are entitled to treat transgender people. I was ashamed! Utterly ashamed.
    We need to be accepting and not segregating … may the day come where the words queer and straight become meaningless or distant memories from a bizarre past.

  3. I like the idea of have the us vs them fade away I pray for this every day in many venues of life. Thanks for your thoughtful words

  4. Pingback: Pride Blog Series Lineup! | The Liz McMullen Show

  5. Excellent blog Diane! How can anyone expect to be accepted for who they are when they can’t or won’t accept others for who they are. Guess the bigoted, close minded attitude of “my way or else” exists across the entire spectrum of humanity. No two people are exactly alike and the goal should be for everyone to be allowed to be who they are and live their own life the way that’s best for them without hatred and nasty comments from others.


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