For some years now, I’ve made it a point to use my birthday as a day to effect positive change, highlight the work of organizations I am fond of, and raise awareness in order to promote action among my friends and family. This year is no exception.
As always, I’m VERY thankful for every one of you who has taken the time to call and/or write to me in order to share your good wishes… but since I’ve already caught your attention, hopefully I can keep you here for a couple of more minutes and invite you to donate or participate with one of these worthy causes and organizations:
Kiva – Loans that change lives: Microfinancing to people all over the world. Lend as little as $25 dollars to the project of your choosing (Women, Agriculture, Single Parents, Social enterprises, etc).
Atlas Corps – Change your perspective. Change the World: “The peace corps in reverse.” An organization that provides fellowship opportunities in the U.S. to young leaders from across the world. Global capacity-building enabling leaders to detonate change in their communities.
Global Majority: Non-violent conflict resolution. Founded under the premise that the global majority wants to live in peace. Education, training, networking and international advocacy.
Globe Aware – Have Fun. Help People: Voluntourism in an international environment helping impoverished communities in developing nations.
Enseña Por México: Volunteer Project focused on providing better education systems and programs to children in Mexico. Affiliated to the Teach for All network.
Hagámoslo Bien: Promoting a culture of lawfulness in Monterrey, México. Building a network of committed individuals and organizations willing to adhere to a culture of lawfulness and strengthening the rule of law.
Please take a minute to learn about their great work. Click on these links and if you can, it would mean the world to me if you would donate to them today.
MANY, MANY, MANY THANKS.
Anoche recibí la noticia: De la manera más cobarde y vil nos arrebataron las vidas de dos personas hermosas.
Nos robaron del gusto, la alegría y la fortuna de volver a ver sus sonrisas, de la suerte de volver a tener felices momentos con ellos. De reír, de abrazarlos, de compartir.
Nos robaron como muchas veces lo han hecho… y me llena de cólera.
A las familias de ambos, a su familia en CMX, a sus amigos y a los compañeros de Omar y de Renato, no hay forma ni palabras de consuelo por esta irracional pérdida. Lo único que nos queda es decirles que emocionalmente compartimos con ustedes en este difícil momento. Lo único que nos queda es mandarles mucho amor.
Y nos quedan las memorias. Porque esas nunca nadie nos las podrá robar. Y en esas memorias, sus sonrisas estarán para siempre.
Descanse en paz Omar Girón.
Descanse en paz Renato López.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to get a real grasp of the situation and root of the problem in order to develop effective solutions. The problem comes when we overextend the analysis and no one wants to posit a solution because they fear the possibility of getting it wrong and making things worse.
Leaders don’t cower or freeze up when facing obstacles. Leaders are called upon to act and to drive solutions forward.
Fueled by ignorance and intolerance, today the recently-created, wrongfully-named group Frente Nacional por la Familia (National Pro-family Front) will initiate a series of marches in Mexico’s main cities, denouncing a law initiatives package geared towards combating homophobia and discrimination, promoting inclusion and the legal recognition of all family units and marriages.
Among other things, they claim that the proposed law initiatives are “a threat against our children, our marriages and our families.” Members of the Catholic Church promoting this movement, have stated that the marches are not anti-gay “because gays are to be accepted and accompanied in order to heal them, just like prostitutes and drugdealers” (I shit you not).
While other modern societies are proud to show their progressiveness embracing diversity and inclusion, the FNxF’s emergence is proof of how backwards a relevant portion of Mexican society continues to be.
I was happy to see that in my social media networks, practically 100% of my contacts were denouncing today’s marches. One dear friend of mine very eloquently stated “nothing has generated more support for equal marriage rights than this march against them” because the absurdness of the FNxF movement has made many of us come out and state that this so-called national march does not represent us or our families.
Unfortunately, my list of contacts in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are not representative of society as a whole. Just driving around my neighborhood this morning, I could see a number of houses proudly displaying signs in favor of the discriminatory march. I guess the new saying goes, you can choose your Facebook friends but not your neighbors.
Another very creative friend with a very acid sense of humor posted a series of pictures portraying the KKK and said “To those of you going to the FNxF march today, remember the dress code is all-white.” The use of imagery was funny, the unfortunate closeness to the real thoughts and motivations behind the march, certainly is not.
How is the acceptance of the right of other individuals to love each other and establish a legal bond in their relationship “a threat to your children and to your families”? Regardless of the fact that we should all be recognized as equals, just as a universal truth, I think anybody who is a parent and has a sound mind should naturally consider the fact that they hold a responsibility in teaching their children love and not hate.
I was born in a homophobic society, in a homophobic time. I laughed at and made homophobic jokes as I grew up. I simply did not know better. Luckily, as I grew and developed critical thought, I quickly and very logically understood how ridiculous homophobia is. It was an easy and logical transition and I believe most of my generation and the generations to come, naturally fall into this development route in Mexico. It will continue to be this way as long as homophobic humor is part of our mainstream media and culture, but at least there are natural breakpoints and people can evolve. One of those breakpoints, ironically in the FNxF’s view, is when you become a parent and you realize your responsibility in teaching your children the right path. During this time, you also come to realize that your child could as he grows up, identify his/her sexual orientation as a homosexual. When you realize that this is a possibility, it becomes so natural, based on the love you have for your child, to develop an inclusive attitude of coexistence. You would never want your child to be hated just for the fact that they were born of a specific sexual orientation… you would never want your child to be hated at all!
While most arguments in favor of this march are based on religious misinterpretations of the catholic faith (the Pope himself has expressed that this type of gender discrimination is an abomination), there is one particular argument I read that I want to tackle: Somebody in my timeline said that just like we allow gays to march during Pride, we should not criticize the FNxF’s right to manifest their beliefs. So here goes:
- Intolerant thought should not be tolerated. Different points of view should be celebrated, but a movement that states that the sexual orientation of people wanting to establish a legal bond between them based on the love they have for each other is a threat to society, cannot be compared with a plight for respect and inclusion. I’m sorry, but no, you don’t get to be tolerated if your ideological framework is based on hate. The whole idea of established codes of conduct in organized society and generally-accepted behavior is an attempt for us to get along as a group. You’re not helping. Leave your hate at the door.
- You don’t have a just cause. If you try to compare your right to spread hate with the plight of PRIDE parades, you are either ignorant of history of simply blunt-headed. PRIDE was born as a cry for equal rights and non-discrimination. It was a brave movement geared toward letting gay people know that it was ok to be gay, that they should not fear the fact that they were gay. As society progressed, the parades have become more and more a celebration of the fact that global society has become and is becoming more inclusive. If your march is supposedly a defense mechanism in order to preserve your understanding of family and how your family is composed, how is gay marriage a threat to you? How does the possibility of two men or women getting married directly affect you? You have no just cause… Quite frankly, I think you only have way too much time on your hands and way too much hate in your soul.
Exactly forty-five years ago this month, John Lennon wrote and released the song Imagine. Forty-five years later, more and more of us still imagine all the people living life in peace. And yes, you may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. If you’re planning to march promoting hate today, I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one.