Translation? Shut. The. F. Up.

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Am I passionate person about the things that I believe in? Absolutely. Do my beliefs tend to differ from a lot of people that I know personally? Sure. Do I plan on ever apologizing for having those beliefs? Nope. Do I wish that I could only surround myself with open-minded and empathetic people? Of course. Sadly, I don't have that luxury. Not many people do. Maybe in L.A...

Have I had to learn how to pick my battles more wisely? That, my friends, is a work in progress. Today, I am choosing to regress.

I can't exactly remember being a child and hearing my parents say "don't judge people if they happen to be different from you," or "everyone should have equal rights," or even simply, "just because you don't understand something or someone, doesn't mean that it or they are wrong." No, I never heard that; however, it doesn't mean that my parents didn't instill deep in my core belief system that if you don't have anything nice to say, just shut your mouth.

As a child, my favorite Disney movie was Bambi and my favorite character was Thumper- primarily because he was a sarcastic and fiesty little thing. My mom took advantage of this and what Thumper's mother taught him: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. When my mom would hear me say something she referred to as "ugly", the only thing she'd have to say is "Christy, what's the Thumper rule?" I knew instantly that whatever had just come out of my mouth was not nice and hurtful to someone else's feelings. I'd like to think that my mom is responsible for getting the ball rolling on the battle of my life.

Even though I am a heterosexual female who truly loves men and their appendages, one of the things that I feel so passionately about is equal rights for homosexuals. Subsequently, one of the things that shakes me to my core is a bigot, a homophobe, or someone who still believes that homosexuality is some contagious virus that you can catch if you do something that doesn't reek of heterosexuality. While everyone is entitled to their beliefs, some beliefs are just wrong. Someone who calls people "faggots or fags" as commonly as they talk about the weather is a plague on my existence and the evolution of our culture. It makes me sick to my stomach. People who say things like this are not only painfully ignorant and oblivious to anyone else's feelings and beliefs, they've obviously never heard of Thumper's rule. These people are in need of a serious bitch-slap. If that bitch-slap was performed by a gay male, all the better. Or by me. Which ever is most convenient.

Their mother failed. Epically. Unlike mine, their madre never taught them that it's better to love and not hate. Loving people just takes less effort. Their mother never told them that one day, they could even be blessed with a child who is gay, lesbian, or even transgendered, who will hopefully be able to finally teach them that true love is without conditions or labels.

Whether that unconditional, labeless love you feel is for someone you bring into the world, a sibling, a parent, or even for a complete stranger, it's our respobsibility as the human race to give this world more love and less hatred; more empathy and education and far less ignorance; and to raise more Thumpers.

I can only hope to be brave enough to be Thumper's mom. Now and forever.

Consider this my bitch-slap.



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