#LoveWins? Then show the anti-LGBT love, not hate

Marguerite de Leon
#LoveWins? Then show the anti-LGBT love, not hate
Hating on the people who hate on you is still, well, hate

There is no doubt whatsoever that the US Supreme Court’s approval of same-sex marriage across all 50 states is a wonderful, wonderful thing. There are not enough words, not enough colors in the spectrum, to express how fantastic it is to see human dignity prevail. The show of support on social media has been beyond heartening; it’s one of those moments that seem to prove that the world can indeed be a beautiful place to live in. 

But, alas, our celebration continues to be marred by hatred. And no, it is not from the usual suspects. I am not referring to those who continue to call same-sex marriage “unnatural” or an “abomination.” I am not referring to those who plaster Bible verses and threats of hellfire on the comments sections for articles on the SC decision. This is not about the people on the other side of the battle, but about the ones who bask in triumph among us. 

There are those on the pro-LGBT side who don’t seem to understand that hate and bigotry work both ways. Yes, a battle for love was won, but that doesn’t give anyone the license to be downright spiteful – dare I say evil – towards those who don’t believe in the same things we do. Here’s just a sampling of how some folks responded to anti-LGBT commenters:

“I’ll go out on a limb and say, you are a fucking retard, and a disgrace to the very God you ‘serve’. No good God would ever oppress any group of people. You sir, is a certified fucktard.”

Your irrelevant homophobic butt won’t do anything lol.

I’m pretty sure God is pretty pissed at you for being an intolerant/a bigot mortal.”

Or, in the case of one Facebook post about an American pastor who claimed he would set himself on fire to protest same-sex marriage, the top comment, with over 8,000 likes and counting, was “Need a match?”

Here’s the thing: Yes, the LGBT have undergone an immeasurable amount of pain and hatred for as long as we can remember. They have been killed just for being who they are. There is nothing to argue about here. A lot of people have been unspeakably evil towards them. But fighting back at the anti-LGBT by being hateful and uncouth is stooping to their level. You’re not supposed to give your haters a legitimate reason to hate you, and then just chalk it up to “But they started it.” How will being hateful to others convince them that you deserve to be loved? 

It’s the same way I feel bad when someone who innocently, ignorantly uses the wrong pronoun for a transgender person gets instantly heckled and called hateful. What if they just didn’t know? What if they just weren’t given the knowledge and patience to understand? And regardless, what does it matter if someone innocently or purposely makes you feel wronged? Be they mean or clueless, you don’t have the right to degrade and demean them in return. It’s not about getting a “free pass” to oppress just because you were oppressed. You’d be taking part in that horrible cycle instead of ending it. 

I know it’s far, far, far easier said than done, but arguing your side in a calm, patient, and rational way is the way to react to those who hate on you, or who clearly still do not understand you. Don’t cloud the conversation on gender equality with your rage. Yes, there will be people who will be complete a**holes to you ’til the day they die, no matter how much you try to make them understand, whether vocally or in writing. That’s fine. You can’t win them all.

But know that there will also be people whose minds you may be able to change (or at least pry a little open) when you show, through rational arguments, that you respect them enough to hope that they consider listening to your side. No one moment can ever single-handedly destroy bigotry; it is a process, and every teensy increment really does count. 

Respect begets respect. Hate breeds hate. This may be difficult to grasp in the heat of the moment, but what matters is that you try. If you really want love to win, then let it. – Rappler.com

Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon is a social media producer for Rappler. She also writes fiction. 

 

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Marguerite de Leon

Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon heads Rappler’s Life and Style, Entertainment, and Opinion sections. She has been with Rappler since 2013, and also served as its social media producer for six years. She is also a fictionist.