Monday, September 14, 2009
They don't really care about us.
Have you ever been illegal, for merely being born?
Unfortunately this is a question that far too many people can answer positively, admitting that, at some point and in some cultural landscape, they have been illegal.
Jews are familiar with this - the Shoah is perhaps the greatest reminder to a broken and redemptive nation. African-Americans are reminded everyday that, at some point in relatively recent history, they were illegal. Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, and peoples from thousands of other faiths have been purged, burned, and forced from their homes merely for being born into their cultural landscape.
Homosexuals are still aware of this in many, many parts of the world. Unfortunately, the reality is that we are not alone.
But I am self-centered, so for a moment, lets pretend that Homosexuals are the only people who still experience hate.
During the second World War, many different groups were targeted by the Nazis and placed in various camps for work, or for extermination. The physically and mentally handicapped, Muslims, Jews, Africans, the Sinti, the Roma, communists, Catholics, political opposition, and Homosexuals were some of the more directly targeted groups, though this list is far from exhaustive.
By the hundreds of thousands these people were boarded onto cattle cars and carried to unfamiliar lands where they would perish; lose their souls, lose their hope. Become a number and not a name. A tool to build for their oppressors rather than a family member.
Each of these different groups of tools were given different symbols when they entered the camps so that they could be easily identified by the guards according to their crimes against the imperial state of Nazi Germany. The Jews were given the familiar star of David. Political prisoners wore upside-down red triangles. Homosexuals wore upside-down pink triangles.
There are many surviving stories about how, when used uniforms were given to new arrivals at various camps, people would avoid have the pink triangles. It was better to be mistaken for a Jew in one of the camps than to be a homosexual - treatment was no notably better, but the society that developed in the camps was not particularly endeared to homosexuals.
Unfortunately, this perception of homosexuals being the worst identifying factor transfered over the Allies; for this homosexuality may be unique, though I would accept some arguments that being a Jew was equally bad during the war in the Allied countries as it was to be a homosexual.
Here, is the story of one British War Hero - Alan Turing, and the discrimination he experienced in the years following the war because he was born Gay.
I don't think they used chemicals on Jews in Germany to turn them into Christians. I could be wrong though...
Thank God that I was born today rather than 50 years ago - that my fortune is to be a Canadian citizen rather than an American in 2009. Thank God that so much has happened in the last 50 years towards the freedoms of homosexuals in Canada; that I can get married, that I can adopt children, that I can enjoy job security.
That I can be relatively certain that I won't ever be given chemicals that will turn me into another gender or reverse my hormones.
Also, thankfully, governments are starting to realize their mistreatment of homosexuals in the past.
Thankfully progress happens over 50 years.