Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On Equality

I have a lot to say about the topic of equality. I apparently dreamed last night that I had the opportunity to speak in front of the Supreme Court justices tomorrow during the arguments for and against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Our constitution grants certain rights and liberties to our citizens. It was also written at a time when the authors considered White men to be eminently equal to one another. I highly doubt that they ever considered that "All men are created equal" would essentially become a rallying cry for granting women and blacks the right to vote or for marriage equality (for interracial and same-sex marriages), or for allowing two parents of the same gender to adopt children as their legal offspring. Luckily for us, society has evolved over the last couple hundred years. While racial/ethnic and sexuality-related prejudices are still strong, and for a number of reasons, we have come to a point where people are actually talking about what equality means. And that's a conversation that needs to happen.

Regardless of today's arguments for/against the repeal of Proposition 8 or tomorrow's for/against the repeal of DOMA, I know one thing for sure:

I know in my heart, and always have known this, that all human beings are created equal. 

We all need to remember to be accepting of everyone else, and that includes recognizing that we all have our faults.

I feel extremely lucky to have such a widely diverse group of friends and to have grown up in an area that is more "liberal" (diverse) than many other states and towns in these United States. I don't think homogeneity does anyone any good. People don't learn to accept (and not care about) differences if they're not exposed to them.

In a nutshell: If you believe all men (and women) are created equal, then you know where you should stand on this issue.

And I urge you all to speak out and say something on your own Facebook wall. If you say something, someone may read it and start thinking about what the issue of marriage equality means to him or her. It can be as simple as posting the Human Rights Campaign equality image to your Facebook or Twitter or making it your profile picture. Or just a simple statement that says you stand for marriage equality simply because it's the right thing.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I have a human heart, not a deaf heart

I am so sick of this “deaf-heart” bullcrap.

What’s next? Black heart? White heart? Lesbian heart? Blind heart? Paraplegic heart?

Get over it, y’all.

I’m a person. A person who just happens to be deaf. The only thing deaf about me are my ears. Not my eyes, not my hands, and certainly not my heart.

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what it means to have other deaf people in my life. That doesn’t mean I don’t cherish the people who work every day to ensure that we deaf people have equal access and opportunities that hearing people have. But you know what? I take people not for what they do or what they are, but for WHO they are. As composite beings.

Who am I?

I am an individual made up of many parts. My DNA makes me human, just like everyone else who is reading this. But my DNA also makes me unique. I am a person who just *happens* to be female, white (and pink and tan, depending on how much sun I get), short, deaf, sensitive, stubborn, frustrated, frustrating, perfectionist, and more.

In other words, my whole is greater than the sum of my parts.

I don’t have a short heart.

I don’t have a stubborn heart.

I most definitely don’t have a deaf heart.

And neither do you. So get over it. See people for who they are, and celebrate that. Not for WHAT people are.

Because, in the end, we’re all human. And unique.