Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dare to be Different...

I should be finishing up some homework for my summer class. But who actually wants to do that?

Now for anyone that isn't already aware, I can't play sports to save my life. So I don't know why, for the life of me, I watched any portion of the ESPYs last night. It was a bunch of celebrity athletes that I don't know getting awarded for a bunch of things that were probably pretty cool. I heard a lot of moving stories about victory, overcoming obstacles, and perseverance. All of these are things you learn (or at least I assume you do) by playing sports. Or being a musician. Or being a human being.
Something has been brought to my attention again by probably the only athlete that was on the stage that I recognized: Caitlyn Jenner.

Caitlyn won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. "Although it is a sport-oriented award, it is not limited to sports-related people or actions, as it is presented annually to individuals whose contributions "transcend sports". Often these transcendent figures are also athletes who have been at the top of their sport, such as Muhammad Ali, Dean Smith, and Cathy Freeman." I got that quote from Wikipedia. Thanks Wikipedia. You are so useful. 

I'm not here to argue whether or not Jenner should have won this award, because I am entirely unqualified to determine whether or not she (read it "SHE") was the best candidate. 

I am merely here to express my profound disappointment in humanity. It is the 21st century and we still criticize people for being different. People criticized Michael Sam for being gay (like he could help it). People criticize Jenner for finally being who she feels she ought to be.

People criticized women when they wanted to vote.

People criticized African-Americans and their supporters when they decided that slavery was a load of bullshit and then they criticized them again when they wanted to be treated as equals to white people. 

Being different is not a reason to be criticized.

Saying Caitlyn Jenner is not a hero or is not courageous is rude and deplorable.
To come out and say that you are going to be who you were born to be in a world that condemns people that don't fit the status quo (and we do) is brave. That is an act of courage. 
To be an Olympic athlete that decides to embrace being trans-gendered and take the shit that the world has thrown at you for your honesty is courageous. And if there is even one trans-gendered human who has had a positive impact made on their life because of Jenner's actions then Jenner is, in fact, a hero. At least to that one person. And who are we to tell someone that their hero is actually not a hero?

Was Jenner the most courageous person nominated for the award? I don't know. That is opinion and hearsay. But there should be a very solid number of people that should feel very ashamed of themselves for what they say to other people purely because they are different.

I am different.

You are different.
We are ALL different. 

Whether you are black, white, gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, trans, depressed, happy, or any other adjective you can think of. You are different from every single individual on this planet. 

God forbid people tell me I am a coward or not brave because of my depression.

God forbid people tell Michael Sam he isn't brave even though he didn't fit the status quo (and he could probably kick your ass but good luck).

To tell people it is wrong to embrace what makes them different is to tell them that it is wrong to be human. 

To tell people which differences are okay and which differences are not is to try and play the role of God, and chances are you are not God. 

I don't give a turd what your holy book tells you. I don't care if someone violates every rule, guideline, or suggestion that your god tells you to abide by. It does not give you the right to be mean, malicious, etc. It does not mean that people can bully other people to the point where the victim feels that suicide is the only way to escape the pain that was inflicted on them.

We are all different, but we all have one thing in common: We are all human. 

It's time we started acting like it. 

Gee, I hope I don't fall and hurt myself when I get off this high horse!

Today I found on Tumblr:

Life is not without struggle. Make your story the best adventure you can imagine.