Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Loud and Proud

When you speak out against bigots, a lot of good things can happen. One of the best things that happens is getting together with other people who want everyone to be treated equally and making lots of new friends. A lot of not-so-good things can happen when you speak out against bigotry too. Bigots don’t like it when people speak out because one person speaking out can lead to others doing the same thing. The bigots know if too many people think it’s a cool idea to speak out that there will be a lot less bigots, so they try to fight for their survival by trying to silence as many voices as they can. They most often do this by shame, exclusion, and trying to get revenge.

I went to Florida recently and took part in a demonstration. We were demonstrating because The Hands On Children’s Museum in Jacksonville, which operates tax-free, wanted my new friend Karen to pay more to renew a family membership because, after three years, this time the museum noticed the other name on the membership was Karen’s wife, not husband. I wrote my story about my experience after we got back to NC, and a lot of people on the internet were really supportive when they read it. It was shared with many people.

The bigots of the internet world, not surprisingly, were apparently not too happy. It’s estimated that over five million young people under the age of 13 have Facebook accounts. I am one of them. After my story hit social media, I made sure to go to many Facebook pages to thank people who were being supportive on Facebook. I also had no problem defending myself, my positions, and my ability to think for myself to form those positions. I never lied about my age or tried to hide behind a fake account. Facebook knows they have users under 13 but doesn't delete accounts unless someone reports them. I always knew it was a possibility that someone would sink that low. The bigots, their arguments, and their actions are very predictable. Someone did report my account and it was deleted. I have no idea which Facebook page they saw me on or which comment they thought was so important to wipe away. I don’t like it but haven’t lost any friends over it though. I haven’t lost my voice either.

When I told my story, I knew there was no turning back. When I chose to stand up to those who wanted to defend other people’s right to discriminate and who wanted to criticize my actions, I knew there was no turning back. America is moving forward and it will keep moving forward as long as people refuse to be silenced. No matter who tries to silence me or shame me, I will not turn back. Follow me on Twitter @madisworldofpie.

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