The subject for today’s comic is obviously two-fold and weighty. So, excuse me a bit of a serious mo’…
Firstly: Will Phillips – the young boy who said that he wouldn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance because he felt that “liberty and justice for all” didn’t truly exist… The fact is that at his age, he has more balls than many folks will have in their entire life. When you see something wrong – you should be willing to shout it from the rooftops, because it’s your right to do so – though telling a teacher they can jump off a bridge apparently will get you a trip to the principal’s office, so I don’t recommend that… unless you have a kinky teacher/principal role-play fantasy – in which case, let me know how that works out for you.
Secondly: Words, the power of. I used to have a friend who was literally afraid to go in to the gay bookstore in a pretty nice affluent neighborhood, because he was paranoid that we were going to be fire-bombed. How fucked up is a world where people would physically assault or KILL you, just because of who you are and how you feel? Literally, the concept that something which doesn’t affect or hurt anyone in ANY way would drive a person to violence – makes ME feel violent. Quite honestly – I’d gladly take up a mantle to beat the ever-loving shit out of anyone who lay’s a finger on someone out of hatred due to sexuality, race, gender, or creed…
While I make light of words like “gay bashing” and “hate crime” – it’s really only serves to remind us that we need champions. Not every villain is as easy to spot as the Nazis were… If you ask me, they were the world’s true super-villain. You don’t ever hear anyone say, “sure they were bad and all, but look at what a positive impact they had on…” On WHAT, exactly?! But the hardest that thing is there are people out there who are filled with hate and misguided rage – and they look exactly like us and they talk with the same accents as us. They aren’t all wearing white robes or swastikas. They aren’t out back drinking ‘shine and having sex with their cousins. But if they blend in so well with the rest of us – what do you do?
Well, my mother used to have a saying. It used to be something that I would have to finish every time I left my house when I was growing up… “Bob,” she said. “No one is your friend…” Then she’d pause and wait for me to finish, “everyone is my enemy.” “And who do we trust?” she would inquire again. “No one.” I’d reply. Extreme, I know. It started as a joke that she made about there being bad people out there and it was the ‘don’t talk to strangers’ for my older self. But honestly, it turned into something that I kind of took to heart. For the folks I meet – I’m quick to make acquaintances but long to make friends. And you don’t get into the bubble before I’m really ready to let you in. That’s kept me safe from a lot of the hate that I likely could have experienced in my life – but I’m slowly learning to drop some of that in favor of just being ‘out there’ and accepting what might come.
Like here – things don’t get that much more out there than starting a gay comic and putting your name on the bottom of it. Honestly, I even thought about using a pseudonym so that things wouldn’t come back to haunt me and I wouldn’t have to mentally deal with the eventual asshole who decides to shoot me an email to let me know how the world would be better if I was dead. Because he wasn’t saying that I should die PERSONALLY – he was just talking about JOE SMITH! My pseudonym… right?
There are always ways out there to get more involved in anti-violence campaigns, both in Michigan (ie: where I’m from) and in the US. For folks outside of the US, look to your internet for additional information. I’ll be busy taking to the roof-tops… and hopefully developing a more fan-friendly homo-hero name.
Until next time – I’m off to scour the net for naked pictures of Will Phillips dad… Nom nom nom.