Headline This Just In: I need a break

Well I made a decision. I’m going to take a break from all social media for awhile. Let me be more specific, from all social media that is anything beyond showing a nice and pretty photo. So, please don’t take it personally if you don’t see me liking, commenting upon, or sharing your posts or photos on Facebook. Actually, Facebook was one of the major factors as to why I made this decision. There is just way too many political opinions expressed often and repetitively on Facebook. And of course, there are the news and media outlets too. Yes, I’ve unplugged as much as possible from these too, The Star, CP24 and the like. So, no I didn’t hear about … and no I don’t know about ….

Orlando Support 2016

Orlando Support. This was written on the steps of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) after the massacre. It reminds us it was an act of hatred against the LGBTQTTS community. Hate is Hate is Hate.

The rest of this post is mostly just my political rant, about why I decided to pull out and away. I know, I DO see the irony and hypocriscy in this. I sometimes just have to get the last word in, lol. But really, if you’d just like to skip this post, I get it. This is not normally the stuff I write about and probably isn’t why you read my blog. So, I won’t be offended if you don’t continue. The main point is that I won’t be seeing you on Facebook for awhile. And so begins the rant …

I mean, how many ways can I be told that you think I am racist. That I am wrong in all my decisions. That I am a killer. That I should be disarmed but also be prepared for a terrorist act. That I am not welcome at my own party. And lastly for Pete’s sake, that I shouldn’t talk to anyone! Enough already! I call Uncle. Or in my line of work, raisin! I mean, I get the message, but enough is enough. When you inundate me with messages, over and over, again and again, I wonder, is it really news? Is it really reporting? Or is it just brain washing, like in George Orwell’s,  Big Brother,  1984 way of ‘changing history.’ Why is it so hard to present both sides, both opinions and to be unbiased in these presentations? Whoops, I forgot. It’s because it doesn’t SELL and of course, profit is the aim here, not presenting the facts.

So, if you haven’t already figured it out, what I’ve gone off about is being a cop. It’s about being gay. And sometimes it’s about being a gay cop in a parade! We hear at work that morale is bad and down and that some of the services that are currently hiring are not getting enough candidates applying for jobs. Really? Are you surprised? I’m not, given the atmosphere towards policing in our country. And I’m gay. And I’m part of the group at work that prepares a float to be in the Pride Parade. So, according to media, I’m just f**ked.

I am not surprised people are confused. I am too. Almost every day there is an article, interview or demonstration regarding Black Lives Matter (BLM.) There is no border between the USA and Canada when this is being reported, but our histories and our laws make our experiences very different. We didn’t have slavery here, and I’m not denying we don’t experience racism, segregation and institutional racism, but the ramifications of slavery on a society has an entirely different impact.  Our gun laws are very different too. Nowhere is any Canadian allowed to carry a handgun on them, much less travel with it anywhere, except locked in their trunk in a box, with a lock on the box and another on the trigger, and only if you have a PAL. To get the PAL, you can’t have been convicted of a more serious criminal offense, have a mental health issue, and one must have two non-family referrals and you must also attend and pass a standardized training and test. In some of the States, you must wait 24 hours, a cooling off period they say, before purchasing a gun.

So, yes I am confused. I’ve seen the videos and even knowing they can be manipulated to show a certain view and omit certain facts, I am still left confused.  I have a different knowledge and understanding of law enforcement and shooting a gun and sometimes, I can’t even explain or fathom why the police have shot. If I can’t understand and explain it, I can understand why John Q. Public can’t. Is it racism? I’m not sure. But I certainly am not ready to discount it totally.

But we know stats can be manipulated this way and that, to show a very slanted view. We know BLM have done this and consistently do this. We know some of their original ‘concerns’ about cases have already been shown to be wrong after a thorough investigation, but they continue with the lies. In the states they keep records based on race, unlike in Canada. I was to learn that a white officer was three times more likely to be killed by a black suspect then a black male was to be killed by a white officer. (Colour of Crime, 2016 Report) Wow! But the really important issue here is that we don’t shoot unarmed people in Canada! Every person shot was done so because they had a weapon with the ability to cause serious bodily harm or death to a person or an officer, and there were no other options available to protect oneself or a member of the public as they advanced. And please don’t quote Sammy Yatim at me. There has been a trial and the officer was convicted. Again, much different than in the States.

Then it happened. Police were being targeted. Systemically hunted and picked off. Blamed and vilified as the problem in the States, they were being shot while in their uniform and on duty. It was not surprising really. You can’t vilify one group, whatever that group, whether based on race, religion, ability or in this case, job, and not expect that people will start to HATE. And one group, the Black Power Group, who took responsibility for the Dallas police killings, stated there would be more to come. The violence against us had begun. And so we stay alert and prepared. As history shows us, what happens south of the border, eventually drifts up here in Canada.

Then Orlando happened. It was initially hailed as a terrorist act. That was by the newspapers, mostly written by straight persons, trying to get out infront of the story and get it out there. They were trying to make sense of it before getting the full story. It took almost twenty-four hours for them to report what every gay person already knew – this was an act based in homophobia. But they didn’t even call it such. Instead, it was stated that the killer targeted ‘that bar.’ Then of course there were the innuendos that the killer himself was gay, somehow making it feel better to John Q. Public. But it was neither of these as they were later to find out. The killer and his wife had visited the bar, presumably to stake it out. She was questioned as an accomplice at one point. But it was the killer’s adamant rejection and hatred of gays that lead to this act.  I was thrust back to the 1980’s and 1990’s were gays were reviled and hated. When the worst insult you could call someone was ‘queer’ or ‘gay’ or ‘faggot.’ And although there has been so much change since then, there are still a number of religions and countries that consider it an abomination. In some places it is still punishable by death. And in this country, you may openly condemn by word the LGBTQTTS community and it isn’t considered a hate crime, and it definately acceptable to do in some religions. Whether based on colour, creed, ability, sexuality, family status, gender, or even sometimes uniform, hate is hate is hate. It’s all wrong.

So, excuse my outrage, which I could barely contain, when I first heard. I was on shift working when it came down the pipe – BLM had shut down the Pride Parade, high jacking it, because they said, it was not inclusive enough for black persons. They would not budge until a list of demands were met. All of these demands were for money, except one. That one was that the police float not be allowed to participate in next year’s parade. They explained that it is because of the police that there is a Pride Day Parade. And besides this irony, some people still feel unsafe around police and they said they wanted to return pride back to its routes as a political demonstration. This of course ignores the values of society at the time of the raids. Police get their power from the people. They could not have acted independantly and conducted the bathhouse raids without the public standing behind this act. Its called policing by consent and means you can’t police without the public’s cooperation (Sir Robert Peel.) The police might have apoligized for their actions, but it was based in public permission. But, I was beside myself with this current news. My coworkers, it was nice to see, were equally outraged. Wow, what a different era where police are upset they might not be able to participate in Pride Day! How dare they? Really??!!!

I first joined Pride, back when it was called Gay Pride Day, and was just one day in the park behind the 519 Community Centre, in Cawthra Square. There was but a few thousand of us. It was 1984, and besides being a protest, it was a way for the community to “come out’ of the closet and show the world, and more correctly the politicians, that we were 1 in 10 and we could make a difference with our votes. We wanted change and we would show that our numbers mattered. I suffered harassment, assaults, broken bones, arrests, belittlement and eviction as well as denial of homes, jobs and services and other kinds of outright homophobia, being an out person during those years. It was especially hard during and immediately after the AIDS epedemic and the consequent hysteria that caused. In 1992 I left my cozy, financially secure, yet homophobic job to join a grass-route agency in social service, where I could be openly gay and be supported. So much so, they offered same-sex benefits to those long before the government passed legislation making it mandatory. Now here I have a group that is telling me I can’t go to my own celebration as a cop??? It is my history, not the straight female leader under the age of 30, telling me I can’t go! As the one officer wrote afterwards, at great professional jeopardy to himself, it is very important to be supported by your employer. Why can’t he have his employer there? And I say the same thing. I am a gay cop. I deserve to be there, in whatever capacity that is and I deserve to have my employer support me. I paid a price over the years for this admission! You want activisim. Move over. Gays only!

What this really was about was payback to the LGBTQTTS community. On June 24, 2016 during the Police unveiling of a Mural in the Village, uniting the police and the LGBTQTTS communities, BLM came and demonstrated, breaking up the ceremony with their chants of “No pride in policing.” They even went so far as to annouce “Apology not accepted.” Wow. Really? While they were there, those from the LBGTQTTS in attendance reportedly chanted back “All lives matter.” I’m sure you, like me, are scratching your head, trying to figure out how BLM have any say in accepting an apology about bathhouse raids in the gay community from over 30 years ago? Or what that has to do with racism or how they are supposed to be speaking for their community, and how did they end up speaking for me? So, the true motive for high jacking the parade in my opinion, was retribution to the LGBTQTTS for showing support and partnership with the police. They just twisted the agenda to suit their purposes. This was not about the black folks in the LGBTQTTS communty. It was about their hatred of the police. I will tell you, whether the Pride Day organizers decide no or they decide yes, being on a Pride Police float was not and never will be the same again. This year, after the assaults on police, many officers became concerned we would be targets for the Black Power Group, sitting ducks so to say, by being on the float or in the parade. For my part, I didn’t have the choice as I was working. And I might, or might never again be on the float. But don’t dare tell me I don’t have a right to participate in it if I choose. I suffered personal and professional losses to make differences in the legislation and for gay rights in Toronto today. What did they do?

And so with that last event totally making the newspapers for days, I decided it was all too much. There was too much doom and gloom, scrutiny and criticism, ignorance and frustration, to keep reading and hearing the news. I needed a break. And besides, I had started to encounter open hostility, challenge and wise cracks when attending radio calls from the very people who were calling us and asking for help! So it was at the beginning of July that I said enough! I was fed up with the one-sided reporting and the erroneous fabrications to support personal agendas. Instead, I’m gonna stay off most media for now. I am not any of the things they make me out to be in the news or the vilan some specialty groups would have us believe. Any website that allows more than a picture has been almost deleted from my list. I have dumped the news outlets, but especially have logged off Facebook. So please forgive me if you don’t see a thumbs up from me over the next while. I still think of you and wonder how you are doing. But for now I am disconnecting. I must say, it has been more peaceful and easier to do my job happily. I have borrowed my partner Ralph’s rose coloured glasses, the ones I accuse him of wearing, and must say, I’m liking the view. And I know everything in this post might not be completely ‘accurate’ as in court of law accurate. It is only my experience, my interpretation of what is happening, my opinion. I do not mean to harm or offend anyone. I don’t even know if I’m ‘right.’ I just know I’m fed up and impacted by the negativity being expressed quite often about my profession and I just needed a break from it all. If you post on photo social media websites, like Instagram, I will see you there. I still visit it often, as it’s such a safe place with no words, only photos, mostly pretty and wonderful photos of pleasant things. Take me away Calgon! But you do know, I will be back once things calm down a bit. Or the Presidential Election in November. Wow, Trump might actually be President! Now that’s a reason in and of itself to stop engaging in the media!

 

 

 

 

 

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