Yes Virginia, There Are Gay Pro-Lifers

Yes Virginia, There Are Gay Pro-Lifers

An interview with a member of Pro-Life Alliance of Gay's and Lesbians.
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The future of pro-life is both religious and secular. The future of America is pro-life.

The Pro-Life community in recent years has become one of the most diverse and united movements in American history. It has representation from every faith, race, gender and creed. The only qualification to become a Pro-Life activist is a basic understanding of human development and an interest in consistent human rights without exception — a belief which is not specific to one religion or culture. It should not surprise anyone then that those who have experienced the most discrimination are often the most supportive of consistent human rights. One group in particular is Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL). And below is an interview with one of their most passionate members, Sarah Anne.

Carly: Hi Sarah Anne, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Would you mind telling the readers a little bit about yourself?

Sarah Anne:

"My name is Sarah Anne, and I live in Ohio. I've had to stop using my last name because of threats people have made to me online. I am many things, there are many labels or identifiers I feel fit me and many topics I feel are important to me. It's hard for me to say some are more important than others, when each one is a vital part of me. I am a pro-life feminist. I have been a vegetarian for 18 years and am an animal advocate. I have depression.

What led me to the decision to become Pro-Life? I really began to think about the issue in high school. At first I was pretty on the fence/ambivalent about abortion. Then I did some research about what abortion is, how it is performed and learned about fetal development. I think I even was able to locate some videos that showed abortion or the after effects of abortion (fetal parts and blood). When I understood how developmentally far along a fetus actually is at six, seven and eight weeks, I was horrified that this procedure even existed. That there were women out there who thought this was a good idea for whatever reason."

Why did you decide to become a life defender? And a staunch, outspoken one at that?

Sarah Anne:

"In high school after really researching human development and taking advanced health class, I became interested in sex education and abortion. I think education and prevention (contraception) are key which puts me at odds with many Catholic pro-life folks. It was during this time that I was trying to find my place in the pro-life movement and finding more often than not that my ideas and ideals were not welcome. I existed in many groups on the fringe, terrified to fully speak my mind and be alienated further from people who were "on my side."

It's disquieting when you feel you have more in common with your opposition than your "peers." I don't want anyone else to feel like that, because I still remember what it's like to feel like you have nowhere to belong. I had these strong pro-life beliefs and no outlet to really express them."

What is PLAGAL? Why did you decide to join?

Sarah Anne:

"PLAGAL is a national group of pro-life individuals who happen to be gay (or allies). The group exists to counter the misconception that if you're gay, you've got to be pro-choice. I don't think this misconception exists without good reason though because it was the pro-choice community who first accepted individuals (like gay and trans people) perceived as different.

The pro-life movement has traditionally been tied to religious groups and thus in their condemnation of homosexuality, they have driven away any support they might have had (for the pro-life issue) among gays. PLAGAL exists to fill a void. Many loving, ethical and compassionate people of the LGBTQIA variety feel that condoning abortion in order to fit in to a certain expectation is just not acceptable. But then they would have no place to go. That's why secular and non-traditional groups like PLAGAL are critical to the pro-life movement."


As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, how are you accepted within the Pro-Life community?

Sarah Anne:

"As an individual, basically anyone presenting ideas outside of traditional Christian morals, within many Christian Pro-Life organizations, is shunned. As a group, PLAGAL and other non-traditional groups are slowly seeing a welcoming. We have been around for a little while and have become visible among the pro-life conventions and meet-ups."

How do people within the LGBTQ+ community feel about gay/lesbian Pro-Lifers?

Sarah Anne:

"I would say they don't understand the allegiance to the pro-life because gay people are usually not getting abortions. In a bigger sense they also probably see it as a huge slight since the pro-choice side embraces who they are and who they love, not the religious right who make up the majority of the pro-life side."

What is something you want everyone to know about PLAGAL and Pro-Life? Why do you feel passionate about Pro-Life and achieving equal rights for all?

Sarah Anne:

"I realized how much abortion poisons every life it touches. A woman gets an abortion, and a fetus dies, but it doesn't end there. A man loses the chance at fatherhood, a grandparent loses a grandchild and a sibling loses a sibling. I found out as an adult that I had an older half-sibling who was aborted."

Would mind saying a little bit about the activities of PLAGAL?

"We had an information table at the first annual Pro-Life Women's Conference. We have sponsored forums on preventing HIV infection in the children of HIV+ mothers. We have participated in the annual January 22 March for Life since 1991, local pride events in DC, Philadelphia and Boston, the 1993 March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights and a number of demonstrations and counter-demonstrations. PLAGAL publishes a newsletter two to three times yearly, entitled "PLAGAL Memorandum" and several brochures presenting pro-life arguments to the lesbian and gay communities. PLAGAL has submitted numerous articles and letters to the editor of lesbian and gay print media, some of which have actually been published. In addition, PLAGAL has received media attention in both straight and lesbian and gay media at both national and a number of local levels."

Thank you, Sarah Anne for your time and for your vital work at PLAGAL! You are saving lives.

So here's Carly's final message:

At just six weeks old the pre-born is rapidly developing and very clearly a member of our human family, despite attempts toward dehumanization. The heart is formed three to five weeks after conception.

Due to the increased secularization of the movement and its emphasis on science and philosophy, more millennials than ever before recognize that "fetus" is nothing more than a dehumanizing term used to justify the stripping of "personhood" and citizenship from an "undesirable" human life.

Within millennial communities, pro-life organizations have transitioned to principles of inclusion, and these communities have flourished in number and influence. Indeed, this is the circumstance of most organizations — pro-life or otherwise — as social climates change, and attitudes toward human rights change.

In the circumstance of abortion, the primary reason for the shift in public opinion on human dismemberment is the advent of the 4D ultra-sound, which has exposed and left no doubt that a "fetus" is a human being in its earliest developmental stages. It is arbitrary and dangerous to grant the government the ability to determine when a human being receives human rights. Claims to the contrary are the words of politically and financially motivated demagogues — unsupported and even rejected by the vast majority of scientists who acknowledge that life beings at conception and the very latest implantation.

The 1973 (pre-ultrasound) claim of "blob of cells" is pseudo-science and downright superstitious.

PLAGAL, in particular, emphasizes that those who have endured legal dehumanization; the differently-abled, refugees, persons of color, and gays and lesbians, have a distinct understanding of what it is like when the law excludes human beings from full citizenship. They want members of the human family to understand that all of the above groups have been decreed by the government at one point or other to not be worthy of personhood and subsequently lost their right to life. The same has occurred with the pre-born. Abortion is a remnant of a bygone age — a century which would use the law to legally discriminate, even kill those whom the state and humanity regarded as "unwanted."

Thank you, PLAGAL, for taking a stand on life. We are winning. Soon abortion will be on the ash heap of history. You will have the privilege of telling your grandchildren that you were apart of the 21st century abolition movement.

Author's Note: Other major pro-life organizations with strong principles of inclusion are: New Wave Feminists, Feminists for Life, Secular Pro-Life, Students for Life of America, Pro-Life OBGYNS and Life Matters Journal.

Cover Image Credit: @mmellmmar

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The 17 Best Unpopular Opinions From The Minds Of Millennials

Yes, dogs should be allowed in more places and kids in less.
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There are those opinions that are almost fact because everyone agrees with them. Waking up early is horrible. Music is life. Sleep is wonderful. These are all facts of life.

But then there are those opinions that hardly anyone agrees with. These ones -- from Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit -- are those types of opinions that are better left unsaid. Some of these are funny. Some are thought-provoking. All of them are the 17 best unpopular opinions around.

1. My favorite pizza is Hawaiian pizza.

2. Binge watching television is not fun and actually difficult to do.

3. I love puns... Dad jokes FTW.

4. Milk in the cup first... THEN the bloody tea.

5. I wish dogs were allowed more places and kids were allowed fewer places.

6. "Space Jam" was a sh*t movie.

7. Saying "money cannot buy happiness" is just wrong.

8. People keep saying light is the most important thing in photographing. I honestly think the camera is more important.

9. Bacon is extremely overrated.

10. Literally, anything is better than going to the gym.

11. Alternative pets are for weird people.

12. Google doodles are annoying.

13. It is okay to not have an opinion on something.

14. It's weird when grown adults are obsessed with Disney.

15. This is how to eat a Kit Kat bar.

16. Mind your own business.

17. There is such a thing as an ugly baby.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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6 All Too Common Phrases That Teach Toxic Masculinity

Tugging on little girl's pigtails on the playground is harmful, not cute.

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There are often things we say to both boys and girls growing up that do more harm than good. Whether we mean to or not, the following phrases develop what is termed "toxic masculinity" in boys, and teach girls to look for and accept that from the men in their lives.

To be clear, toxic masculinity is not saying that masculinity in and of itself is toxic. Masculinity is real and biological, and when done correctly, extremely beautiful. Toxic masculinity is referring to specific gendered behaviors that are...well, toxic.

It's behaviors that are taught and encouraged in little boys so that they grow up to be angry, emotionally-constipated, often violent people. It's what teaches men to be bullies, murderers, mass shooters, rapists, abusers, and victims of suicide.

On the less extreme side of the scale, it's what teaches men to excuse rape culture and not believe the victims who accuse, to force their opinion on others and assume they're always right, and to never express emotion.

If that sounds awful, it's because it is. But we can change that, starting with the way we speak to little kids:

1. "Boys will be boys."

boys will be boys

This comes from the idea that destructiveness and aggression and inherently masculine qualities that shouldn't be curtailed. While it is true that boys have more testosterone and are so more given to more aggressive modes of play and interests, that doesn't mean that bad behaviors should be excused.

If a boy is mean to another human being—verbally, physically, mentally, whatever—it should never be excused with "boys will be boys." Boys need to be held responsible for their actions like everyone else.

When we excuse destructive behaviors by saying it's just a boy "being a boy," we're setting him on the path to consistently excuse such aggression until it turns into full-on violence, something he justifies that wouldn't be able to avoid because that's "just how boys are."

There's a difference between being a boy and being a monster.

(Rachel Brandt explores the negative consequences of this phrase more in-depth.)

2. "He's only mean to you because he likes you."

mean because he likes you

A boy pulled a little girl's pigtail on the playground? Well, that's just because he likes her! He's just trying to get her attention; it's kind of cute, really.

No, it really isn't.

When we excuse pigtail-pulling behavior in kindergartners, we not only teach boys it's okay to hit girls, but we teach girls that if a man hits them, it's because he loves her. Cue women staying in abusive relationships and men abusing.

(I'm not saying only women are victims of abuse nor are only men the perpetrators. I'm merely pointing out that by proclaiming "a boy hurts you because he likes you"—whether that hurt is emotional or physical—it will produce negative, harmful behaviors and mindsets.)

3. "Man up!" or "Boys don't cry."

man up is sexist

I've seen firsthand multiple men—not their fathers—who have told my little nephews not to cry about something. Worse, they ridicule them for doing so. And yet I've seen how those men are the ones who are hurt and needing to cry and acknowledge their feelings.

Stop telling boys to "toughen up" or "man up" because the idea that men are somehow emotionless beings is blatantly stupid and scientifically inaccurate. All. Human beings. Cry. And have emotions.

Teaching your boys that they should feel ashamed for being like any other person ever and having emotions will teach them to bottle up those feelings and to never talk to anyone about them. It's what results in those whining about "the friend zone" or those killing themselves to escape it all.

4. "Pink is a girl's color."

pink is a girl's color

Pink actually only started to become a "girl's color" during World War II due to manufacturers. Before then, it was considered a boy's color since it was derived from red:

The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.

In fact, before that, all babies, boys and girls alike, were dressed in white because it's easier to bleach.

Basically, colors shouldn't be gendered. They belong to everyone.

And having boys fear liking the color pink is actually symptomatic of a much deeper issue of boys being afraid to be like girls because girls are less than. If it were because they simply aren't girls and so don't want to be called one (which, in some cases, that could be a possibility), then girls would be afraid of being seen as boyish. Instead, we celebrate tomboys.

So for goodness' sake, let boys wear pink and stop making them feel like they're different or there's something wrong with them for wanting to do so.

5. "Men think about sex every seven seconds." 

7 seconds

This is a straight-up myth.

There have been multiple studies done over the years to disprove this random figure that people have been quoting without backing it up with any sources, but the most significant one was done by Terri Fisher.

They found that the rate in which men thought about sex varied, but on average was 19 times a day (as opposed to the 8,000 times if men really thought about it once every seven seconds).

Meanwhile, the women studied thought about it half as often, normally once every two hours. However, this could be because either the women were uncomfortable with their sexualities or because they believe they're not supposed to think about it as often as men, so they wouldn't admit to the researchers how often they truly thought of it.

Point is, God created human beings as sexual creatures! The idea that men are more into sex could be due to nurture rather than nature. If men are taught they need to be sex-obsessed and women are taught it's shameful (either being shamed by society for being a slut or a virgin; we can't win), then that could explain the perceived differences in sex drives.

The harm comes when certain men aren't as interested in sex as they're taught they're supposed to be and so feel like something's wrong with them. Or when men are taught to be so obsessed with sex that they objectify women instead of viewing us as people, causing sexual harassment and assault.

6. "Men can't help but cheat. They're just wired that way."

men cheat

If men are taught that they're uncontrollably obsessed with sex, then that justification will surely impact their fidelity.

While a man physically cheating on his partner may only be justified by a few, roaming eyes are normally excused as "typical male behavior."

"He just checked the waitress out, don't make it a big deal. It's what guys do." As if men are somehow excused from morality because they're too weak and undisciplined to keep it in their pants.

Men aren't that obsessed with sex because of their biology, and any interest in sex certainly never excuses immoral behavior. You cheated because you suck as a person, not because it's in your nature.

Let boys cry and wear pink. Don't allow destructive aggression or meanness towards others, especially girls. Teach them to value others and that they're not actually the "more sexual creatures" by nature. Maybe by cutting out these phrases and the ideologies they come from, we'll raise better, more truly masculine men.

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