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.

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

Popular Right Now

Representation Really Does Matter

Here's how one episode of 'Degrassi' changed my life forever.

I was watching "Degrassi" when I came across something that I truly felt changed me. Never before had I watched something that I truly felt I was able to relate to in regards to my gender identity. I had even spoken before with my therapist and felt moderately uncomfortable with it. I never truly felt like I could be myself or be comfortable in the skin I am in.

This changed one day when watching an episode of "Degrassi." On the screen, a young student was presented. Their name was Yael and I suddenly felt more connected with Yael than I had with any other character I had ever seen on television or cinema before. It was almost surreal to see the screen before me. It felt unnatural, almost like the person I was looking at from the comfort of behind my screen was actually me. I felt like I was watching my own life, or rather a representation of what my life could be if I dared to be who I truly wanted to be.

Yael first starts in her cisgender identity so I will be referring to her as in female terms for the beginning part of this article. As she begins to explore her journey in her non-binary/gender fluid identity she begins to feel more comfortable with they/them terminology.

At the beginning of the season, Yael starts to realize a change. Her breasts have grown bigger and this is a part of her body that she has a lot of trouble coping with. The beginning scene shows her evidently wearing ill-fitting undergarments against her rather tight shirt. She speaks in intimate detail with her friend about how this makes her feel and her friend tells her she most likely needs a bra that is better fitting for her. They go shopping and she is obviously incredibly uncomfortable doing so.

I felt every single emotion Yael was feeling during this time. As a matter of fact, as the episode progressed, I felt a lump in my throat. I heard once that maybe when you die a screen will show all the events of your life played out before you and you can watch them like a movie. This is exactly how I felt when I began watching this episode. I felt like I was watching events in my life or perhaps even getting a glimpse into my future. I have felt all the things Yael was feeling before, but I was never really able to properly put it into words. I didn't have any characters to point at and say "see? I'm like them."

When the cross-dressing and drag community first started up, it was grossly misunderstood. People thought drag queens were perverts or some sort of twisted animals. As shows like "Ru Paul's Drag Race" became popularized, awareness of what the drag community was and ultimately, LGBTQ, in general, became a lot more evident. You could pull up a video on Youtube and show it to someone if they didn't understand what you did as a drag artist. There was finally something that you could point to and say, "Yep, that's me."

As someone struggling with gender identity, I can really and truly say I've never experienced that before. I've never had a character that I could look at and explain my feelings with. I've never had anyone to look at or relate to or to help guide me in whatever direction I needed to go. However, as I sat alone in my room watching a show that had been recommended to me, I felt like I had been recognized. I was no longer overcome with isolation.

Yael buys a binder from a store and begins binding. Soon after, her boyfriend realizes that she has chosen not to shave her armpits or legs and is distraught. For the year of 2016, I decided I did not want to shave. The backlash I received was very similar to what Yael received in the episode both with her boyfriend and with the guys she hangs out with. She inquires why she needs to shave and the answer was an ignorant one that I have received an almost uncountable amount of times in my life, "You're a girl."

Just writing that made me groan.

I can almost hear the indignant, monotonous voice it is so often said in as well. A vast majority of my life has been spent with guys and Yael shares this in common with me. At a certain age, I began being told constantly by boys what I was and was not allowed to do. "You're a girl. You shave your legs. Ladies first. Girls are more sensitive. It's weird having a girl here."

My personal favorite was whenever I played Xbox Live and the pandemonium that ensued when a real-life girl began playing with them. I always felt sad, different, and outcast. The feeling was one that was often difficult to describe. However, I watched Yael go through all the things I had gone through for the vast majority of her teenage years.

Yael liked makeup. She did her hair and overall seemed like a feminine individual, however, she had extreme body dysphoria especially when it came to her chest. I felt exactly how she felt. She wore a better-fitted bra and the boys began to notice. The insecurity she experienced ran rampant. I felt for her. I really did. I watched it and realized how many times I had fallen victim to objectification and how it had only thrust me deeper into my body dysphoria. After she begins binding, she truly starts to feel how she should feel.

"I'm gender fluid." She says to her boyfriend and watches as his face falls.

"I like girls." He replies. She pauses for a moment, looking at him.

"I thought you liked me."

The truth behind these words was almost too much to bear.

I've always had to believe that whoever loves me will truly love me for me. As time has progressed, I have looked into my options of top surgery. I realize most men who identify as heterosexuals are quite attached to the idea of female anatomy, specifically breasts and not having them might make me less desirable.

However, I am also aware of the fact that my happiness is to be prioritized above all else. This is my body and it really and truly should be my choice. This insecurity that is rooted deeply within me is one I watched Yael experience, proving once again that I am not alone.

Yael cuts her hair to a length she finds comfortable which is yet another fantasy I have had. I see myself in the future with a shaved head and high fitting clothes that reveal nothing because there will be no lumps of fat on my chest, nothing to hold me down. I see that vision of myself. The only difference between Yael and I is that Yael actually took steps in order to be that vision of herself that she visualized. I have not. However, one day I would like to. One day I see myself being the person I've always desired to be.

I had never seen representation like that in TV or movies before. I have always felt so entirely alone in how I feel. The idea of be-ridding my breasts is one that almost everyone in my life has found to be so incredibly ludicrous, but as I watched Yael's journey, I saw that it wasn't. It was something that was completely ethical and something that people all over the world experience. It's just a matter of putting your story into the world so others can benefit and learn from it as well.

So I am Lizzie Bowen. I am gender queer and the concept of this was one it took me a long time to grasp. I wear makeup and do my hair, but wear big sweatshirts so that my figure can be hidden. I am not ashamed of my body or who I am, but I am ashamed that I feel the need to hide. I am ashamed that I would rather be uncomfortable in my own skin than to make changes in my life to better myself and be free of my dysphoria.

LGBTQ representation and really, representation, in general, is so so important. There are kids, teens, adults, and individuals of all ages who have never had their identity acknowledged. They live their lives in silence suffering, thinking that no one else in the world feels the way they feel. I was one of those people until I turned on an episode of "Degrassi" on a quiet weekend. No matter what your situation or identity is, know there is someone in the world who shares it. You are not alone.

You never are. Thanks, Yael, for teaching me that.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

9 Things 'Type A' People Know All Too Well

To all my fellow 'try-hards.'

“You are SO Type A.”

This phrase is one that people like to say about those of us who seem a little “too organized,” try a little "too hard," or tend to be "overly ambitious" and driven. At times, this reference can sound a bit derogatory, but it’s how people like us excel in our lives and what sets us apart. Am I right my fellow “Type A-ers”?

I bet you know all too well how familiar these things are:

1.You write absolutely everything down.

Thank goodness for your planner.

2. You’re always in a rush.

And you’ve never really been a fan of slow walkers or talkers.

3. 'Competition' is your middle name.

And 'winning' tends to be your last.

4. You have a million different to-do lists.

What would you do without post its, scribbles, and reminders on your phone?

5. You plan out every hour of your day.

Including bathroom breaks!

6. You don't waste any time.

Multi-tasking while waiting for other things comes second nature to you.

7. You're constantly stressed.

Even when there's no need to be.

8. You have an insane work ethic.

Including the inability to go to sleep until you get everything done.

9. You're a perfectionist in EVERYTHING you do.

Because giving anything other than 100% is unacceptable to you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

Related Content

Facebook Comments