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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9 Queer Pride Flags That You Probably Didn't Know About

The rainbow flag is certainly the most recognizable, but it isn't the only Pride Flag there is.
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It's Pride Month yet again and fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies are celebrating. Normally around this time of year, we expect to see that all-too-familiar rainbow colored flag waving through the air, hanging from windows and sported on clothing of all types. Even when not strictly a flag, the colors of the rainbow are often displayed when showing support of the larger queer community. But what many people do not realize is that there are many, many pride flags for orientations of all kinds, so Natasha and I (Alana Stern) have created this handy guide to some others that you may not yet be familiar with:

1. L is for Lesbian and G is for Gay

The most recognizable letters of the entire acronym, L (Lesbian) and G (Gay), represent the homosexual people of the LGBTQ+ community. Homosexuality is defined as being exclusively sexually attracted to members of the same sex. Again, although the rainbow Pride flag is easily the most iconic and recognizable, there is a Lesbian Pride Flag as well. Specifically for "Lipstick Lesbians," this flag was made to represent homosexual women who have a more feminine gender expression. Here are the Lesbian Pride Flag (left) and Gay Pride Flag with the meaning of each stripe (right).



2. B is for Bisexual

Bisexuality is defined as the romantic and/or sexual attraction towards both males and females. They often go unacknowledged by people who believe that they cannot possibly feel an attraction for both sexes and have been called greedy or shamed in many ways for being who they are, but not this month. This month we recognize everyone and their right to love. Here is the flag and symbol that represents the big B!


3. T is for Transgender (Umbrella)

Gender identities are just as diverse as sexual orientations. Transgender people are people whose gender does not necessarily fall in line with their biological sex. That is to say, someone who is born male may not feel that calling oneself a man is the best way to describe who they are as a person; the same can go for someone who is born female or intersex (we'll get to that in a bit). Someone born female may feel that they prefer to be referred to as a man. Someone born male may feel that they don't mind being referred to as either a man or a woman. And someone may feel that neither term really fits. Identities can range from having no gender, to multiple genders, to having a gender that falls outside of the typical gender binary of man/woman, to anything in between. The colors of the flag are blue (the traditional color for boys), pink (the traditional color for girls) and white (to represent those who are intersex, transitioning, or have a gender that is undefined).


Okay! Here's where we get into the lesser-known letters of the acronym. You may have heard of some of these before but didn't quite know what they meant or how they fit into the larger queer community, or you may not have heard of them at all. Either way, we'll do our best to explain them!

4. I is for Intersex

Intersex people are people who are have a mix of characteristics (whether sexual, physical, strictly genetic or some combination thereof) that would classify them as both a male and a female. This can include but is not limited to having both XX and XY chromosomes, having neither, being born with genitalia that does not fit within the usual guidelines for determining sex and appearing as one sex on the outside but another internally. It is possible for intersex people to display the characteristics from birth, but many can go years without realizing it until examining themselves further later in life. Here is an older version of the intersex flag which utilizes purple, white, blue and pink (left) and a more recent one that puts an emphasis on more gender-neutral colors, purple and yellow (right).


5. A is for Aro-Ace Spectrum

The A in the acronym is usually only defined as Asexual, which is a term used to describe people who experience a lack of sexual attraction to any sex, gender, or otherwise. People who are asexual can still engage in healthy romantic relationships, they just don't always feel the need or have the desire to have sex and are not physically attracted to other people. If that's confusing, think of it this way: you are attracted women, but not men. You may see a man and think, "He's kind of cute" or "That's a pretty good-looking guy," but you still would not feel any desire towards that person, because that's not what you're into. Asexual people generally feel that way about everyone. That's the "Ace" half of "Aro-Ace."

"Aro," or Aromantic, is a term used to describe people who do not experience romantic attraction. Aromantic people still have healthy platonic relationships, but have no inclination towards romantic love. The reason Asexual and Aromantic are together is because they are very heavily entwined and oftentimes can overlap. Underneath that spectrum are also other variations of asexuality (including but not limited to people who still feel as though they are asexual but experience sexual attraction in very rare circumstances, or only after they have a romantic connection) and aromanticism (including but not limited to people who still feel as though they are aromantic but experience romantic attraction in very rare circumstances).

Below are two versions of the Aromantic Pride Flag (top and middle) and the Asexual Pride Flag (bottom).





6. P and O are for Panseuxal and Omnisexual

Pansexual and omnisexual people are not limited by gender preferences. They are capable of loving someone for who they are and being sexually attracted to people despite what gender their partner identifies as. The word pansexual comes from the Greek prefix "pan-", meaning all. Pansexuals or Omnisexuals will probably settle for whoever wins their heart regardless of that persons gender.


7. But what about the Q?!

The Q can be said to stand for Queer or Questioning, or both. "Queer" is more of a blanket term for people who belong to the LGBTQ+ community or who identify as something other than heterosexual or cisgender (a term that has come to describe people who feel that their gender does fall in line with their biological sex; i.e. someone born male feels that he is a man). It is also possible for someone to identify as queer, but avoid using it to refer to specific people unless you know they are okay with it; some people still consider it insulting. Questioning means exactly what it sounds like: it gives a nod to those who are unsure about their sexuality and/or gender identity or who are currently in the process of exploring it.

There's no one flag specifically for the letter Q, as all of the above sexualities and identities technically fall underneath this term.


This list is hardly comprehensive and there are a number of other flags, orientations and identities to explore. Pride Month is still going strong, and there's always more to learn about the ever-changing nature of sexuality as a whole and the way we understand it. It's a time for celebration, but also a time to educate and spread the word.

For a more in-depth description of different types of attraction and how they work, click here.

For more complete lists of gender identities throughout history, click here or here.

For a general list of commonly used words in the LGBTQ+ community and their definitions, click here.


Now go grab a flag and fly it high--you've got a ton to choose from!

Cover Image Credit: 6rang

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You're Right, The 'Gay Agenda' Exists

This is my plan to suck you heterosexuals into the gay lifestyle.
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Since June is pride month, I thought I would lay out the "gay agenda" for you.

I've heard a lot of people who believe there is a gay agenda give their opinions of what it actually is. From gay chemicals in the water, to gay people being the reason for unemployment and immigration problems, I have been shocked of how close to the truth people have come.

I figured it out! I'm going heterosexual to save America! Say goodbye to unemployment! Say goodbye to the immigration issue!

Just kidding, proud to be me. I honestly have no clue as to how I affect unemployment and immigration based on who I love. If someone could explain to me how this conclusion came to be, please let me know. Until then, I am going to sit here in my rainbow socks, my sweatpants and my sports bra.

The most common issue that I have heard people having with lesbians are that "we are all whores." Let me just say, this is SO false. Media warps the image of many groups of people. When you add the image porn creates of promiscuity, the idea of a lesbian being a "whore" comes into play.

This concept doesn't just happen in the LGBTQ+ community, when you hear something about a group from people, media, or anything else, it's like playing "Telephone."

Being in theater throughout high school, I have heard many opinions of what the gay agenda is. From the classic "gay boys are hired to recruit more boys into theater" to "theater is the reason you're a lesbian," I can't help but to laugh.

Here's the thing. Yes, there are LGBTQ+ people in theater. Guess what? We are everywhere, and every other type of person is as well. There is no recruitment in the LGBTQ+ community. If you identify as part of the community, you do. If you don't that is totally okay. Theater has no part of me being a lesbian. I participate in theater not only because I enjoy it, but the enjoyment it gives the audience.

Around 99% of the people I know in the LGBTQ+ community do NOT hate people outside of the community. I absolutely HATE when people assume we do. We just want everyone to be happy. Everyone deserves a place in the world. We want everyone to have the opportunity of happiness.

So, this is what you have been waiting for, my "gay agenda." I want to be able to live my life to the fullest, with my future wife, children and god only knows what else will come into my life. Maybe a dog or cat, both? Possibly several of both?

I want all my friends to have this chance in their lives. One day, I want people to be able to "come out" to their families without being kicked out. One of my friends was physically abused because they came out to their parents. This can NOT happen anymore.

Life is hard for everyone. Why make it harder based on love, gender and everything else. Love is love PERIOD. Love is not love with hate. Love is not just a religion or belief. Human kindness is what will solve the problems in the world, not being something we are not.

So, that's my "gay agenda." I will continue to help people whenever possible, keep being who I am and guide people who are trying to find who they are. Try to stop me, I dare you.

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