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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Things To Know Before Dating A Firefighter

You'll learn how to tell the difference between different kinds of sirens.
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There are just certain things you are going to want to know before dating a fireman. In my experience, I had to learn along the way. But at the end of all the calls, constantly smelling his gear in the car and sometimes even cancelled plans, I sure do love my firefighter!

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons To Date A Country Boy

You were promised a list, so here it is:

1. If they are even within 20 minutes of the station, they will always leave you to go on a call.

No matter the circumstances, if you have a fireman on your hands, he will jet to the car and be on his way.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Date A Police Officer

2. Meeting nights are not something you try and fight with them about. They are going to leave and you do not have to like it because it wasn't up to you anyway.

I have learned that these nights are not optional. Yes, other people miss them, but not my firefighter.

3. No matter where you are or what you're doing the minute they hear a firetrucks horn, they're looking for it and hoping they're not missing anything good.

You will learn the lingo. Structures, fully involved (the good stuff) smoke alarms, cat in a tree (ehh I mean they are fireman...soooo still good stuff).

4. They know the exact difference between an ambulance, cop, and, of course, a fire truck siren.

Which means that you will have to learn, too.

5. You’ll have to accept that when he has to do hall rental cleanup, you're going with to help.

You fold the chairs and he stacks them. And Im talking at like 12 a.m.,1 a.m.

6. When you come around the firehouse, there will be jokes made and they'll mess with him about you or even you about him.

Honestly it's a giant bromance going on and they prey on this kinda stuff.

7. At first, you won't really have a name to the fire guys. Until you're around long enough.

You'll just be Boyfriend's name's girlfriend.

8. The fire pager goes where he goes.

Next to the bed, in the car, next to your bed, your living room, EVERYWHERE. And even if it's not the real pager, it's the dog app that I can never remember the name of so dog app it is. (Say that really fast to get the full effect).

9. They will probably wear their station shirt/apparel at least 4-5 days a week.

AT LEAST.

10. If you've got a good one, you're always put first. The list will always go "You, the firehouse, me, everyone else."

But secretly they always want to put the firehouse first.

11. You will learn and know more stations, trucks, members, and chiefs than you will ever want to admit.

Unbelievably true.

12. When you're driving and you see a fire station, you'll have to look at it.

If its an amazing building, you'll have to remember the name. And then you'll have to tell him about it. And then you've just proved number 11 correct. Add it to your list.

13. Never make plans while he's on a call. You can never know when he'll be back.

Even if the calls are short, they could stay at least another hour washing the trucks and being boys, of course.

14. In case you didn't understand the severity of the first one, if you are on the phone and you hear the pager go off in the background, just tell him you love him and hang up.

Because if you don't, he will. "Got a call, Love you, bye." Mid-sentence is always what you want to hear.

15. You'll never want to watch "Ladder 49" again.

You will cry like a baby and then want to make him quit.

16. Outside of the stations, fireman tend to forget that fire isn't a toy and it's pretty damn hot.

*Playing with the lighter fluid or burning things on the stove*
"No it's alright, I'm a firefighter."

17. You will start your own station shirt collection.

From NYFD memorial shirts, a station from where you're vacationing even acquired old shirts of his, you will have started your own pile of station shirts.

18. You can't get angry or upset when he is unavailable because he's going to go to the firehouse for the fifth time that week, or if there's another fire prevention thing to do.

You can't be mad because he's doing what he loves and also because a man in a uniform isn't too shabby.

There are a lot more things to know before dating a fireman, but the rest you'll just have to learn along the way.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things To Know Before Dating Someone With Anxiety

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Our Sexuality Is A Moving Spectrum, So Moving Around On It Is Totally Normal

Understanding that labels aren't one size fits all

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Human sexuality is a large topic that is often never completely discussed. Human sexuality is divided into four parts: Sex, Attraction, Identity, and Expression. Each four of those categories are all on a spectrum, there's no simple clear-cut definition of gender identity, gender expression, biological sex and who you are sexually and or romantically attracted to. Labels have become a huge thing in society but what's so problematic about labels is they are never one size fits all.

When I came out I thought it was easiest, at that time, to label myself as bisexual…I wasn't sure everything that I felt, I didn't want to "shock" anyone, and didn't feel that the label lesbian fit. There have been growing pains since then and I settled into the label of gay. I didn't find myself being attracted to men or actively pursuing relationships with men but I hated the label lesbian, so I choose gay. As I've been becoming more and more self-aware and self-confident though, I find myself transitioning into the label of queer.

Queer could be seen as derogatory by some, but I personally believe it's the most empowering label. I find it the most inclusive word. Wikipedia defines queer as "an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender". To me, that means I am most definitely falling under the vast category of LGBTQ, and I am open to love within that community. I do not actively pursue relationships with men and do not consider myself as bisexual, but in the same breath, I wouldn't say that I'd completely rule out a relationship with a man. Does this make me pansexual? Honestly, I don't personally identify with any label right now besides Queer.

I think we all need to realize that sexuality is a spectrum. Everyone seems to completely grasp and understand that other things have spectrums, such as autism. Yet when it comes to sexuality: sex, attraction, identity and expression, everyone's much more comfortable if we have clear label markers. Well, society, wake up. It's the end of 2018, and we've come a long way, we've fought for tolerance and acceptance, and it's time to start opening our minds a little more. Why do we all need clear definers for things? Why can't we just…..be? I was having a great conversation with someone the other day and we agreed that if two people are happy and partners understand the ins and outs of their personal relationship, why does anyone else need to question how it works?

I took a human sexuality class in college and it was the most interesting and best class I've taken to date. One day we had a speaker come in who was a transgender straight man and was married to a woman who identified as a lesbian. They both have their own identities, stand by them, and they love each other for exactly who they are. Many of you might be scratching your heads and think how does that happen… and honestly, why do we need to question it? I think it's absolutely incredible and beautiful when two people find pure joy and love in one another.

Do not ever feel pressured to put a label on yourself for ANY reason in your life. And if you choose to, don't at all feel obligated to stick to that label. People grow, and learn more about themselves, their wants and needs. Nothing is more attractive then someone who's able to say you know what…that fit me then, but right now that doesn't feel right and I've found what better fits me. Coming out isn't always a one-time thing, its okay to change your identifier. There was a beautiful piece, written by a friend, about this topic that you can check out here.

Educating yourself about things you don't fully understand is honestly the most LGBTQ friendly thing you could do. Don't ever be afraid to ask appropriate questions and say things like "hey I think that's super awesome, I support you, would you mind sharing more with me so I can better understand you?" Learn about yourself, don't be afraid to question anything, don't feel the need to label yourself, or scared to take off a label that no longer suits you. Be confident and trust your heart and your intuition, they're never wrong.

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