San Francisco JROTC

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I realize this is a knitting blog, but if you read regularly you know I often speak up about other things that are going on in the world. Have you read online that the San Francisco school board has decided to eliminate the JROTC because of its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy? The article is here, so you can read it for yourself. While I understand the plight of students who enroll in and enjoy the ROTC program (which was very big at my rural HS), I have to go with SF on this one. Not because I am gay, but because I (like most of you) have been in situations where some aspect of my beliefs and lifestyle can cause others to be hostile. While it doesn't affect my daily life as much, being a vegetarian attracts all kinds of attention - some good, some really angry. I hadn't experienced this til I got to college, but I am amazed by the people who feel I am "judging" them with my outlook. In a class once, another student was eating a pizza and I remarked that it smelled good. This person (who didn't know me other than being in class together) said in a really snotty tone, "Oh, YOU wouldn't like this because it has MEAT." And proceeded to tell me how he felt about vegetarians in general. Totally bewildering to me! Being veg isn't the thing I live for, it's just one part of the total package, albeit one that's important to me. But I don't really discuss it with someone unless they ASK - and even then, I don't consider it my business to "convert" them to the veg lifestyle. My point is, there have been times in my life where I feel like I have to be less than honest to avoid awkward or uncomfortable situations, just because of who I am.

So, while I feel for kids who enjoy the program, I feel even more for those who are enrolled or wish to, but carry the constant knowledge that their sexual orientation is not "okay." To be made to feel judged, and weird, and not as good as everyone else at that age is incredibly hard. And while an adult may have the ability to let it go (though they shouldn't have to) kids are very sensitive! Anyway, I wish those who oppose a more open policy in the military would understand that the military's acceptance of homoesexuality does not mean they have to like it! And really, I don't understand the completely irrational hatred that I have seen directed towards someone because their sexual attraction (or skin color, or whatever) was different. Perhaps of they gave me a well-thought out explanation I could understand, even if I will never agree. But I see so many comments (regarding the JROTC in San Fran) that run something like this: "Damn liberals in San F**," "What if they blow up the Gold Gate Bridge?! Maybe then they will appreciate the military!" etc. etc. Completely ignorant and hateful without any argument behind it.

This is mostly unrelated, but while I was getting my oil change (which took an hour and a half for reasons I could never ascertain) I was stuck watching that Dr. Phil "House of Hate" thing as someone had broken the remote and I couldn't reach the tv. One of the women hates all gay people; towards the end of the show, she admitted that she had walked in on her mother and another woman, and this other woman essentially booted her out of the house without her mother ever stopping her. My heart goes out to people who come by their hate this way; it is not everyone that will treat you this way. Because they have been hurt so deeply, they lash out at anyone. No doubt she didn't feel right saying she just hated her mother for not protecting her... so it became "all gay people." I hope she is able to have a little more peace now that she has talked about a wound that must be SO deep...