Just Because You Disagree Doesn’t Mean You’re a Bigot

I have never quite understood people who claim they are “outraged” over someone else’s beliefs or opinions.

Everyone is entitled to his/her own OPINION. Everyone has a core set of beliefs (and if you claim NOT to have beliefs well there you go, your beliefs are, you don’t have beliefs). Being outraged because someone doesn’t agree, or believe, the same as you is unrealistic, selfish and quite frankly, egotistical. In essence, people who are “outraged” over differing opinions are saying, “You don’t have a right to your opinion … unless you agree with me and then, okay.”

Hogwash.

For example…

The whole Chaz Bono appearing on “Dancing with the Stars” show drama (*rolls eyes as she types out the word drama*).

I saw a tweet from a blogger expressing her outrage over this article.

She was angry that the author of this opinion piece didn’t support Chaz’s decision to make the physical transition from a woman to a man. She called people who didn’t agree with Chaz’s decision bigoted and evil. She also didn’t agree with the author’s appeal to his audience to boycott the “Dancing with the Stars,” show this season.

Here are my thoughts on this issue:

First of all, let’s not forget that this is an opinion piece. The author of this piece has a right to his opinion. And just because the author is asking his readers to boycott the show doesn’t mean they will, or even should. I have my own thoughts about things and just because someone is telling me to boycott something doesn’t mean I will – I don’t do something just because someone tells me to. I will form my own opinion and if I choose not to watch the show, then I’m choosing not to watch the show.

It’s not any different than being “outraged” over an article published on Huffington Post that is asking people to watch this season’s “Dancing with the Stars’ to help support Chaz. So what? That writer has a right to his/her opinion, just like the writer in the above piece has a right to his opinion. Readers can agree, or disagree … I’m not exactly sure where “outrage” fits in. We can all choose to either watch the show or not watch the show. We can choose to support Chaz, or not support Chaz. It doesn’t make us bigoted; it doesn’t make us anything. We disagree. It’s OKAY to disagree with a person’s decision to do, or not to do, something.

However, it’s NOT okay to treat the person any differently just because we disagree with them.

If I saw Chaz on the street, I wouldn’t shun him or treat him badly, I don’t have the right to do that to any human being. Just because I don’t agree with his transgender decision doesn’t mean squat, really. It’s none of my business what he does with his body. As long as I treat him the same as everyone else, then there isn’t an issue.

I have a niece who chose to have a giant tree tattooed on her arm. I personally don’t care for it, but so what. It’s her arm. She can do what she wants with it. I don’t treat her differently, or love her any less – it simply is what it is. Am I disappointed with her decision? Of course, but again, I’ll get over it – it’s HER body.

And speaking of choice – Chaz has the right to choose what he does with his own body. He also has a right to go on “Dancing with the Stars” and celebrate his change. However, this does not mean that I have to celebrate with him. Just because he is feeling happy with his decision doesn’t mean I HAVE to feel happy, too. I too have a right to my own opinion and personally? I think changing one’s sex is sick and creepy. But that’s my OPINION. I can still watch “Dancing with the Stars” and NOT agree with Chaz’s decision if I want to; it doesn’t mean I’m a bigot, it means it’s his life, it’s my opinion and life really isn’t any more complicated than that.

We all judge. Sometimes it’s necessary to judge to keep ourselves in check. It’s what we do with that judgement where we start running into problems. Calling for a boycott is silly – so the writer doesn’t agree with Chaz’s personal decision on what to do with his body. GET OVER IT. So there are people out there that DO agree with Chaz’s decision and support him – GREAT.

Just because someone agrees with someone doesn’t mean he/she is a better person, it just means he/she agrees. If a person doesn’t agree with a decision someone makes, it just means he/she doesn’t agree with the decision.

WHY must we make something out of nothing?

The fact that this blogger is making a stink about the fact that people disagree with Chaz’s decision and is trying to rally the troops into feeling “outraged” because they think differently than she does, is not being helpful at all. In fact, it could be argued that she’s being bigoted against the people who disagree with Chaz’s decision.

We could all get along so much better if we just checked our self-important attitudes at the door, don’t you think?

Actually, I don’t give a rat’s ass what Chaz does with his body – honestly, whatever. But I DO feel sorry for Cher. Because speaking as a mother, whether she agrees, or disagrees with her son’s decision or not, it HAD to have been hard for her to cope with all of the conflicting emotions she must have gone through during this transition. I can only imagine the torment she must have suffered seeing her child in so much pain and wanting to help him through it. A mother’s love transcends all personal decisions and opinions.

At any rate, the moral of this story is this: we all have our opinions. We all judge. It’s who we are, it will never change. However, we CAN change how we react to these judgements and disagreements and ACCEPT the fact that not everyone will agree with everyone else and that’s OKAY. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t make him/her a bigot, racist or anything else derogatory – it means we’ll all different and we all have to work on accepting those differences.

Diversity is a process. It’s also a two-way street. Think about it.

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