By Kerri Stout
This is my first column ever so maybe I'll put a new spin on writing. I met Renae years ago when she was in "He's Dead Jim" and, if I'm correct, was getting ready to interview the lunachick for her Zine magazine. I was first introduced to the scene when I was young by the closest thing I had to a sister and her friends. The one thing I learned is never to be close-minded about music. I, for one, listen to almost everything out there minus country; I just can't get into it for some reason. So given the subject of Free Choice . . . You Decide, it can be taken in many different directions.
I believe everyone should have the choice to make decisions that are obviously not destructive to the human race. I believe all women should be strong-minded and able to make decisions without fearing the consequences. If you stand up your husband, girlfriend, or lover, you shouldn't fear the outcome. Stand up for what you believe in.
In the medical system, I recently was denied the freedom of making a decision on what was good for my health and instead was sent away with a bottle of pain pills and told to live life normally. This was because I was a 37 year old woman without any children. They knew I was completely gay and made the choice not to have children. Having multiple tumors growing inside me and causing serious health issues, they still wouldn’t treat me. It took several visits to the hospital and a female doctor to even get the approval to have a hysterectomy through a surgical team.
This decision came not a moment too soon because my body couldn't take anymore toxins pouring in it and was starting to go septic. I fought with doctors and the hospital for 4½ months, all the while having painful attacks and several emergency room visits. Why? The medical team made the decision that I could still have children, regardless of the fact that I didn't want any. Tell me, where is the freedom of choice in there?
People are sick and dying while our medical institutions make decisions on how much profit they can get rather than being concerned over the well being of their patients. Women spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on plastic surgery to make themselves look better, yet not all these procedures are safe, but it's for profit - right? We are so blinded by vanity and the latest fashion that we forget to stop and look at all the chaos and destruction around us.
It seems we don't have the freedom of speech or the freedom of choice anymore. Others are always deciding what is right or wrong for us. Only you can make that decision, but make the right one because your decision is going to impact one or more people in this world, which in return will impact someone in their life and so on and so on until we get the ripple effect.
The media tells people what to think, how to dress, and how to act and those out there that are close-minded or weak-minded will follow. Society looking down on those with tattoos or piercings and anything not in the "norm" seems to be what is wrong. Why? Their minds are poisoned. The real true people of the world are the ones that think for themselves and not the ones society considers to be freaks or different.
I remember so many times when sporting a blue, purple, green and God knows what other color mohawk, wearing pants with safety pins down the side to taper them against my legs, wearing a dog chain as a necklace and whatever random torn up shirt or plain black shirt with a leather jacket, people would look at me in disgust. They would say "you must have no self respect or think lowly of yourself to dress like that." Seriously, if I had a low self esteem, why the hell would I dress like that? I would only be drawing more attention to myself. People are very judgmental in what they consider wrong and they will always be stuck in the flock.
Everyone claimed they were ready for "change" and so here we are with the first black president, but what about gay marriage? It's not like we are any different than you. We just want the opportunity to have equal rights in regard to adoption and medical coverage. People can't expect that change if they can't tolerate us loving the same sex. It's not that, as the gay community, we are out to piss off the world; we are just sick of being cast aside like we are diseased or belong to some other species. We want people to recognize us as people. We have endured a long hard fight for ourselves. I remember when one simple sticker on the back of my truck that read "homophobia is a social disease" set off a man in traffic so badly he got out of his car and starting screaming at me through the window. That behavior, of course, represents a social disease and I often wondered how ignorant he felt after that considering he was the one proving the whole meaning on the sticker to be true.
Maybe I'm totally off subject and this should be considered Kerri's rant, but I don't see where we have free choice. There are too many people, companies, and advertisements out there telling us or even young children/teenagers how to act, what to think, how to feel, and how to look. There is too much ignorance in this world for anyone not to stand up for what they believe in and not to speak up for themselves.
Embrace your beliefs and your choices. Keep in mind those beliefs and choices will affect other people. If one person can affect someone else in a positive way or just make that person stop and look at the world differently and realize being different isn't so bad and we all don't have to look the same, maybe people will realize that they can make decisions. You do have the choice to make a fucking impact, a positive impact! Stand your ground and fight for what you believe in. Hate takes too much energy; find another way to express your energy. Living well is the best revenge . . . so do it!