He asks, 'Why do people fear the gay?' And then he answers his own question.

Watch Henry Rollins share his thoughts with Big Think:

<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span><span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>

If you want a quick recap of what he discusses in the Big Think video, here's the long and short of it:

"Why are some Americans, people in the world, homophobic?" asks Henry Rollins.

He wants to know: "Why do they fear the gay? And why do they oppose, at least in America, so strongly, gay marriage, gay unions?"


Wait, people are still homophobic?

I know. It's hard for a lot of us to understand why anyone would be opposed to everyone having equal rights — and even worse, hateful of those who are "different."

But it's a fact. LGBTQ people are still fighting for the right to marry in 13 states and for equal treatment in general everywhere.

Rollins' first answer to his own question is simple but poignant:

"What makes people fear the gay and gay marriage? It's because you're giving these people equality. And that's the biggest fear that people with power have: that you'll get some too."
— Henry Rollins on Big Think


It makes sense that some members of the group in power fear losing it. But what power will straight people really lose if our gay friends and family members have the same rights we do? (Spoiler alert: none.)

And guess what? Gay marriage doesn't mean you have to get gay married!

"I don't want to be married. But if two people are crazy enough to be that in love with each other, damn, that's a great thing. Give them a break. Life's really short.
...
If you don't want a gay marriage, then don't have one."
— Henry Rollins on Big Think


I know. Duh.

But I think we need to keep talking about how ensuring that one group has equal rights does not make the dominant group do anything differently.

Let's all go "real hard" against homophobia, Henry Rollins style.

"I don't know how you say it, but gay rights to me, it's civil rights. ... [W]hen I see homophobia, it's the straw that breaks the camel's back, and I'm the camel. I go hard against it. Real hard. Real loud. Real flagrantly. Real right now...

I believe things are getting better. I think homophobia is an endangered species in America. As long as I'm around, it is. And I know I'm not the only person pushing against it."
— Henry Rollins on Big Think


What the great Maya Angelou said about racial equality applies here as well. "Because equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air: We all have it or none of us has it. That is the truth of it."

Photo courtesy of Claudia Romo Edelman
True

When the novel coronavirus hit the United States, life as we knew it quickly changed. As many people holed up in their homes, some essential workers had to make the impossible choice of going to work or quitting their jobs— a choice they continue to make each day.

Because over 80 percent of working Hispanic adults provide essential services for the U.S. economy, the Hispanic community is disproportionately affected. Hispanic families are also much more likely to live in multigenerational households, carrying the extra risk of infecting the most vulnerable. In fact, Hispanics are 20 times more likely than other patients to test positive for COVID-19.

Claudia Romo Edelman saw a community in desperate need of guidance and support. And she created Hispanic Star, a non-profit designed to help Hispanic people in the U.S. pull together as a proud, unified group and overcome barriers — the most pressing of which is the effects of the pandemic.

Because the Hispanic community is so diverse, unification is, and was, an enormous challenge.

Photo credit: Hispanic Star

Keep Reading Show less
via Taber Andrew Bain / Flickr

The tiniest state with the longest name may soon just be the tiniest state after November 3. Rhode Island is voting on whether to change its official name from "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" to "The State of Rhode Island."

Lawmakers in the state would like to shorten the name because the term "plantations" has a historical connection to slavery in the United States.

This isn't the first time the state has attempted to remove "plantations" from its name. Rhode Island attempted the change ten years ago and 78% of voters opposed the idea.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Claudia Romo Edelman
True

When the novel coronavirus hit the United States, life as we knew it quickly changed. As many people holed up in their homes, some essential workers had to make the impossible choice of going to work or quitting their jobs— a choice they continue to make each day.

Because over 80 percent of working Hispanic adults provide essential services for the U.S. economy, the Hispanic community is disproportionately affected. Hispanic families are also much more likely to live in multigenerational households, carrying the extra risk of infecting the most vulnerable. In fact, Hispanics are 20 times more likely than other patients to test positive for COVID-19.

Claudia Romo Edelman saw a community in desperate need of guidance and support. And she created Hispanic Star, a non-profit designed to help Hispanic people in the U.S. pull together as a proud, unified group and overcome barriers — the most pressing of which is the effects of the pandemic.

Because the Hispanic community is so diverse, unification is, and was, an enormous challenge.

Photo credit: Hispanic Star

Keep Reading Show less

Electing Donald Trump to be president of the United States set an incredibly ugly example for the nation's youth.

We know how it's affected the national discourse of regular adults. But there's no denying the conduct of a president impacts how children around the world see the example being set for them. Every day for the past four years, children have been subjected to the behavior of a divisive figure that many of their parents chose to exalt to the most powerful office in the world.

Sure, adults can make excuses for him saying he's an "imperfect messenger" or that they "didn't vote for him to be reverend," but these are all just ways to rationalize voting for a man with zero character. What a message to send to children: Act awful and you'll be handsomely rewarded.

But what if you took away the "Trump" name and examined the character traits of him as an ordinary person? More specifically, what if your daughter came to you and said this was the kind of person she was planning to date? Well, one MAGA family found out and the results are funny, insightful and quite revealing about how we somehow hold our leaders to different and lower standards than we expect from ourselves in our day to day lives.

Keep Reading Show less
File:Delta Airlines - Boeing 767-300 - N185DN (Quintin Soloviev ...

Want to land yourself on a no-fly list? Refuse to wear a mask on an airplane. Delta is actually having to ban people from flights for not wearing masks. "As of this week, we've added 460 people to our no-fly list for refusing to comply with our mask requirement," Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a message to employees per CNN. The number is up from 270 people in August. It's kinda nuts that people are so against covering their nose and mouth that they're actually willing to get kicked off an airline, but here we are.

We're a good seven months in to the pandemic, so having to wear some kind of protective covering isn't new anymore. Delta flights have been requiring face masks on flights since May 4th, and has been barring rule breakers from traveling since June. Delta is also one of two major U.S. airlines that keeps the middle seat open (at least until the end of 2020).

Keep Reading Show less