Being called derogatory, dehumanizing or embarassing names hurts. And the more it hurts, the more we lash out at those people who have tried to label us. We certainly stop listening to anything they have to say. So let's not do it to others, even if they call us names first.
What I'm referring to is the use of the term bigot or the term nazi. Thanks to everyone who has pulled these term out of their hats to publicly post them when someone has a strong bias that may tend toward intolerance, the recipients have been raised into a fury like a bull carrying numerous darts from el toreador.
Quit it. You are starting to play into the traps they have set up. They preface their discussion, warning that they will be called bigots, and you invariably prove them right, which adds fuel to their argument that we are whiners, predictable, and deserve no protection.
What we seem to have forgotten is that these people are human, too. They operate based on their experiences, and their experiences have a strong bias, just as we do. The objective is to get them to understand the point of view that goes against their experience, to inject the human element we all know is there that refutes much of what they have learned, to let them experience our positive side, to prove that there is no 'Gay Agenda,' and to accept their informed decision.
Do the research. Find what's wrong with the facts as they know them, and gently inform them. And be human, foibles and all. Let them get to know you by your words as someone worth knowing. If you want to be accepted, behave in a manner that is acceptable.
It doesn't hurt to acknowledge their work, even if it drew them to a wrong conclusion. Everyone is trying to grapple with the issues. You are not necessarily going to convince people who have an animus hatred and refuse to be moved, but your behavior, logical arguments and emotive appeal will allow many to truly understand and start working with us, because many are watching. Even if they only make a smidgeon change, its progressive. And we might start understanding their true concerns a little better, and be able to work together to make progress.
Remember, no name calling. Please?
Hugs and God Bless,