Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Carmen Carrera transgender Cake Boss controvery: Caring for the LGBT community without compromise

There's been a lot of buzz in the LGBT community lately about an episode of Cake Boss that supposedly treated a transgender woman in a derogatory way. The producers had promised that the episode would be educational and respectful, but according to GLAAD, the episode did not stay true to the agreement. Carmen Carrera, the transgender woman involved, started a petition to have the episode removed. The petition succeeded.

A transgender friend of mine posted on the controversy after signing the petition. I did not sign the petition because I did not see the episode, and I find that things are sometimes taken out of context by more zealous LGBT advocates. While I cannot take a stand on this specific controversy, it has led me to consider what it means to be a Christian and to treat the LGBT community with respect at the same time.

We complain about the reformation of schools to include classes on tolerance, but we do nothing to teach our own children about what it means to live in the world, but not be of the world – what it means to love a person without accepting his particular lifestyle – what it means to support free speech and to stand up for your beliefs without becoming a bigot. 

Education starts at the home. If we allow our children to treat others with disrespect, it leads to a can of worms and then some. So while I don't agree with all the tolerance "indoctrination" going on in public schools, I see why schools have felt the need to create those tolerance classes. I won't get into my arguments against such classes here, but even if you're against such classes, you have to admit, there are a lot of LGBT suicides and bullying going on out there, and as much as we dislike their lifestyles, we have no right to violently hurt them - nor do our children.

I am by no means supporting Ms. Carrera’s lifestyle. I consider homosexuality, transgender, and other similar lifestyles wrong because I base my convictions on the Bible. But I do have friends who live those lifestyles. They know my position, but they also know I care deeply about them. I refuse to degrade a person in the way that so many do – calling names, allowing those “dude, that’s a man” moments such as the one on Cake Boss. I didn’t watch the actual Cake Boss episode, so I can’t speak to that, but considering the matter I ask myself, would I call the prostitute who gives herself to men  a whore (with hateful slur intended), even if she may be only living that way in order to protect her children and keep them alive? Do I know the stories of these people? Would I accomplish anything by condemning them as sinners in a rude, harsh judgmental way?

We need to start thinking instead of hating, loving instead of hurting, telling the truth in peaceful ways instead of mistreating a person because of it.

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