[Ed. note: Example of hate speech after the cut.] My husband and I counter-protested those people yesterday. You all know the ones of who I speak. The “Shmod Shmates Shmags” people. The most epic trolls of them all, the ones I will not call by name because they don’t deserve the press. They were sickening, carrying signs that made me physically ill. And yet, it was amazing.
They were here protesting Steve Jobs’ memorial service, for the most part. I’m sure you all saw the fabulous tweet their leader sent out about how awful he was from her fucking iPhone. First, however, they decided to hit up Cupertino High School in the morning at 8 a.m. The press release said it was because the school was run and infested with “fags and perverts,” but I am not aware of anything CHS has done recently to draw their ire; I think the jerks were just looking for a place to protest that would draw the press. What better place than a school full of young people who may not be aware that they are heinous fucks, that they are awful people that are delusional at best.
When we got to Cupertino High, the counter-protesters were out in force. Hundreds of the high school kids stood across the street from the bastards (the police wouldn’t let anyone near them, and since they are a sue-happy bunch, this was totally for the best), wearing rainbow shirts, socks, and pants, or else clad in anti-bully purple, holding signs that proclaimed their love for others, their acceptance of all lifestyles, or just clever insults. There were adults from the administration and another local anti-bullying group in the mix as well, along with others like us who just wanted to make sure the hateful wouldn’t win.
We hadn’t originally planned to go to the high school first. We knew they planned on protesting the memorial first, and my husband not only loves Steve Jobs with all his heart, but really, really, really wanted the opportunity to see these assholes in the flesh. The more we thought about it, though, the more we realized how important it would be to go. At Apple, you have a building full of people who are dialed-in, people who know who these jerks are, people who have seen the awful signage they carry around with them. Steve Jobs doesn’t need protecting from these “people.” He, as most logical people would, see the “church” for what it is; a hateful propaganda machine that would be laughable if they didn’t try to spew their hatred onto people at their most vulnerable times. The high school kids, however, while just as, if not more, Internet and technology savvy, hopefully don’t have a whole lot of reason to know these people. Hopefully they are still slightly sheltered from how incredibly disgusting adults can be.
Going to the school was more important by far. If even one closeted gay kid felt supported by the counter-protesters, all our jobs were done. Many say that if we just ignored the WBC, they would go away. Many argue that counter-protesting them only eggs them on. That may be true. However, if they are going to stand on the street and hold up signs telling queer kids that they are going to Hell and that God hates them, then I sure as shit am going to stand there and let those same queer kids know that that is bullshit. If they continue to harass kids, then I hope adults will continue to show those same kids that they are loved, they are awesome, and that the adults in their lives will stand up for them when bigots crawl out from under their holes.
To all the kids at Cupertino High – you rock. You stood up for yourselves in the face of adversity and wouldn’t let a group of trash bash your school. To the teachers, administrators, neighbors and other protesters, your support of these kids is commendable. Watching you stand alongside them with messages of inclusion and love warmed my cold, bitter heart. To the Bethel Church youth group, thank you for being the only church out of the five within blocks of the school to put up your own sign of support. To whoever set up the PA system to blast Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” on full blast, two super-duper thumbs up. The fact that people are getting involved, making their voices heard, and standing up for what is right was incredibly heartening. These people were not the apathetic group many stories would have us believe, and I am so happy to see it. The appearance of the most hateful group of people around helped show me how bright our future actually is.