Would you hate someone because they preferred rum raisin or coffee ice cream over vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry? There’s a reason Baskin-Robbins, famous for initially starting with 31 flavors, was so successful. Because we’re not all alike, and we don’t all like the same things. We don’t know about you, but we choose our friends based on who they are, not what ice cream flavor they like. Or their sexual orientation. And you don’t have to be part of the LGBTQ community to celebrate Pride Day and Pride Month because recognizing, respecting, and celebrating our differences is something to take pride in every day.
And we’re proud to rerun our post on Pride Day from last year …
You can't say this isn't personal … because that's exactly what it is.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red, the history lover, felt she should have known about Pride Day, which ultimately led to Pride Month, but Black thinks the history isn't as important as accepting and celebrating the LGBTQ community.
You can't help but notice all the rainbows in recognition of Pride Month, but Red admits that until earlier this month, she didn't know that Pride Day, June 28, commemorated the Stonewall Uprising, which a year later was the date of the first official Pride parade. But she's well aware of the challenges facing the LGBTQ community, and it angers and frustrates her that, as often happens, a group of people is singled out as the target of hate simply because they're considered "different". And while "venting" about it with Black, was reminded that hate often comes from being closed-minded and not knowing any better,
It is easier to hate someone based on stereotypes versus personal experience. Do not underestimate how important it is that our first-known personal relationships with gay people, those who now would identify as LGBTQ, were before we knew their sexual preferences. They were people first, then friends, and almost "by-the-way" gay. And therein lies a powerful difference – we knew them as individuals.
Although Black's words weren't exactly rocket science, they did make Red stop and realize how our experiences shaped our understanding, perceptions, and acceptance of the LGBTQ community because we simply didn't see them differently than other individuals. Red initially didn't think much more of it, recognizing we can only control how we feel and react, but soon after our June 8 post about Pride Month on our Facebook page, a follower commented,
You all are so supportive of all people from all walks of life. It's a pleasure knowing you.
It was a reminder that each and every one of us can make a difference. Sometimes in a small way, and sometimes in a way that makes others take notice. Which is exactly what happened when Red spotted an article about a bakery in Lufkin, Texas, that had baked heart-shaped rainbow cookies in support of Pride Month. (It caught her eye because we did a speaking engagement in Lufkin many years ago that remains one of her favorites.)
The Confections Bakery posted an image of beautiful rainbow cookies on its Facebook page (scroll down to June 2) with the simple message, "More LOVE. Less hate." Did the cookies immediately sell out? Not exactly. They received a backlash of hate, including the cancellation of a significant cookie order. However, by the next morning, the positive response was incredible – the long line of customers at the bakery, countless offers to buy the canceled order, and a considerable number of orders coming in from around the country. Which made Red smile,
A simple post promoting Pride Month cookies and "More LOVE. Less hate." led to a response of hate but ended up truly being about "More LOVE. Less hate."
Some things never change, like our Thanksgiving routines. But that’s ok, as Thanksgiving’s about traditions, so it seems only appropriate that we’d like to repeat what we’ve told you before …
We'll keep this simple and to-the-point … Happy Thanksgiving!
Comic strip or reality show: A group of bachelors participates in a foot race, and whoever's caught by the single woman in the race will become her husband.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We may be sisters, but except for growing up with the same parents in the same house in New York, that may be where the similarities end; especially in terms of dating "protocol" as Black never thought twice about asking boys (and later men) out on a date, while Red never gave it any thought, accepting the convention that boys did the asking. (She did make an exception for her senior prom but was shocked when he accepted.)
When it comes to Sadie Hawkins Day, we both agree it's a quirky holiday that makes it "acceptable" for girls to ask out boys, but of course, we have very different perspectives. For Red, it conjures up images of Sadie Hawkins Day dances, although she never went to one and doesn't even remember how she knows about them. While Black's fascinated by how it all began with the cartoonist Al Capp and his popular "Lil' Abner" comic strip and quickly became a pop culture phenomenon.Now, over 80 years later, if you were to analyze Sadie Hawkins Day, you would probably find it outdated and sexist. But why not just laugh at its silly beginnings and enjoy the day. The funny thing is Red still thinks men should ask out women, while Black always believed that every day's Sadie Hawkins Day.
Tomorrow’s Election Day, and our thoughts about the importance and challenges of voting haven’t changed since last year (see below) – although the stakes may have gone up. (Think Roe v. Wade and how the Supreme Court has sent it back to the states.) Black wishes more states offered referendums so we could vote on specific issues instead of trying to find the candidate that most closely represents our positions and then actually stays true to their word. Which, unfortunately, makes voting much harder than it needs to be …
So many people have fought for the right to vote, yet so many don't even bother to vote.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Like many of us, Red can come up with a whole list of reasons why she didn't plan to vote this Election Day, but what she thought was a sarcastic comment from Black would point out the challenge of balancing philosophical beliefs with reality.
Red, being that former straight-A student, remembers the first time she voted and how she felt it was her civic responsibility, but that she'd never just vote by party line (for her, it was never that simple, especially not these days). That each vote needs to be a conscious one. But that takes lots of "homework", so unless it's a presidential or gubernatorial election, she tends to sit out most of them. Which she felt was just fine, until Black pointed out,
The prior few presidential elections aside, I could argue that non-presidential elections have a far greater impact on our lives. Because state and local issues, such as school board elections and amendments to state constitutions, can make a huge difference to your daily lives.
Now, Red thought, there's an understatement. Especially in the state of Texas. But even on a local level, as Red had recently found out that one trustee on her local school board has created such a huge uproar that all the other trustees called for her resignation. When she first heard the news, she couldn't quite believe the accusations, except most of them were officially "on record", but then, as a parent, Red was appalled that such a person was sitting, of all things, on a school board. But until Black's comments, she didn't connect the dots between that and her responsibility as a voter (not to mention a parent) to take future school board elections more seriously.
Of course, Red still feels an obligation to research the candidates and learn not only what they claim to believe and intend to do, but to try to have a better understanding of who they really are. Which given the times we live in, and the power of social media to spread misinformation, is more challenging than ever. And when she asked Black what to do, she heard a familiar analogy, but with a different spin,
You can eat an elephant (and I am not referring to the GOP/Republicans) just not all at once. Same holds true in terms of the candidates and issues. Review the ones you feel strongly about and then vote. Remember, you are not required to vote the entire ballot.
Well, Red realized that although she hadn't prepared to vote, ironically, it was her desire to make the right choices that led her to make no choices. Now, she realized it was not only her civic responsibility to vote but something that was truly important. For her, her family, her community.