Look, I'm sure you take these issues as seriously as some (if not the majority) of the atheists/agnostics/non-theists/etc. on this board take the issues related to that. It's perfectly acceptable and nobody's arguing that. We have been hurt. We have friends who have been hurt. But what does that have to do with this topic? If this has now become an attempt to shed light on what you feel is mockery or persecution or discrimination, then fine, but it's no longer a "forum suggestion." You seem a reasonable and logical fellow; I'm sure you'll agree.
Regardless, what is a trigger for you is not necessarily a trigger for someone else. Relevance does not equate to priority. The fact that this topic is extremely poignant and personal to you in no way suggests it should be for someone else. When a topic isn't salient for someone, they may act in a way that could be construed as dismissive, much the same way atheists put up with their religious friends or family "dismissing" their views as unimportant. You will find no better group for sympathy in this than this one.
But the point is this: some people don't care about what you care about, and vice versa. If you want to spend your time and energy campaigning, fine, but don't let it get to you when someone participates in a manner that lacks the severity with which you approach it.
I greatly appreciate this productive post and thank you. If you disagree with me, I have no issue with that. The tone of this post is all I ever ask.
Yes, this is off topic. In my first days on the board I objected to all the derailed threads, and I have been on boards where derailing was not allowed. Here, it seems to be the way the board operates. For or better or worse, I no longer make an attempt to stay on topic since (and I could be wrong here) it does not matter if one does or does not.
The topic of this thread is "Gender Identification option on the profile." I did not start the topic. Here is what I see...
1. I suggested that more than two options be given and even suggested a fill in the blank.
2. I don't know who all the guests are reading the thread, but I feel that it is important to stand up for them in case one or more falls into the "other" category. For all I know, one or more members could be afraid of speaking up as well. Before I began my current volunteer work (2004--and mostly with heterosexuals), I did volunteer work within the gay community. One thing I learned in my training is that every potentially divisive remark--even the seemingly innocent joke--must be pointed out. If a reasonable person tells it (and I assume the people here are, for the most part, reasonable), he or she may be unaware of how harmful it can be. When people with alternate sexual or gender identities are mocked all their lives, some do commit suicide. It isn't over just one joke; it's over a lifetime of being hated and mocked. Those kind of jokes are as bad as any homophobic remark. I know this to be true, and I will do almost anything to prevent others from experiencing what I did. Some people here know it as well, as one does not have to be LGBTQ to get it. Others do not get it.
3. I tried to explain that it was equally wrong to mock anyone, whether women, people with AIDS, cancer survivors, people involved in or hurt by the IRA... Anyone. I further tried to explain that the us vs. them mentality is the main reason so many of atheists have such a hard time in their lives and find places like this a welcome relief. In other words, these issues affect everyone.
4. Once again, I don't mind if people disagree with me. I don't expect everyone to agree, and a healthy discussion is good. What I don't get is the mockery and the disrespectful way I have been talked down to by so many. I am no angel and I don't claim to be, but I doubt I deserve to be spoken to like that. I have posted many threads that others have enjoyed, including the thread on Greenwich Village and New York City, and I have gone out of my way to be supportive of anyone here who needs support.
Again, I am no angel, and neither am I a saint. It just seems like the proper thing to do. It won't get me into heaven since there is no heaven. It won't win me brownie points since there are no special privileges here even if someone likes me (except, perhaps, becoming a moderator--but I never want to be one). It won't win me gold stars, and I can but my own gold stars in any store that sells office or school supplies. It won't make my parents proud, as they don't know about this board. It is just something to do for its own sake.
Academia too is filled with colleagues attacking other colleagues, and I hate that too. In the university I used to teach in before my current appointment, two professors (both with Ph.D.s, mind you) had a fistfight (yes a fistfight, with a lot of hair pulling--in front of their students!) over whether French or Creole was Haiti's official language. How utterly stupid. Why not have all the students in one combined room for a session and have a rational debate in which arguments are presented and each student decides for himself or herself?
The snarky remarks and disrespect here are like hairpulling over Haiti's official language.
A post like the one you just made reminds me why I am on this board.