A group of us had a lively discussion at a Markham hotel bar last night about the differences between tolerance and acceptance. It’s an important distinction, especially now, during Pride month.
Present were some straight people and some gay people, with a mix of ages from nearly 70 to millennials. Discussion turned to the three fools in Boston who want to throw a Straight Pride Parade. These same idiots were also turned down for a pro-gun parade and other hard-right-wing events.
Society is told it must be tolerant of those with different sexual preferences than ours. The same is also said about religions and races. Tolerate them.
If you break it down, that means “put up with” them. Don’t interfere, Allow them to share your air. But when you drill down into someone who’s tolerant you find opposition and bigotry.
Acceptance, on the other hand, ought to be the goal. Accept that people are different than you and me and that their behavior has nothing to do with you. Destroying the sanctity of marriage? Straight people have been doing that for centuries with affairs, murders, etc.
I want to live in a world where people are judged by how they treat others and whether they’re making it a better place. And where straight people understand that every day is straight pride day. And where acceptance is more important than tolerance.