Although the concept of micro-lending is not new, there are several organizations that have made it their sole mission to lend small amounts of money to people all over the world who are trying to improve their lives. One such organization is Kiva. I belong to Kiva, and within that umbrella banner, one can join a host of communities whose members have something in common beside a desire to help others with their lives. The two groups I belong to are the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) Kivans & Friends and Maria Shriver’s Womens Conference Lending Team, and it was a Maria Shriver Tweet that led me to Kiva. Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe. It’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.
But over the past couple days, it has come to the attention of the GLBT group that someone has taken the rainbow diversity flag we use for the GLBT team and drawn a big, black line through it.
Several member of the GLBT team on Kiva have sent letters to Kiva, a non-profit 501(3) organization. Evidently, Kiva will be having its attorneys take a look at the avatar.
The Daily Horse investigative reporting team has actually found the Jesus Is King Team Leader, and, apparently, only member, of the Jesus Is King team.
His name is Walter Gatlin, Sr., of Grinnell, Iowa. Gatlin is or was a Finance Manager at an auto dealer. He has posted his pro-Bush sentiments on numerous message boards, and he has evidently made a couple Kiva loans. The thing is, Walter is apparently going through some difficult times, judging by his Facebook page. The picture shown here of Walter has been cropped to remove his minor daughter. His Kiva page is here.
Several people on the GLBT team at Kiva have suggested that perhaps we should write to Walter. Maybe he was just having a bad day when he put that avatar up. Maybe he doesn’t realize that his kind of symbolism breeds hatred, violence and death to members of the GLBT nation. So, in the spirit of giving someone the benefit of the doubt, and with the hope that we will extend kindness and understanding to Walter, and make ourselves real to him, The Daily Horse will lead the way with an open letter to Walter. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll voluntarily take that avatar down and put up one that is inclusive of all mankind.
Without wanting to presume too much, it looks like you are a bit down in the dumps. Your entries on Facebook are a bit alarming, and you seem, as you put it, earlier today, “bummed.” We understand. It looks like you do a lot of things right. You are a proud parent, and a proud son. You go to church and you give to charity. You’ve joined Kiva to participate in loaning money to people around the world who are trying to better their lives.
Not everything in life works out the way we hope, but as long as we have some hope, and as long as we know somebody out there cares about us, things will get better. We’re thinking that when you put up that Diversity Flag avatar with a big line through it on Kiva, you wanted to be noticed. You wanted someone to know that some kinds of diversity you’re just not for, no way. We pretty much get, since your Kiva money goes to members of all races and creeds and nationalities, that it’s the GLBT community that you wish to exclude from your endorsement of Diversity. Or maybe you really are against Diversity, but we don’t think so. We think it’s us you don’t like. It’s not fair, but you are welcome to your opinions.
We’re asking you to take down that anti-gay avatar because it’s the kind of thing that incites hatred and violence that can lead to hard feelings, injuries of the spirit, body and soul, and, of course, death. You don’t really want us dead, do you Walter? We don’t think you do.
We’re not going away, Walter. We have a right to exist, just like you do. And we have the right to object to words, symbols, actions and laws that deny us equal protection (as anyone else) under the law of this great country. We have the right to ask that you not slander us, whether you meant to or not. We wouldn’t do that to you. And it looks like you’re changing the name of your team to God’s Truth A to Z. Of course you know there’s a “Q” in that alphabet, and a GLBT. So, it’s a fine name. But remember, it’s the avatar we don’t appreciate, not the name of your team.
C’mon Walter, be a good guy today. Doing the right thing might improve everything. Thanks.
TTThomas/The Daily Horse