It occurred to me as I read about NBA center Jason Collins coming out that if I blogged my support I’d get a few deletes, ignores or private eye rolls.
I don’t post too many out and out political rants but I have written quite a few blogs supporting the gay and lesbian community. The simple reason?
Denying another what I am afforded by birth, what we’re born to receive, strikes me at a place that insists I bring forward my disgust in the way I know best, writing. To keep injustice locked up means I’m ignoring an itch that begs to be soothed.
The fact is however, anytime someone writes a controversial topic she can expect to get ignored, insulted, an air finger or an eye roll. “There she goes again with her damn gay rights rant.”
Fair enough. I do go on a bit, and likely I’ll keep going on.
So I ask myself, outside the moral and religious objection some people have with the homosexuality community living their lives as the heterosexuals do, why should anyone care about “another public person going public” with their sexuality? What a bore. Isn’t this a private matter?
Well clearly, yes. And clearly, no.
It’s private because one’s sexual orientation is private. It’s public because we’re not done with the civil rights work around this issue. Not every state allows gay marriage. Homophobic hate crimes still occur.
For anyone willing, let’s put aside the Biblical argument since I can’t argue with logic by convenience (e.g. He’s okay with a Born Again, let’s say a pedophile who repents and accepts the Lord and genuinely changes his behavior but He’s not okay with the Jesus- loving person who lives a responsible, loving life who never harmed anyone but who won’t repent his-her sexual orientation, that is won’t repent and deny the SELF skin he-she is born with?)
But, for the folks who don’t insist God has it right and the gays have it wrong, you might be someone grappling with an inner ping, a poking feeling that says, well yeah it feels weird for same sex people to marry but why the hell do I really care?
That, I can hear. There, we have a dialogue.
Last year a woman in one of my exercise classes, someone not aware of my thoughts on this subject, was chatting with me about how much she loved Modern Family. It’s so funny; we love it. Gloria cracks me up. We adore Phil. Claire is like many moms we know. This woman and I are laughing, in sync as mutual fans of the show. I keep on discussing the cast and casually mention without a thought how great it is to see the gay couple adopt a child, and that for some reason I can’t figure out why their daughter Lilly annoys me so much (she’s wayyyy too snarky for her age).
The woman suddenly gets this sort of cramped look on her face, like she ate a bad shrimp but wasn’t sure it had turned and so she had to chew a little longer before she spit, and said “Well yeah that’s fine but I’m so sick and tired of all the gays always in our face.”
In our face?
You mean in our face by doing things I do, like getting married and having kids? Or in our face protesting for marital rights? Sure, some activists can be theatrical and flagrant, but the demand for rights isn’t theatrical or flagrant.
I calmly mumbled my pat response, “Oh that doesn’t bother me in the least.”
Okay so now my chat buddy is on to me. She knows who I am and is none too pleased. It’s okay. I’m disappointed in her. She’s disappointed in me. Happens all the time. But, she’s a perfectly nice woman and we still get along fine. And so we simply move out of each other’s face on the matter. When you sense there’s no middle ground you can move into, and trust me with this lady there wasn’t, it’s best to pretend you never heard each other’s point of view in the first place. Go conveniently deaf.
Here’s the thing:
The tide in support of gay marriage is moving in favor. You don’t have to agree. But because you’ll inevitably be left behind on this issue, ask yourself how you might make peace with fear or disgust, which I’m not blaming you for. You can’t help your visceral reaction. You can help what you do with your reaction in how it affects others.
I’d ask, how do you make peace with any of the vast number of traits that make humans unique? Culture, race, religion, that hair that’s half blond on the bottom and black on the top that has me asking, Why? why? why?
The key is to get to know who you don’t understand. We are far less likely to fear what becomes familiar. Then, ask yourself how you might focus on the singular absolute space where you share heart space with another person so unlike you.
And that place is you’re both human and you both, I’d guess, believe in the Golden Rule. It’s a place to start.