Accidental Activism

24 02 2013

I recently read a Facebook post from a friend. She was stating her surprise and also expressing her thanks to her high school friends for supporting her PFLAG work and her work to advance equality for her son and her gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender friends. I couldn’t help but have a sinking feeling when I read it. Not that I am not totally happy for my friend to have been shown such amazing support – because I am. I just feel sad that my experience has been so different. I can count on my fingers the number of friends from my hometown who have shown any support. Heck – you probably know who you are if you are even actually reading this right now.

People say: “don’t take it personally”. I try not to, I really really do, but then I look into the face of my son or any number of my friends whom I love so much and it IS suddenly personal. These are persons – persons that I love. People who are very important to me. Do you think I ever intended to be an activist of any sort? Let me just make this clear – NO! I did not have a burning desire in me to stand up, be laughed at, told I was being misled by satan and shunned by friends and some family. I wasn’t just waiting my whole life for the right cause to come along so that I could become an activist.

I stumbled blindly into this, and often have no idea how I got here or how to be a proper activist and spokesperson. I only know this, my love for my child was so strong that I had to find out the truth about homosexuality and the bible. I HAD to know if what I had been taught most of my life about it being a choice and a sin was true. That is how my journey began, it had nothing to do with the rest of the world. I had a conflict within myself, a conflict between what I had been taught and told and what I myself was finding to be true within my own experiences with my son. I knew my son was not a pervert or a misled sexually driven individual. Let’s just be blunt here, isnt’ that what is disgusting to us straight people? What they are doing in the bedroom? Yet my son had never even had a date when he came out – so I knew this wasn’t sexually driven. So, my activism days began around myself seeking truth. And just as truth often does – it was right there, in the open, I just had been looking in the wrong places and listening to the wrong voices.

So, even though at this point, I am sad that I have not had a lot of people I thought loved and cared for me rally behind me as I take a stand for equality, it certainly isn’t going to sway me or cause me to hang my head. You see, once you find the truth, you can’t go back to having your head in the sand. Why would I want to? The truth affords me freedom. Freedom to love and be loved in a way I have never experienced before. Maybe because they know exactly how it feels to not be accepted, I find my gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender friends and family to be the most loving, non judgemental folks that I have ever had the privilege of being around. Not, only that, they are FUN!!

So, whether you approve or not, whether you like me or not doesn’t sway me. I stand up because of love. I will never sit down and I will never shut up. And one day, when the truth finally seeps into that hole that you have your head stuck in, you will find this freedom also. You will wonder why it took you so long, just as I do, and you will experience some of the best friendships a person can have. I wish that for you…soon.

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As a Mom…

13 02 2013

How does it feel as a mom to see things in the news. It depends on the day. Somedays I can distance myself from it and not let it bother me. Such as the recent teacher in Indiana and the students who don’t want gay students at their prom. (you can read about it here) I can read that, and tears come into my eyes and I wonder if the gay kids have supportive family. Are they even out to their family yet? Or are they dealing with all of the rejection and judgement alone – within their own head? It breaks my heart – but I can rationalize – “that isn’t my kid” and I can store it away on a shelf of sadness – yet not let it affect me.

Why would I do that? because the pain is too great to bear. The percentage of those LGBT kids who don’t know that life will get better and go ahead and end their own lives before they find out – it seems like too much pain to carry around. Somedays I just can’t do it.

Other days I can. Other days I allow myself to feel what those parents and kids must be feeling. On those days I want to draw my sword and charge like a Samuria Warrior in battle. Those days I want to hug all of those parents and kids – absorb their pain and let it drive me to continue on in this fight for justice. Don’t forget that one day, not that long ago, I would’ve been the one applauding that teacher. I would have been the parent so proud of my child for standing up for their “Christian values” I was the one blind to the pain and hurt that people of faith are actually causing in this world. I was the exact person I now feel such disdain for.

There comes in hope – If I could change – if my Southern Baptist Mama could stand at Montana Pride holding a sign above her head that read “1 Straight, Proud, Christian Grandma” and playing “Over the Rainbow” on her boombox so that the man on the ladder screaming his judgment and shame couldn’t be heard – if we can change – there really is hope. What will it take? The truth – the truth will set you free – just like it did us. The truth about what Jesus said about homosexuality – NOTHING by the way. The truth about what the bible really said in original Hebrew and Greek. The Truth – that is all that is needed.

I have a dear friend whom I am proud to call my friend. She recently attended several session by an Ex-gay minister, who is unfortunately spreading lies about homosexuality. He is not speaking the truth. She tried to stand up on the last night during a Q & A time and read a statement that was a few minutes long. She was not only thrown out of that “loving” Christian church – she was nearly physically assaulted. There is something very wrong with what is happening in our churches today. You can read what happened  here .

 

In case you don’t read it all – this is the part you NEED to know. This is the statement Kathy was going to read – this is the TRUTH about rejecting our children when they come out:

“Do you know the consequences of rejecting your gay youth as opposed to accepting them?

If parents with gay children were to follow the teachings and therapeutic tools offered by Kent Paris, your gay youth are EIGHT times more apt to attempt suicide than those gay youth who are accepted.

They may suffer depression SIX times more often than those who are accepted.

They are THREE times more likely to get involved in drug and alcohol abuse than those gay youth that are accepted.

They are THREE times more likely to contract HIV and/or STDs than accepted gay youth

This is research; this is scientific, peer reviewed research.

If you are the parent of a gay youth, when you leave here, stop on the way home and buy a package of razors, a bottle of whiskey, a hypodermic needle and a lifetime supply of antibiotics because that is the life you will more often impose on your gay child through your rejection and shaming.

This is what you will be doing to the child you have been charged to raise in the way they should go.

Do not try to force your child to be something they are not, something to your liking. You will not only be responsible for the effects on their mental and physical health, you will also, in all likelihood, push them from God.”





Same Sex Marriage

5 02 2013

Did you hear that the United Kingdom is getting closer to legalizing same-sex unions? You can read about it here. BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since 2009, six countries have legalized it. Wonder how long until the United States follows suit? We are living in very exciting times.

I know there will always be people who are ignorant – heck, on a weekly basis I still see people from the state I used to live in say racist things. The confusing thing is that these are good people. People who seem to have kind and loving hearts, yet will put down someone based on their race without batting an eye. I personally believe that much of it is culture – if they had a clue how hurtful they were being then they would probably change. Unfortunately, in certain parts of the country, these things are still the norm.

That being said, I am not naive enough to think that once laws change, everything will be roses. People will still be ignorant, but hopefully they will begin to slowly become more and more the minority.

Cheers to progress!!