I have always been short-sighted, looking backwards so far that seeing the present has been difficult, let alone looking ahead. I did what I was told and didn’t argue with my parents’ beliefs. I argued with them, true enough, but it wasn’t until I was in high school that I thought to disagree with the things they believed in. I would say this is a normal situation for anyone – after all, aren’t we all teenage rebels?
It is strange to think back of a time where “sexual deviants” weren’t socially acceptable. Maybe it’s just because I was born and raised in the back woods of our country, but it’s distant memory to think of friends and family coming out as homosexuals. And I think it’s sad to remember such a time, to recall the discrimination and hatred so many have faced because of the people they love and the way they are. It was something far away from our family for years, although my brother and I were exposed a lot in school. One of my dearest friends in high school was a lesbian and a Wiccan, and she has greatly influenced me. One of my friends in elementary school had two mothers… and it was just something we never spoke of at home.
When my cousin came out as gay, it was difficult for my mother to contend with. My father still insists homosexuality is a disease – a misguided and strongly prejudiced view to put is as nicely as possible – but my mother loves her nephews. She and my father were raised in a world where these things were unthinkable due to a backwards way of thinking. I think it’s fair to say that when Scotty came out, my brother and I became determined not to be so misguided and hateful as some of the people we grew to see. Our eyes were opened, and we realized how horrible the world was… if just for a moment. It was our awakening in a very sheltered childhood.
I think that the Pulse incident earlier this year was an example of the type hate that many in the LGBT community deal with. Even thinking about it now, months later, breaks my heart.
When will we all, as a people, learn to love each other? Hate breeds violence, and death, and heartbreak. We are all the same people, deep down – we need the same things, love the same things, breathe the same air… We are one people.
“Realize.” – Daily Post, Oct. 6, 2016