My 50th High School reunion is coming up next year. The chatter around this has made me a bit nostalgic, but not so nostalgic that I can’t distance myself from what is a hazy memory, and what is, in fact, reality. It wasn’t all good, for any of us.
This nostalgia has made me think of someone I once knew. A classmate, a friend with whom I shared a history. We grew up together, I was at her house or she was at mine. We were in one another’s weddings, and through her divorce, her remarriage, we were still in each others lives. I moved away, but still we wrote and called and I would visit when I came home.
We had drifted apart, and when I discovered her on Facebook, I reconnected with her. We were catching up and I came out to her…
And, she told me because of her religion, the one we grew up in together, she would never accept me. And as quickly as she had come back into my life – she was gone.
I write all of this, not to bash her, but to simply say that I do not understand this sort of religion, or this sort of person who takes the words in a book over the living, breathing human being standing in front of you.
This is not the first experience I’ve had with people walking away. Members of my family like to pretend I don’t exist, and that’s okay with me. I mean, who really wants to spend time with people this self-absorbed and this ignorant. Seriously, like pretending I don’t exist will change the DNA facts that we are indeed, family.
I’m simply asking you to not be swayed by the words in a book, or the words of a politician, or the words of any religious leader who tells you who you can love and surround yourself with.
You have a brain, and a heart. You can make your own choices.
Being gay is not a choice. I mean, why would we ever choose a life that offers us a daily dose of hatred, followed up with laws that discriminate against us, and family who throw us out, and friends who choose to walk away. No one would choose this.
But, this is who we are –
This is who I am.
This is me.