Saturday, October 11, 2008

National Coming Out day - my thoughts

Today is National Coming Out day, and I'm celebrating how far society has come while simultaneously lamenting how far we have yet to go.

Yesterday after work, my daughter Kaitlyn picked me up from work and we went to a local gathering of GLBT people and supportive people like myself to recognize the the progress that's been made, and discuss the work that's yet to be done.

My best friend is gay. We've known each other since we were in second grade, and since the second grade I've known he was different. Of course once we were in puberty I was able to identify it and understand it better, but no one can tell me that at age 8 it was a choice for him! It wasn't. I get so irate when I hear people making the claim that homosexuality is a choice and they can be "cured" - what a crock! Honestly, if given a choice, don't you think young kids would choose the easier path instead of choosing to live such a difficult path? Being a gay teenage boy in the late 70's and early 80's was a very difficult road indeed.

During the VP debate, and through clenched teeth, Sarah Palin said she's tolerant of gays. Tolerant! But her obvious disdain for them betrayed her.

Here's the message we need to be promoting: Tolerance is just the first step. It's the bottom rung of a ladder we need to climb. People tolerate mosquitos, people tolerate dentistry. Society needs to do more than tolerate, we need to love.

One of the speakers particularily inspired me when she said we need to do more than tolerate, and beyond acceptance we need to celebrate! She inspired me to create this graphic represtation of the path we need to focus our energy. I challenge all of you to love and celebrate our gay brothers and sisters!


Russ said...

Thanks for you great comments....
It is compassionate people like you and your family that will change the world as we know it.
If only we could get more people to think the way you do. I think it will not be until the current young people get to our age that it will be acceptable. That makes me sad but the good news is that the next generations will be more accepted than we were. We have come a long way from the '70s & '80s but we still have a loooonnng way to go.
I agree, I think I threw up in my mouth a Little when Palin said she was tolerant. We honey if she is tolerant the maybe we are not as far along as I thought.

Jon said...

Thank you for your blog.

People don't understand how degrading it feels to be told that they are "tolerant" of you.