Charleston. This kind of “I hate you, you’re different” bullcrap has to stop! I’ll amend that: This kind of VIOLENT ACTING OUT of “I hate you, you’re different” must stop now!
I weep for the innocent lost and yet-to-be lost. I weep for those left behind who must mourn and probably wonder, “What is the last thing I said to them? Did I tell them I love them?” because I *KNOW* what the last thing was I said to my Mom (it *was* “I love you!”) and there are days I *STILL* wonder if I said everything.
We are better than this, people! When we were toddlers, if we didn’t like someone, we might be mean to them, but our parents (hopefully!) taught us that such actions were wrong. If you don’t like someone, just leave ’em be and they’ll leave you be.
Some of you might think, “What’s it got to with you, white boy?” and I’ll tell you. I cannot know the pain, ignominy and fear that is sometimes heaped upon the shoulders of my sisters and brothers of color. But I *am* gay. I *do* know the pain, ignominy and fear that is sometimes heaped upon my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, because I’ve felt it, too.
I don’t oft admit when I’m afraid, but I will now. I am afraid. Hell, I am TERRIFIED of what might happen if the Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage. While it would be a landmark decision and an amazing step forward, there will be backlash. And I fear it could get ugly.
Fear. That’s what this is really about. People fear that which is different. I’m guilty of it, too, sometimes. Fear is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger and hatred may cause people to commit heinous acts of violence. Fear, though; fear makes people fight for their lives (and lifestyles).
Ruling in favor of gay marriage changes nothing for non-gay people. Take all the pizza and wedding cake nonsense, roll it up and stuff it sideways. These changes don’t mean non-gay people are losing a damn thing! But fear tells some of them they are and that fear could drive some of them to do far worse things than anger and hatred ever could.
Fear caused that dumbass in Charleston to commit such atrocities.
I’m terrified that same kind of fear is going to cause the same kinds of atrocities against my LGBTQ sisters and brothers. And me. The video of the hit song “Take Me to Church” (watch at your own risk, I wish I could get it out of my head) shows what the artist partially imagined and partially saw in the news would happen if a hate(fear)-gang tore a gay man out of his house in Russia (or the artist’s native Ireland too, if memory serves). If you’re courageous (or crazy) enough to watch it, you won’t ever un-see it.
I’m (hopefully!) in a fairly safe city, but even “safe” zones can be entered by those who feel the need to preserve their lives/lifestyles by hurting those who are different. For Heaven’s sake, in Charleston, he killed innocent people IN A CHURCH! How much safer could those people have thought they could get?
Some may not understand the fear I feel. I am seriously of two minds on the gay marriage issue. Part of me thinks it’s time, that it’s a necessary step toward equality. Part of me hopes it fails, because that part is afraid. Afraid of what might happen to my life/lifestyle and those of people I love because we are different. A friend pointed out though, that there could be danger from either ruling. If it passes, potential backlash; if it fails, we’re “officially” second-class citizens and potentially worthy of ill treatment.
A quote has been appearing over and over in my life recently. My friend, Carlos, heard it often from a college professor:
“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.” ~ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
Even though a part of me is afraid, it’s time for this leap forward, this legal acknowledgement that LGBTQ lives and loves are every bit as valid as non-gay ones. Fear will not rule my life. A friend suggested that I change my name on this blog as I’m rather “outspoken” about my views and could catch grief for it. While I appreciate the concern, I decline to do so.
Despite *my* fear, I hope it passes. If bad things come, let them. I will stand by my friends and family of all colors, creeds, genders and orientations and I will meet the bad things. The bad things will either learn and change, die or kill me. But I will not live in fear, dying a thousand times or more. No one should have to do that just because they’re different.
That’s what is has to do with me. And with you, even if none of these issues directly touches your life. Because someday, you may find yourself facing the same challenges for some as-yet-to-be-made-up “hate-worthy” difference.
The tragedy at hand (in the here and now, not the “might-be” of tomorrow) is what happened in Charleston and other places. I’m not co-opting the grief, outrage and fear felt by people of color there and everywhere by making this a “gay issues post.” If you feel I’ve done that, my apologies.
This is an “us” post. Like it or not (and if you don’t, keep it to yourself), we ARE in this together. We ARE what happened in Charleston and we ARE what could happen still. For better or worse people, this is *us* together.
Time for a positive change, don’t you think?