I have been profoundly struck by the rise in hate-motivated assaults directed at the LGBT Community over the past months. In fact, I was in the middle of a rant filled post about the blind ignorance of some of the people in this world… You know type. The ones who are so filled with self-loathing that they feel a need to lash out at the innocent to puff up their own damaged egos… The same ones who are too cowardly to stand toe to toe with a single person and instead choose to “hunt” in packs to confront those they disagree with… (Yeah, I know. That in and of itself was a bit of a rant. Sometimes I just can’t help myself). And then I received the following message from an old high school friend… Someone who has gone out of her way to reach out to me over the past year… Someone whose support has shaken me to my core and opened up a place in my heart that I hadn’t realized I had shut down. Here is what she wrote.
“Hi Michael…. We are in Bethany Beach with family and went biking at Cape Henlopen with the boys. We met a nice couple on the trails with their 2 dogs and were talking for a bit. Later on, Garrett (just turned 9) said, “mom, they were nice men – they must be partners because they were a nice family and their dogs are so lucky”. It was the perfect opportunity to talk about the different types of families….. Thought I would share with you because acceptance starts at a very young age….. Innocent and sweet… Hope you are doing well!! Ttyl!!”
After reading that the anger I felt momentarily subsided and what I was left with was a sense of hope. Hope that there are parents out there doing an amazing job raising their children. Hope that they are teaching them that “different” isn’t something to fear but something to embrace because, truth be told we are all different… That is the beauty of our species. That is the beauty of humanity.
We in the LGBT Community are so much better than the bullies we have met throughout our lives and continue to meet daily. Why? Because we are still willing to own who we are despite their brutality… To be “out” and not willing to live a life that is veiled in secrecy or shame… To fight back, not through physical violence but by the power of our might as a community and with the support of those that love us in our hearts… We have matured into a community that is no longer willing to tolerate the schoolyard bullies of this world regardless of their age. Our strength is our ability to love and that love is what will see us to “the mountain top”.
Now, does this mean I’m no longer angry? Hell no! But it does take that anger and reshape it into something more productive; a clearer resolve… I will do everything in my power to make sure no child will ever have to feel the pain that we as adults have felt. Our youth deserves a future that allows them to be true to who they are… A future where love is accepted for exactly what it is… A blessing.
Thank you Bernadette for the amazing job you are doing raising our future and thank for reminding me of just how far we have come… Your support and the support of all of those who accept unconditionally is transformative.