The price of bigotry.

I can’t remember a moment when I realized my mom was different than the “normal” mom.

She had girlfriends instead of boyfriends.

I remember the exact details of when my  sister told me she was a lesbian.  We were in my car, driving over railroad tracks in between a K-Mart and a hospital.  I couldn’t believe it because she had a crush on Christopher Nelson since forever.  I was sad because I wouldn’t be her maid of honor in her wedding and she wouldn’t have kids that would call me Aunt.

It was nearly instantaneous when I realized my best friend, Megan, was in love with her roommate in college.  It was on the drive home, I informed her she was a lesbian.  At that time, she couldn’t admit it to herself and it was months later when she called, crying on the phone telling me what I already knew.

When you say same sex marriage is wrong, you are telling me my best friend shouldn’t be able to marry her girlfriend.

When the person on the TV says homosexuals shouldn’t have kids, you are saying my mom not only isn’t a good mom, you are invalidating me, my sister, my mom, and the family we make.

When I hear gay people are immoral, I hear that my sister shouldn’t be an essential part of the school that gets to say:

100% of [this] high school graduates have been accepted into at least one four-year college.  In contrast, in 2004 only 26% of the graduating seniors (who represent only 50% of those who started high school) in the [this city’s] District reported planning on attending 4-year colleges.

When you say homosexuality is a choice, remember you are talking about someone’s sister.  When you say gay men and women are going to burn in hell, you are talking about someone’s best friend.  When you say lesbians shouldn’t raise kids, you are talking about someone’s mom.

You are talking about MY sister, MY best friend, and MY mom.

When you say gay men are immoral, you are talking about your children’s teacher or the clerk at the store or even the brother of the police officer who gave you a speeding ticket.

When you say lesbians are hurting others by their lifestyle, you are talking about your doctor’s mother, the firefighter who risks her life to save others, or your neighbor who is a stay at home mom.

When you place your judgement on homosexuality, you are telling the girl in middle school who is struggling with her sexuality that she is bad.  You are teaching your son who is in high school it’s OK to verbally, physically, and mentally attack the boy who is in glee club instead of playing football.

You validate the men who beat up my sister’s girlfriend when she was walking her dog because she looked too “gay” or the men who raped the lesbian or the boys who killed a boy they thought acted too gay.

You send the message to me that my mom, my sister, my best friend are wrong and bad.  The people I love–my family–the grandma, aunt, and Godmother of my son.

You not only hurt them, you also hurt me.

Ignorance, hate, and the loss of civil rights of any group of people (no matter how big or small) doesn’t just hurt those people…it also hurts their family, friends, and others that love them.

This is my spin on rules (rules that are stupid and hurt people like taking away civil rights of a groups of people).  What’s your take? Get your Spin Cycle on.  The hostess with the mostest is Sprite’s Keeper.

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6 Responses to The price of bigotry.

  1. Denise says:

    Again such a great post, Kate, and you really wrote in a way I hope “people’s haters” are able to understand life and think/reflect about it. I wrote “people’s haters” because it’s not only a matter of hating gay people. People are people, so if they are able to hate someone because of their sexuality, they are able to carry hatred inside themselves, therefore, they may hate everybody for any reason. And people are just people, not with labels. You are so right – the lovely gay biology teacher I had in high school, how nice and intelligent he was! I never thought of him less (or more) than any other teacher just because of his sexuality. He was a great teacher, that’s all. And so things should be!
    In 2009 I was invited to a wedding in the UK – two of my best friends, lesbians, invited me and I was very honored. They didn’t invite many people, they were saving money for a common project at the time. They invited the ones they considered important. They offered me the first slice of their wedding cake (because I love chocolate and everybody knows it???) and I felt very very honored. They have my wedding present hung on their living room wall (a clock with 12 pictures’ frames, for their happiest moments) and I felt honored again.
    They are lovely. And they always wrote me so supportive words when I most needed them.
    Again when I needed, last year, two other gay friends helped me, two wonderful guys who are happy together. They never questioned the fact that I’m straight, so why should other straight people question their sexuality? I’m straight, and I want to be accepted by my heart, not by my sexuality. So do gay people too.
    On the contrary, some people who judge all of them disappeared when I needed a word of comfort. How nice.
    Great, fabulous post, Kate. Send my greetings to your mom, your sister and your best friend, please, and tell them for each person who hate them, there are a 100 who love them! After all, love is love, nobody can say that love is “more love” if it’s between a man and a woman only. Love is love. Just this.
    Denise recently posted..Calourette Little Ear Pin EarringsMy Profile

  2. Wow, just wow.
    I have known far too many gay people in my life to think that homosexuality would ever be considered a choice. I can even see it in certain situations at my daughter’s preschool and something that happened on Friday is still bugging me.
    I had come to pick up Sprite on Friday, a little early since she had dance class to get to. While she was in the girls’ bathroom changing, (they don’t let them close the doors in the restrooms but they can keep the door ajar to allow for a little privacy) another little girl, I’ll call her Goose, was standing just outside it, watching her change. I noticed this as the teachers called the kids to the carpet for a story.
    “Goose, you’re being called to the carpet,” I said.
    She wouldn’t take her eyes off Sprite, who was by now, down to her skivvies, saying “I want to watch Sprite. I like her.”
    It caught me off guard, but thinking kids are kids, I said, “well, everyone is friends in this class.”
    She looked up at me and said, “No, I LIKE her” intensely. (This is the same girl who usually seeks Sprite out at school, and then gets her into trouble with whatever scheme she cooks up.)
    I admit it, I was uncomfortable. (then again, I would have felt the same if it was a boy standing there, this age is where sexuality starts to show itself in sneaky ways) I prodded her toward the circle where the teachers were waiting for her, but I can’t seem to shake the memory.
    I’m not worried about Sprite’s sexuality. She plans on marrying her friend Brennon, but if Brennon becomes Briana, as long as there’s mutual love and respect, I’ll support it. But facing a possible situation at this stage in her life? I wasn’t prepared for it.
    You’re linked!
    Sprite’s Keeper recently posted..Spin Cycle: Rule #1: There ARE no rules..My Profile

  3. Tracey says:

    Hear hear. Well said Kate.
    Tracey recently posted..MooMy Profile

  4. CaJoh says:

    I will support anybody’s choice. I think what usually bothers me is those people who choose to be homosexual because it is trendy when in actuality they are not homosexual at all.
    CaJoh recently posted..Spin Cycle: Rules and RulersMy Profile

  5. Kate says:

    This might be have to be one area where must agree to disagree (which is fine). Considering this is a topic that I hold close to my heart for obvious reasons and have observed since I knew the different between homo and hetero, I would disagree that you classify it as a “choice.” I know there is the idea (that’s quite prevalent) is that some people “choose to be homosexual because it is trendy.” I believe this is false. Why would anyone choose to be something different than what they are? And if they did, I have a really hard time believing they would choose to be part of a group that faces such hatred and discrimination on a daily basis.
    The other part of this that also part of my belief system is classification. Each person gets to choose how they classify themselves. I can classify myself as an elephant, that’s my right. However, you have the right to choose to believe me or not. Again, I would ask why anyone would choose to be part of a group that has such discrimination. I would also encourage you to read this, especially the final part where Dan Savage addresses a politician who claims homosexuality is a choice. Fair warning, it does have quite a few 4 letter words.
    Thanks for your perspective!
    :) Kate

  6. maggie says:

    When I was in high school I wrote a paper on homosexual parents, because of a comment someone made in my religion class when we were discussing paper topics. . . everyone in the class was laughing and joking of ‘homosexuality’ as a topic, but when the teacher put ‘homosexual parents’ on the board as an option, the laughing and jokes stopped and some of the guys were pretty mean in their comments. So I decided to write my paper on that to prove them wrong.
    (My mum was a lesbian while I was growing up, and basically most of the adults in our lives were gay because my mum was very involved in that community.)

    That being said, I never realized how bad homophobia was until university. I realize I was lucky in that regard, though there was lots of teasing from some of the class clowns, there was a girl in my high school who was openly gay – would bring her girlfriend to school functions, etc. and she remained very popular and never got much flak. I think the ‘bullies’ in my high school respected self confidence. . . they were pretty harsh on anyone they *thought* was gay who wasn’t actually admittedly so.

    anyway. . . I kind of think my brother and I were lucky to be raised in the environment we were raised in. We grew up being open and accepting of all kinds of relationships, being comfortable with same sex couples being openly affectionate, being comfortable with cross dressers, etc. . . My brother is such an amazing guy, I’m ridiculously proud of him, he’s ridiculously compassionate and accepting, and I think he’s going to be an amazing teacher because of it.
    maggie recently posted..If I had three dollars for every time someone asked. . . Do Your Ears Hang Low?My Profile

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