I would like to share my thoughts with you regarding June 26th. I am not looking to start a fight – I usually don’t get involved with politics – I merely have an overwhelming compulsion to write this message, and I hope you read my story with a calm and open heart.
It was midmorning on Friday, June 26th, and I was sitting with my sister when I mindlessly checked my Snapchat feed. I saw something about the Supreme Court’s ruling and immediately logged on to Facebook only to be blinded by rainbows. I spent the majority of the morning reading articles and liking posts with tears streaming down my face in pure jubilation. I had no other way to express the extent of my joy, so I simply wept. I’m currently on vacation back home in Minnesota and I was wishing I could celebrate with my friends in Chicago so I sent messages to a few of them. I’m sure Boystown went absolutely wild, so in hindsight maybe the introvert in me should be glad I wasn’t there.
In addition to all of the rejoicing, I also read a lot of articles with a not so celebratory message. These also produced a few tears, but they weren’t tears of joy. There is so much hate and violence and judgement in this world, and my heart breaks for it. I think we can all agree that we wish the world was better than it is, so why are people so quick to throw stones and let out more darkness? There are children starving. There are people dying everyday. The streets are filled with homeless and this is where wrath is laid? The Ugandan girl my family supports, Wawelo, asked us in her latest letter where we draw our water from and people are threatening to set themselves on fire or divorce their spouse over whether or not we should allow two XX or two XY names to be signed on a piece of paper? I mean, normally I’m all for standing up for what you believe in but….what? I can’t wrap my head around it. There are so many good and productive things we could put our energy toward that have fallen by the wayside next to this selfish hatred. It astounds me.
I was raised in a rather conservative and religious environment. I went to Rochester Central Lutheran School from PreK-8th grade and attended the neighboring church, Holy Cross, every week, going to Sunday school classes up through Confirmation. I am a Christian. I have a prayer box and a prayer journal and will lie in bed casually talking to Jesus. Many of the people closest to my heart are part of the LGBTQ community and they are not corrupt or misled. The world is not so black and white. They simply find love in a more colorful place. That doesn’t mean their love is unclean, or sinful, or any less than the love a man and woman feel for each other. It’s just as deep and just as true, and it’s love worth celebrating. Love is worth celebrating. Some people spend their whole lives looking for that one person to share their life with. Some people never find it, and it’s a beautiful thing when people do. So why is it of concern to you who they find it with?
People agree and disagree; it’s the way of life. People will believe what they believe and I’m not trying to shove my beliefs down anybody’s throats, but there is so much talk about how gay marriage is “wrong.” Even if you don’t agree with this lifestyle, it is not at all right to be so judgmental and discriminatory against this group of people. Quite frankly, discrimination against the LGBTQ community has no more justification than racism. Now, don’t go preaching the Bible to me. I know what the Bible says. I’ve heard all the arguments. I also know that God loves all his children, and that we were told to love one another. Jesus went among the outcasts and the downtrodden – indeed if he were with us today the very people being discriminated against here are likely among the first he’d go to. Jesus taught love. Not hatred. Not slander. Not justified cruelty. He taught love.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” ~ John 13:34
To be fully open to love one must be open to acceptance and respect – two things that are not seen nearly often enough. Food for thought.
As I said I am a Christian. I am also biromantic. For those who don’t know what that means, I am not a lesbian and I am not bisexual. Biromantic means that I am romantically attracted to both men and women. I am not sexually aroused by women, but I can be emotionally drawn to women on a level that goes deeper than friendship or even sisterly love. I meet women I want to date with typical relationship elements, including cuddling and hand holding and whatnot.
Now, those of you who’ve known me since I was a little girl, who watched me grow up and know me today and love me and have always wanted my happiness…do you think of me differently? Does this affect how you’ll treat me or interact with me? I’m still the same person you watched grow up; I simply feel romantic love on a broader spectrum. And if someday I do fall in love with a woman and want to spend my life with her and want to celebrate that love with a ceremony and a dress and a ring and be able to call her “wife”… would you deny me that? Would you celebrate with me?
I would also like to present a thought to the LGBTQ community: This side of the argument is so quick to defend and to gloat and to assume that those against them are all on the same page. They are quick to do so likely because of how they’ve been treated, but this is incorrect – not everyone has the same reasons to be nervous about gay marriage. I know there are some who go to the Bible and argue using the Bible because they aren’t sure what they think or feel regarding this issue and haven’t yet worked that out for themselves. Some are joyful that we now have this step of equality, but aren’t sure where it sits within what they’ve always known.
I said earlier that the world is not so black and white. This is true. But we have to remember that the generation before us was raised with black and white walls, with clear definitions of wrong and right. The world has become a lot more grey and a lot more complicated and with each change a chip is taken out of those walls that they’ve known. For many, that’s what scares them, and this issue takes out quite a big chip. I ask you to be patient with them and to ask them “What scares you?” You might be surprised or touched by the answers you hear; you might be able to help them along to an understanding that they seek. Just as love is not so black and white, neither are the responses to the LGBTQ lifestyle or this new ruling.
If anyone feels the need to pray, please pray for patience and understanding and peace. Please pray for unity and calm, open hearts. Productive change is not one-sided and we need to help each other along.
I quite recently found understanding and words for the things I’ve felt, and it feels good to put a name to it. Very few people knew this about me before now, and I just told my parents before I hopped onto this computer. We might not agree on some things but I’ve been blessed with parents who are respectful and affectionate toward my gay friends and who seek understanding. They embraced me, told me they loved me, and sat me down so I could explain it to them. I’m still their daughter; I’m no different than I was ten minutes earlier. LGBTQ people are no different from anybody else. We deserve to be happy and to be treated with respect. But we also should remember that respect is not one-sided either, even if we believe different things.
The popular hashtag for the Supreme Court’s ruling is #LoveWins. Hatred is selfish and destructive. In this world so torn by it, Love should always win.
Sidenote: A Christian pastor posted this on his blog on the 26th, and it brings up a point about equality that I think is worth reading~ The True Story of Today in America