" (Your name) is a straight ally and today is National Coming Out Day. I'm coming out for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality because it's 2010 and you can still be fired from your job in 29 states for being lesbian, gay or bisexual and in 38 states for being transgender. Donate your status and join me by clicking here: http://bit.ly/d9yubh."
I never did it because I didn't want to provoke or instigate controversy among the very many conservatives I grew up with and are on my friends' list (and who are by the whole more conservative than those at Wheaton, who are in turn more conservative than my Roosevelt friends, and now I've somehow landed myself in the Bible belt). But I very much wanted to. And I'm certainly not ashamed of what I think and believe, it's just that I had-and still have-very little energy to expend on a 'why or why not I think God/Jesus would be okay with it' argument, or get into the very many reasons why I believe 100% that gay marriage should be legal' which would only lead to the 'don't you realize you're bordering on severe hypocrisy by what you're saying' conversation.
But this article (via wise Molly at Fantasy Magazine!) broke my heart a little today, enough to make me put down the short I was working on and write out my thoughts. (And also, because this is my blog, and I can say what I want.) As harsh as Dan Savage's words sound, he is right, I believe. What he says is true, true, true.
The kids of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality—even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person)—learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered, and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or in your workplace, I promise you that there are gay and lesbian children in your schools. And while you can only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, your children have the option of attacking actual gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.I have the right to say this, I think, because I've lived this perspective of the questioner in that link, for too many years. I've been on that side that see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered, no matter how politely so, because I didn't really learn to think for myself until after undergrad. And even then, it didn't sink in until I was 21 and in grad school, and one my dearest, dearest friends--my first real 'out' friend, I suppose--looked at me and said, "Do you think I want to be gay? Do you think that I would choose this?"
Real gay and lesbian children. Not political abstractions, not “sinners.” Gay and lesbian children.
It blew me away. And I'll never forget it. Even now, I'm fully aware I don't know quite what it's like to experience that side of life, to deal with that kind of oppression and repression, and it grieves me to know that this is even an issue, because it's just so simple.
End of rant.
Oh, and one last note: this is great news for our country. Hopefully the ludicrous and fearful worries of the ignorant will be ignored. This is a good start.