I just read about yet another gay teenager committing suicide due to the bullying and isolation he experienced over simply being himself and it truly breaks my heart. How many more of these stories am I going to have to read? So I just wanted to take this moment to say that I am deeply sorry to all of you, those that I have met and those that I have not, for all that you have had to endure from others just to be true to who you are. Your courage to stand up and openly be who you are knowing full well the nastiness that will almost certainly come spewing at you, sometimes even from people you love, inspires me deeply. It also saddens me though. I wish your life didn’t require so much courage.
I can understand that some people’s beliefs stop them, even demand from them, not offering acceptance to you, and I can and do still love and honor those people too regardless of whether I agree with them on issues such as these or not, but what I will never agree with or accept is when they allow those beliefs to turn into cruelty in your direction. I don’t understand how they, particularly people who consider themselves religious, justify the judgment and cruelty towards another human being and frankly I don’t want to understand. I think they need to check their logic. Maybe they need to have a little chat with Jesus.
You are not a statistic, a label, a talking point, a religious debate or a political platform. You are living breathing human beings with ears, hearts, feelings and hopes and dreams just like everyone else. Do they not realize that you hear them? Do they not care? That whole saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me” Bullshit!!! Yes they do friggin hurt!!! They hurt a lot and shouldn’t just be thrown around so carelessly!
We find ways every day to accept and love our family members regardless of whether we like their differing lifestyles or not without fear that it will somehow alter our society for the worse or that we are performing some kind of act against God, why is it so hard to do that with our gay friends and family?
It sounds silly but I think some people really don’t get that being gay is not something you catch like a cold (or I would have turned gay long ago), and it’s not going to suddenly spread like wildfire just because they have given the royal decree that it’s okay, it is something you’re born with and the only thing that will change by them accepting you is that there will be a lot less needless suffering and suicide and more happiness. If they still really have a problem with it then they should thank their lucky stars they weren’t born gay and leave the ones who were born that way alone.
I, however, will never leave you alone. I have been blessed to have friendships with many gay people dating all the way back to my days of dancing at Disney when I was 12 and first met “Bubbles” and those relationships have been some of the most wonderful friendships of my life. I find my gay friends to be some of the most wonderfully inspiring, creative, deep, caring, charitable, monogamous, outrageous and hilarious people I know and I for one am not interested in a world that doesn’t include them.
Thank you for your courage to continue being you. Don’t ever change. You add so much to the world. And please go give a hug to one of your teenage brothers and sisters. They need you. They are struggling.
P.S. John, Michael and Tim – I dedicate this post in your honor. I love you guys!