I read a comment on an article that said the chances of someone supporting marriage equality go up if they know someone that is gay. The comment suggested coming out if it was safe to do it. I am not gay. So, I am uniquely unqualified to comment on the subject of coming out, from that perspective.
This is what I do know. It has to be scary. Meeting someone that is straight and thinking “We could be friends. I wonder how they are going to react…” and not knowing what the response will be would be terrifying. I was in that position a couple of times this year. I was the straight person. In one case, I found out a close friend was a lesbian. In the other case, I found out my “adopted daughter” was a lesbian…right after I told her that if I had a kid I would want them to be like her. Luckily for us, in both cases, it doesn’t make any difference to me. I wouldn’t want them to be any other way than the way they are. Not because they are gay but, because I love the humans that they are. If they were different, they wouldn’t be ladies I cherish.
That, then, is the real issue. I use Z as an example of a human that just happens to be gay. I try and try to convince people to see her for what she is, human. I wasn’t kidding when I told Cassie that I wish she was my kid. I couldn’t be prouder of her if she was my kid. In fact, when Cassie came to visit me at work the other day, I got some very odd looks when I introduced her as my daughter…she’s about 4’11” and I’m 6’4″. We don’t look alike at all. *grins*
When we, as a society, are able to look past the parts of gender identity and sexuality to see the humans involved, the issue of marriage equality simplifies. It becomes “do you love that person?” It becomes “are you willing to make the legal and social contract that marriage involves?” I am not unique. There are a bunch of us that see our human friends as humans.
I’m not sure how to end this post other than to try to say, knowing someone that is gay does change your perspective. In my case, it was long before I knew either of these ladies. If you can find a SAFE way to educate through your life, please do it. If there is the slightest chance that it is NOT SAFE please, please do not do it.