A little over a month ago, I thought I was done writing this blog. I naively assumed that all would be right and that, by some miracle, prejudice would go away as soon as the SCOTUS made Marriage Equality the law. I figured that people would just realize that it was time to go on with their lives and find some other way to feel victimized. I was wrong.
So, what happened? It seems that the people that were silently “anti” decided to speak. The churches, not every church, that specialize in castigating others felt a need to become more vocal. The politicians that need to pander to a part of their constituency that need to feel like victims protested. That state level politicians found it necessary to try to work around the Obergfell ruling. That individuals that need to fear continued with the slippery slope arguments.
So, no, I don’t get to stop. Gonna try it again…
One of the most basic of human needs is to feel safe. One of the ways we feel that is by touching an other human. Both on a physical and emotional level we need contact. We are not designed to be alone. We need an outlet and a companion. To deny that is to deny the most basic of human rights.
It is the same basic desire and need, physical and emotional contact. The gender doesn’t matter. The need for contact does. Physical touch is important. Some mental outlet and conversation keeps us sane. Companionship gives us a sense of safety.
I love my wife. We hug a lot. If I pass her end of the couch, I kiss her hand and give it a caress. Listening to her sleep keeps my nightmares at bay. I NEED my wife as much as I need air, water, food, or shelter. Why would I want to deny anyone the same thing. Again, the gender is immaterial. The contact is the important part.
Miller, “my Bible says it’s an abomination”. The Bible says 60 odd things are “abomination”…
Miller, “St Paul said…” He said a bunch of things. Among them, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself”
Jesus said, “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’… ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” For me, from the perspective of my faith, the words of Jesus are the trump. If there appears to be a conflict between passages, Jesus wins. Period.
So lets veer. Suppose that my arguments have not swayed you.
What would you have someone that is LBGT do? Would you have them live without contact? Be celibate to fit your notions? Would you have them pretend to be straight and live a lie? Expecting them to make the best of a situation that is physically and emotionally wrong for them? To live a relationship that holds no security?
The former is cruel. Prisoners in solitary go insane. We NEED contact. There are a rare few humans that can live as hermits. There are some that can live in society as individuals without a partner. Those are not the usual human condition.
The latter is a lie. That’s worse. I’d rather have a friend that lives the truth than a friend that lives a life that is a lie, pretending to fit in. I know people that have lived trying to fit in…and finally stopped. I have huge respect for the courage that took, knowing how hard it was going to be for them to finally tell people. Then the relief to them knowing that the lies have stopped.
I am an odd individual. I am not the right partner for everyone. I have no illusions on that point. Of course, everyone is the right person for the right person. My Sweety is a good fit…for me and, probably, no one else. To tell someone that they should deny themselves the chance to find their “right person” because they do not fit our notion of what is “right” is wrong. Period.
For Z or Kelly, the “right person” is a woman. So what? How does that affect anyone else? What great societal change happens when the “right woman” for a woman is a woman? It doesn’t change their ability as a parent. It doesn’t commit a crime. All it does is make some people uncomfortable…and? There’s no right to be protected from “I don’t want to see that”. Sorry, your discomfort with someone else’s relationship is not a valid reason for them to change.
I get it. I really do. In my youth, I was taught that being gay was all the different wrongs I listed. I used all the rude phrases and slurs. I was insulting and rude. I believed that I held the moral high ground. I believed that being gay was a choice and a lifestyle. I was WRONG.
In my 50’s I’m a different person. My attitude towards other’s lives has changed. I realize that it is not my place to dictate to adults how they live their lives. I’ve come to learn that there are good people…and bad that are LBGT. Just like being straight gives no lock on morality.
I’ve thought and pondered and mused and decided that the only difference between being gay and straight is the act of intercourse. That the needs for contact and security are the same.
Yes, I freely admit that some Christians will say I can not be because I refuse to consign someone to Hell or question their faith because they are gay. So be it. The first person I go to for Christian Prayer is Z. She is a Christian. She says she is and I believe her. She prays for me and I for her. She is also a Lesbian. I do not believe that God is going to send her to Hell. If that makes someone think I’m a Heretic, I’ll gladly wear that title. In fact, that is how I describe my faith, Heretic Christian.
My bias is shaped by the people I know. Without trying to say, “look at how proud I am of myself because my friends are diverse”, I have a group of friends that do not fit the notions of “correct” that I was raised with. Some are gay. Some are Pagan. Some are gay and Pagan. So what? The point is that morality is not the exclusive province of middle-class, straight, white, Christians. Z is a Christian…and a Patriot…and a Lesbian…and one of the finest humans I know. Kelly is a Pagan…and a Patriot…and a Lesbian…and also one of the finest humans I know.
Those Ladies have shaped my bias. They are not the only ones but, here, in this context, they are ones that count. Parts of their lives conform to what I used to think a human should be. Others don’t. I admit, again, I used to dehumanize people that were gay. To my benefit, I no longer do. If I did, they would not be in my life. That would be my loss, not theirs.
The qualities of their character and their outspoken willingness to be themselves no matter what anyone else thinks. Their willingness to be examples here by giving me permission to talk about them. Their independence and ability to not judge ME based on what demographic I fit or my past. Their loyalty and compassion. Those qualities have worth.
For me, Z was the final straw. She accepts me. She once told me, “I love you, MDIII, warts and all”. Why then should I be any different toward her? Z and Kelly are complete human beings. Their wants desires and needs are no different than mine or yours. Their humanity is no greater…or less than my own. To deny them the safety and comfort of the love that fits them, to denigrate them because that love does not fit our own comfort, does not make them less, it diminishes us.
It becomes a matter of us. Do we think that we are greater or have more worth because we are unwilling to admit that our path is not everyone’s path? That we, as fallible humans, have a lock on correctness and righteousness? The Bible says “there is none righteous, not even one”.
That’s what it ends at. We have to figure out a way to accept “different” because EVERY HUMAN is different. We have to learn that, unless we are willing to deny our own, we have to admit the humanity and dignity of all the humans. Sure, this is an attempt to persuade people to see Z and Kelly and the LBGT Community as human and having intrinsic worth. It is also, on a broader scope, an attempt to open our eyes to the idea that we are ALL human. We have to learn that lesson. We have no choice.