I have tried desperately to stay out of the fray of the Republican candidates as they try to gay-bash their way to the nomination for President of the United States. Sometimes though – I can't help myself.
You see, I'm a lesbian – yes, I said it out loud. It took me 50 years to come out of the closet and live a life of honesty and openness. Over half of my life was lived trying to be someone I was not because I didn't want to disappoint my parents, embarrass my family or be the talk of the little town I grew up in.
For those Christians who like to believe that we struggle with our homosexuality and that it's a choice that we make, I wish more than anything they could have walked in my shoes for one day when I was married and living in my hometown. Now that – that was a struggle. I never struggled with my homosexuality; I struggled with how to live in a world that was so homophobic.
50 years later I still struggle with a world that is so homophobic. Being gay isn't a choice or a struggle – it's just who I am. I don't wake up every morning thinking – Well, here's to another day of being gay. When I wake up I say thank you for another day of life, I give thanks for all the blessings in my life, and I head for the coffee maker – just as millions of other people in the world do. I don't define myself by my being gay.
I don't understand who we have become as Americans. When did it become okay to bash and bully in the name of religion? Yes, I know that since the beginning of time there have been wars over religion. This however is The United States of America. Last time I checked every American has the freedom to worship or not worship whatever God they choose. I don't understand why the Christians believe they have found the ultimate highway to heaven, and if they have, why do they believe we all would want to join them on that road? I have no problem with their beliefs, I do however have a problem when their beliefs show up in the Constitution. Why should the beliefs of one religion rule a land of hundreds of religions? It's that pesky First Amendment thing...
When did it become a prerequisite for running for President to have to sign a pledge of hate and discrimination? The Republicans (Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum) who have signed this "Marriage Vow" have said up front, before one vote is cast, that they promise to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Rick Perry signed this pledge just last week hoping to gain votes and money for his election. Just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that a man can get votes and money on the promise to discriminate against me. Seriously? In the United States of America in the year 2011?
I know that not all Christians hate, bully and discriminate in the name of Jesus. I have wonderful, warm, loving Christian friends who are appalled by what is happening in the name of the God they worship. Then again – the Christians I hang with are not Republicans!
The thing is – I'm not some sort of pawn that can be thrown around in an election cycle. I'm an American. I deserve all the rights these do-gooding Tea Party, Republican Evangelical people say they live by. They don't get to pick and choose which part of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence I'm entitled to. Last I knew I was entitled to all of it.
Let's sign pledges to create jobs, feed the poor and care for our veterans. Let's sign pledges to end these wars and spend all that defense money on fixing our roads and bridges and our electric grids. Let's sign pledges to protect our wildlife and our forests and protect the earth for my grandkids and their kids. These are things that matter – things that will make a difference in the world.
Suppose, just suppose, these Republican Candidates signed a pledge to make it illegal for everyone with blonde hair and blue eyes to marry. More to the point – if elected President they would push for an Amendment to the Constitution that says just that. Suppose they went all over the country stating that people with blonde hair and blue eyes were not fit to raise children, adopt children and that these blond-haired, blue-eyed monsters were ruining your country. And suppose they told you that the only way to keep these people from ruining your life and your country was to make sure they had no rights and to keep them in the "less-than" category their entire lives. Suppose they told you that the only way to save the American way of life was to keep the blonde-haired, blue-eyed folk in their place.
Would you vote for such a candidate or would you think it was just blatant discrimination and outright stupidity?
Welcome to my world…