I was happily raised by liberal parents. I was always told that equal rights were for everyone. In my 1960’s and 70’s youth this meant the rights of those racially different than the majority of white America. My mid-western suburban neighborhood was still 80% White Anglo Saxon, but we had some diversity…and as I grew so did this mix of people. I am happy I had this kind of growing up.
I met my first openly gay person in 1978, as a freshman at the University of Missouri. He was a guy in some of my classes, and he dressed great, had fun parties and was the best person to go out with because he always kept an eye on me, and made sure I didn’t completely make a fool of myself…sadly he wasn’t always with me..ha ha! Mark was wonderful, and he opened up my eyes and my world a bit more.
I don’t judge people by their sexual orientation, I’ve met so many men with more disturbing sexual preferences than being gay. What two consenting adults agree to is none of my business.
So I happily go about my little life, working, marrying, having babies and then my world is rocked. My fourteen year old daughter told my husband and I she is gay. Not really surprised, but hearing it out loud, from her was a moment. I admit I cried, not because she was less loved or less anything, but because I know the ignorance of the land we live in. I know in the Bible Belt South and a small town, she is is in the smallest of minorities. I worried about bullying.
When someone you love comes out it impacts your whole world, many people can say oh I support Gay or LGBT rights, but when a family or close friend comes out the world is suddenly different. I began to question more the strict views of my church against homosexuality. There had always been doubts as to my blind devotion to a faith that strongly objects to birth control, a woman’s right to choose and then the gays. Oh sure you may be gay, but for goodness sake don’t act on it, don’t have sex. How can this be? How does this make sense? I even more importantly began to question the laws of my state and country. In FL a gay couple can’t even adopt. People who believe being gay is a fad or new are foolish folks. There are gay people everywhere, contributing to our great country in many ways, what are people afraid of. Marriage is love, and a legal contract, it is not a strictly religious vow or commitment, though it may be…and each of these is good. Someone’s gay marriage does not lesson my straight marriage. I’m good.
I began to realize that the best thing I could do for my daughter and other LGBT was to stand up and say I support you, and our basic Human Rights. I want my daughter to fall in love and marry just like my other daughter and son. I want her to have children if they decide and for those babies to be accepted with their two mommies. I want her to work in what she loves, and to go anywhere she wants and not be gawked at. I want her be by her wife’s side in sickness and in health.
Love is love, and gender is not important. I am a spiritual person, and my feeling is that God created my daughter, and he/or she loves her. My daughter is a proud nearly 20 year old college athlete. She is in a long distance committed relationship. She keeps looking for opportunities to help those questioning, she looks for community where she is comfortable in her own skin. She wishes she didn’t get funny looks walking into a women’s restroom, but she’s working on it. To say I love this child of mine is an understatement, and to say today was a win-win from our Supreme Court is outstanding!!