Thursday, August 2, 2012

You Deserve to Be Happy...

"We are only what we know, and I wished to be so much more than I was, sorely."
-David Mitchell

I've said a great many things in my life and I've done a great many things in my life. Right now seems like a very important time in our history, and that's why I won't be reviewing the Batman movie just yet. I'll do that later.

Right now, I want to discuss something close to home.

I woke up today, frantic, something was wrong. Something was amiss. I didn't know what it was, but I have this longing urge to change myself. To change my world. To do something drastic that will make my world different.

An adventure?

A new job?

A new hairstyle or clothing style?

I don't know what it is. I still don't, after spending the entire day thinking about it, wondering about it, contemplating it. I'm human, I make mistakes, but I wasn't sure what it was.

I've spoken my mind throughout my entire life. I went to Catholic school from preschool through 12th grade, and that changed who I was. I would like to think in a good way, but the mileage varies.

Today, I read a number of news stories. Over the last few months, I've read more and more stories about the same things. And I've noticed, while I'm going through some continued crisis within my own life, the world is going through a crisis.

There are people who are fighting for what's right and what they believe is right. And I've been too chickenshit to say what I think. I've backed down for fear of ruffling feathers. I've kept my mouth shut because I didn't want to step on any toes and tell people that they're wrong and I'm right.

And because I've kept my mouth shut, I've realized that there were a number of wrong things that I was doing. One of them was thinking that I'm always right and that everyone else is always wrong. God knows I'm an opinionated son of a bitch.

But here we are, at a crossroads of life. People are screaming and tearing at each other over something that some of us see as an easy response.

Should gay people be allowed to marry? Or shouldn't they? And it's all boiled down to chicken restaurants, liberals and conservatives choosing sides, and the Muppets declaring their own side.

I firmly stand beside the Muppets. I believe that everyone and anyone should be allowed to be happy, so long as that doesn't hurt other people. I believe that my parents taught me right and wrong and taught me what it means to be a decent human being and not force my beliefs on others and tell them they're wrong. I believe that the family I have continued building throughout my life has helped me to hone these beliefs and keep changing them, growing with them.

I don't think we should argue about freedom of speech. Everyone, including neo-Nazis and other various scum of the Earth, have every right to say what they believe, so long as it doesn't hurt anyone.

But, here's the thing: Gay people are being hurt every single day by this. Sally Ride was gay. She was an American Hero and Hero for Women everywhere. She was. She was gay. She had a partner that didn't get the same rights as any hetero-sexual just because she was in love with another woman. She was a hero and she died knowing that the woman she loved would not be treated with respect.

How horrible is that? To think that a woman who changed the face of the space race and made the world different and gave girls a look inside what it meant to be in a man's world (really, it wasn't, it was just seen that way), to think that this woman was then treated as a second class citizen just because of the person she loved. She loved a woman. Does that make her any less of a hero?

Absolutely not. No fucking way in a million years does that change who she was.

But some people don't agree with that. Some people are terrified when their little boy plays with Barbie dolls and loves the color pink. Some people are horrified when their daughter wants to play softball and brings home their date for the prom, Brittany. Some people are mortified by the sheer idea that their son or daughter who isn't born yet might end up gay that when they are born they do everything in their power to make them straight, only to then lose that child when the child commits suicide or runs away from home, never to be heard from again.

This has to stop. This has to change.

We are a nation of 250 million + people that don't have to be this way.

Think about the 1950s and 1960s. Think about the Civil Rights movement. Is this a similar time in our lives? It damn well could be. Look to your children in the same room as you and ask yourself, would you want them dead or alive? Would your child being gay be better or worse than them killing themselves?

Are gay people any different from you or me? I'm straight, I love women, but you know what, any single person who is gay is no different than me. They love who they love, they were born with that as part of themselves (whether you want to believe it or not), and they are no different from us. Just like a black person is born black or an Asian is born Asian, gay people are born gay. Some people try to fight the tendencies, some don't.

Most that try to fight the tendencies do so because they think they have to (again, this is just my belief). I know in my heart that if I was gay, my friends and my family would accept me. They wouldn't turn their backs on me. They would fight for me, they would stand up for me, and goddammit, I am sick of people turning their backs on people who need them.

I'm not going away. I've had a rough couple of weeks and a rough year, but I will not turn my back on you. No matter where I am in my life, I will fight for you. I will do everything in my power to help you. And this is if you're gay or straight. This is if you're on the right or the left. This is for everyone.

This is not just for one side or the other. This is for you. You who is reading this post. You who is thinking about their lives right now.

I've fought depression and suicidal thoughts for as long as I can remember, but I will never stop fighting. I won't give up. I won't give up on anything. And I won't give up on you.

So if you are in a place where people are demeaning you because of the person you love, speak up. Tell the world that they're wrong. Tell the world why you love someone. Tell the world what it means to you to be gay or straight. Tell the world your story.

Do not back down.

Do not give up.

Do not stop fighting.

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?"
-David Mitchell


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