Thursday, May 10, 2012

letter from the wise....

Such a well written note from my brother to an unnamed person. I thought I would share, mainly for the wonderfully valid points he has written about...



…So you deleted me from your friends list on Facebook instead of sending me a message, picking up the phone and calling to discuss your problems or even sending an email? That’s not fine.  That’s not even close to being fine.  In fact, that actually negates the legitimacy of any mature conversation you and I have ever shared, friend.  Actually, scratch that.  I don’t believe you want to be my friend at all.  Of course, vicinity overrides immaturity in our quest for “closeness”, and we will again share a meal given the nature of our relationship.  Somehow, despite all of this, the disrespect and tarnishing of my name, I still love you.  It does not mean I like you.  We share a common relative by blood.  She will always be a part of both of our lives.  Until you change your bigoted opinions, I sincerely hope that the “part” you share remains insignificant, which honestly breaks my heart. 

You have a drawn a line in the sand on this day that you will inevitably spend years attempting to erase.  But don’t bother.  In fact, paint it pink for all I care.  Spend your days painting it pink, because given the level of creativity and inspiration you’ve borrowed over the last few years, I can’t imagine what else you’re going to do with your creative energy.  I don’t care.   Or erase it.  But don’t think for a moment I won’t know who you are and what you really think about me.  We will probably break bread and I will smile, you will smile.  You’ll crack open a beer and toast to “family”, but let me tell you sister, that is not what family really is.  What’s that you say?  You are entitled to your beliefs?  And if you vote for your beliefs, how can you be a bigot?  Well, friend… we are allowed our beliefs.   That’s true.  Beliefs are essential to our humanity and they make us into the people we are.  Having beliefs does not, in fact, make you a good person.  Many people before you have had beliefs and many of them have been wrong.  Many of them have been right.  Some would argue the KKK has the right to their beliefs, but we would, I assumed until yesterday, never legitimate them by inserting them into our legal system again.  They didn’t much like it when we eradicated the Jim Crow laws, but I think you’ll agree with the enlightenment of time on your side, that they were wrong. 

Oh… this infringes on your rights, does it?  When was the last time you saw me?  When was the last time you called?  When was the last time I spoke to you in person?  I don’t understand how me being allowed to do the same things you and your family do whenever you lock that door at night to protect those sweet babies of yours would impact your life in any way at all.  It might make you uncomfortable, for some reason unbeknownst to me.  Yes, the God you pray to might not like it, but he also spent a good deal of time washing the feet of sinners and loving his neighbors as much as he hated shellfish.   

So to answer the question of how me exercising my civil rights is an invasion into your livelihood?  It is not. In fact it does not harm you, or even have the effect of a light breeze.  The assertion that your beliefs have a place in our government is ridiculous.   Countless bigoted groups throughout our history have had "beliefs". Beliefs that people of different colors, sexes and genders were somehow lesser and deserved to be made to be told to feel that way.  Should that have been a legitimate argument for the legalization of segregation and discrimination against those protected classes?  No. We shouldn't have to BE protected classes.  As people of color, as women, as gay, transgender, bisexual, as Buddhist, Atheist or otherwise people different than you, we should be recognized as humans, as flawed and as beautiful and strong as you.   I find it hurtful that as a woman, you would take the time to pretend to “educate” yourself on the “issue” of my compassionate, unrelenting dedication to the legalization of simply being myself and your tiny opinion of how you think the world should look at mylife, and not take the time to recognize that people, not unlike yourself, have been oppressing women for as long as any gay person has ever been oppressed.  My brothers and sisters hid themselves and consumed their own internal guilt and sacrificed their well-beings for the satisfaction of others.  As a woman, you’ve felt this struggle first hand and were unable to hide from it.  Your sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts and great aunts struggled for centuries to have the right to vote, own property, have wages equivalent to that of a man, all because your oppressors bastardized that same book you’re preaching from and said that you, woman, were unworthy of the rights and privileges that a man was. 

This will be made right one day.  Our country will find its way through this darkness in the same way that we have made strides and are still paving our way through the chains of discrimination that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of.  My question for you, sister, is which side of the line will you be standing on? When the dust settles, will you be standing in a dark shadow?  Will you be a part of our history that we look back on with shame and regret? 

I might make it hard for you to sleep at night, because I assure you- gay people, like myself will be just as gay with or without your approval and will continue to build beautiful families, provide livelihood for children and accept ourselves for the creatures we were made to be.  We will take the sanctity of marriage, under the political system, more seriously and in higher regard than even you.   We will do so because given the type of conviction required to assert ourselves into an institution that so many have fought so hard to keep us away from, we will fight our way to it tooth and nail.  You question the sanctity of marriage when within your own home, you spend countless energy, the turn of a car key and a drive across town to assert your hatred.  There is nothing sanctimonious about that. 

You are attempting to, and have briefly been successful in infiltrating the constitution for the sole purpose of your own self serving and self important disgust under the guise of religion.  This country was founded on principles of freedom.  Our constitution was constructed to protect its people, not harm them and deny certain people rights that it grants others.  This is not a country club.  This is the United States of America.  We felt so strongly about religious freedom that our founders left their homes and everything they'd ever known in order to escape the oppression of a government which denied them their rights and asserted a religion they did not believe in into their legal system.   Our founders may have carved this country with inequality and oppression, but we have spent hundreds of years overcoming our dark history and I refuse to watch it fall to the wayside.  I guess what I’m saying is thank you.  You have ignited a fire in my spirit that I didn’t know existed.  Through your petty and disrespectful actions, you have inspired hope in my heart.  Hope that countless others will feel the same way I do.  And together, we can make this world a better place for our children to live and love whomever they choose.  I’m all for teaching my children not to harm others, but unfortunately, instead of using you and your dedication to your “beliefs” as an example of good deeds, I will have to use your discriminatory message as an example of quite the opposite.  JFK famously said “I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.”  Is this really the contribution you hope to be remembered for?  I hope not.  What will your legacy be?

I've stood by without speaking up for far too long.

Maybe this can be an opening for real conversation between the two of us.

Why don't you call me?

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