Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day Without a Gay

Time has passed, and for the most part, I've moved on, but I still get very sad when I think of the passage of Prop 8, and you will not stop hearing about it from me from time to time until gay couples have the same right to marry as straight couples enjoy.

Today is Day Without a Gay day.

What would my life be without knowing the out individuals that I know? I can't even imagine.

Growing up in theatre, I knew as many gay people as straight at an early age. It meant about as much to me as the color of someone's skin, or if someone had red hair or brown. It was simply another characteristic.

The theatre community is like that: everyone is accepted just the way you are. If you were willing to put yourself out there, you were a part of the group.

Kind of like blogging, come to think of it. While I may be single mom heavy on my blog-roll, I have folks from every walk of life in my Reader...even a few non-parents! I don't care what you are when it comes to male/female, married/single, what religion you practice, what country you're from. I believe I can learn and I know I do learn from every single one of you. But I digress...

It just never occurred to me to place a judgment on someone based on their sexuality. When I was nine years old, I remember getting into it with my uncle for making derogatory comments and I think I may have even called him homophobic at the time. He was very amused by it all, but I was very upset. These were my friends. These were people that had taught me nearly everything I knew about theatre, that had welcomed me with open arms. They were as much my family to me as he was.

I also grew up in a home where our "bible," if you will, was the Constitution of the United States. My father fought in Vietnam, my grandfathers fought in World War II. In fact, every male cousin and uncle has served this country for the very reason of paying homage to what this great country allows us. We've never been rich, and some of my family has been very, very poor, but we grew up with the idea that if you worked hard, this country allowed freedom and equal opportunity to all.

So the very idea that, in the 21st century, there are some people that do not enjoy equal rights is offensive to me. And when I can put so many names and faces with who those people are, my heart cries for them.

These are people that have taught me, advised me, supported me, given birthday presents and Christmas presents to my daughters, tutored Sylvia in math, been shoulders for us to cry on, given me cash when I needed it, bought me a cup of coffee, given me a new perspective when I needed it, taken me out to dinner, made me dinner, made me homemade honey lavender ice cream (YUM!), forgiven me, intellectually challenged me, emotionally challenged me, gone to great efforts to understand me, loved me, and basically have enriched my life in ways that cannot truly be measured.

The least I can do is stand with them and fight for their right to live their lives equally.

If you are "straight for equality," you might want to check out Atticus Circle. The button on the left will lead you to a place where you can donate to help win the battle for equality.

I'll end this by stealing a quote from Jon Stewart when talking to O'Reilly about what the true tradition of America is: "the tradition of America is a progression of individual freedoms." He went on to say the next step in the tradition of America is gay marriage. I can only hope he's right.

16 comments:

liz said...
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Mama Smurf said...

I saw Jon Stewart last night! He makes me laugh. I just love that man.

Natalie said...

Wonderful post, April.

I feel bad, too. It is still on my radar, but I can't allow it to take over my life and I know how horrible that sounds, since there are people out there whose lives this is directly affecting and hurting; but I've had to somewhat move on from it myself.

I grew up in the bay area, so the concept of "gay" is not foreign to me, it is something familiar. I don't understand why people are so afraid of it.

Tara R. said...

This is a topic that Hubs and I disagree on. We cancelled each other out when voting here in Florida. But, I think because I helped my daughter be non-judgmental, and to look at the whole person, she voted against the proposition too. I'm still working on Hubs.

Kori said...

I love this post, and was going to come up with one of my own but perhaps will just send people here to read yours. Well said.

pisceshanna said...

Amen April and John Stewart. You both are so right on. Going to film school, I was immediately accepted by the gay community, while my straight peers sneered, scoffed and tormented me for being poor, country and ugly.

I feel as strongly about this issues as you do, beleive me.

Julia said...

Beautifully put!

Afriend of mine made the followinf statement: If you really want to keep the sanctity of marriage, ban divorce.

He wasn't advocating divorce just showing the silliness of the "sanctity of marriage" argument.

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littlemansmom said...

Quite frankly, what a person choses to do within the privacy of their own sexuality is THEIR business...it REALLY does NOT have any bearing on who they are as a person. I've always lived by the rule of liking a person for WHO THEY ARE, not for who they chose to sleep with!

Gay, straight, whatever, I like you for you....not who your partner is...

Sierra Night Tide said...

great post! This is about equal rights not more rights. We all need to stand up and say that every human deserves the right to love and be loved.

Julie said...

Fantastic! That gave me goosebumps!

I love your open heart and open mind. Your girls are so lucky to have you for their mom! I can only hope that there are hundreds of thousands of other people out there teaching their children the same.

Dingo said...

Excellent post, April!

Laura said...

The other day a student, who has long hair and a lanky attitude, said he thought the idea of homosexuality was disgusting. I just looked at him and tried to figure out what people say to their children to make them deride others, to make them dismiss others, to make them think that they are better than others. And you know, I don't want to even go there, I don't want to think about how their thought processes work; no, I want to stay in my bubble where understanding and acceptance are the only values worth transmitting.

osolomama said...

Congratulations on taking a stand and expressing it so well.

Hahn at Home said...

I was really enjoying Stewart's interview with presidential-candidate for 2012 Mike Huckabee (dangerous) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCFE0qhi8Fk

hotmamamia said...

Gee, I just tried to leave a comment and it rejected me!

You are spot on April. People are people are people, period.

No excuses....