Since this month is full of Pride events, I'm making it clear for all the record: I'm a proud ally of my gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender friends! It's not that I understand everything, and for sure I don't know what it's like to be discriminated against, but I DO know that God made us all, we are all loved by God, and all of us deserve the same rights!
So I ask myself: How do I make a difference? How do I express the respect and PRIDE I have in these gay friends?
To begin with, I don't hate my ex-husband, who came out about 4 1/2 years ago to me and our immediate family. Later, in Sept., 2008, he revealed this to the greater public through an interview in the Washington Blade.
Next, I make supportive comments on blogs. These are connected to my name, and I'm not anonymous any more. I'm free to support the people and ideas I believe in.
I share stories and blogs of interest on social networking sites like facebook and twitter. This recently led to a "friend" who "unfriended" me. I was kind of surprised since she's a local person from the church I used to attend. Hmmm...why was I surprised?
In conversations I speak up for the rights of gays. I won't tolerate jokes that ridicule what it's like to be gay. This is both easy and it's hard, especially when you have bozos who don't listen to reason or are insensitive. I don't mind a bit to speak up, but I'd like to know the IMMEDIATE comeback in every situation, in order to say what I think and believe.
This is a small thing, but I put a little rainbow-colored whirly-gig in my plants, and I aimed it at the preacher's house across the street. I know, that's a little bit of attitude, but I LIKE IT!
I read and try to keep up with issues that involve equal rights. I post stories on my blog, with comments on how they affect my life. I try to discuss these issues with people who can be swayed in a positive way, and I try not to inflame the rest of the crowd. Sometimes I fail at that, but I've heard it said, "You draw more flies with honey than you do with vinegar," and even though I don't LIKE flies, I think the point is evident.
Of those who become upset with me, I figure that this is a minor thing, and I call them not friends but, "former connections." I also know that I've made friends among people that experience crap from those who aren't listening, and I'm proud of those discriminated-against friends. It isn't hard to stand up with PRIDE for FRIENDS.