Over the last four decades I've been surrounded by people of all walks of life and was taught that everyone is equal and deserve to be treated as such.
Of course, being a teenager in the 80's in Texas, that usually pertained to people of different races and religions. Sexual orientation wasn't even a blip on my radar, which is kind of silly considering I have gay and lesbian family members and dear friends. Heck, even my grandparents had friends who were gay.
Thinking back on it now, it may have not been a big deal because their sexuality wasn't an issue. They were who they were and we love them.
My ideals didn't begin to change until I was seventeen and began to worry about peer presure. Not everyone had been raised as open minded as I had, so when the rumors started flying that my best friend was in to girls, I said something I may never forgive myself for.
Lacking maturity and conviction in my ideals, I told those not so important people, "If she's a lesbian, I'll never forgive her."
I soon ate my words and apologized, but in the back of my mind, that moment of ignorance and weakness still haunts me.
Years have past and all of those youthful mistakes are now water under the bridge.
Today, I stand by my convictions and if those not so important people surrounding me now don't like it...well, then they're suddenly not as important as I may have thought they were.
I've had time to reflect on my ideals and beliefs and I'm pleased to say that I still believe in equality in love, marriage and well... everything. I'm even more pleased to say that my kids believe the same as well. Why? Because that's how I raised them!
After all, people aren't born prejudice and full of hate. They're made that way by the hateful, close-minded people who raised them.
That's the simple truth of the matter.
We can't expect others to understand or even accept when things aren't quite "normal" until we show them what "normal" should really look like.
And the only way to do that is to make everyone the same... equal!! Eliminate the distinction and eliminate the need for exclusion.
How do we get there?
Well it may sound simple...
We do it through love, understanding and a common goal.
The first step is to set an example and not to answer hatred with more of the same.
The horrible truth is people, even adults, are more worried about what their friends will say if they join the fight against homophobia, even though they may not disagree with the right for equality .
It's human nature.
It's that dreaded peer pressure thing or the fear of being shunned or persecuted.
We've seen this type of prejudice many times... or have we forgotten about the black mark left behind in history from slavery or the Holocaust.
Hatred is the real disease and is the same no matter the intended target.
But there is hope... a cure, if you will... LOVE, ACCEPTANCE AND A PLAIN OL' FASHIONED DOSE OF HUMANITY!!
Sounds too simple, right? Well that's the hard pill to swallow. It is.
But the upside is, it's not to late too change it. In fact, the time has never been better to make a difference.
Below you will find more websites and blogs of authors and people just like me. People who are looking to the future. People who have a dream... a dream of equality for all.
If you need someone to talk to and you're not sure where to turn, please visit
The Trevor Project Website.
Someone who really cares is waiting to listen!
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