"Hey, ain't life wonderful... wonderful, wonderful... isn't life wonderful?" Those are lyrics from the song "Wonderful" by Everclear.
I am posting this item because my life has taken a new turn. I know this is going to be a little long, hell, I don't even really know just how long it is going to be, but if you are curious, stick around.
I recently made some new friends at work. Good people. Probably the nicest people I will ever meet. They are gay. Most people are turned off by these people. They are uncomfortable around them, or they make fun of them. Do they make fun because they are insecure, or do they make fun because they are gay themselves? Do they make fun because they don't understand? I couldn't tell you myself why.
Here is something that got me thinking though. I was watching an episode of the Sopranos where one of the wiseguys is outed. He ends up running from everyone that he thought he could trust, only to end up getting caught in the end. He ends up being brutally murdered, a pool cue rammed up his rear end. The public watches this, they absorb it and let it go. Sure, someone uses this as an opportunity to hit up a soundbite, but no one does anything about it. I watched it and thought very little of it. Just TV, right?
Then I meet my new friends. Like I said before, these are two of the nicest people I have ever met. They are funny, kind and warm. They accept most everything around them and flow like the tides. The kind of people that you want to surround yourself with. Then the thought flows into your head. The thought of that character on the Sopranos. Then you picture that happening to your friend. I found myself feeling sick.
One of my friends has a MySpace page. She goes into great detail the things that people have to put up with for being gay. It is horrible. "Please don't tell me everything is wonderful now..."
The post talks about the mother and daughter who have an amazing relationship, and how one day, she confides in her mother that she is a lesbian. Her mother throws her out. It talks about a boy being tied to the fence and beaten to "teach him a lesson about being straight". The man who can't go into a certain bar because he might not walk out of there.
It doesn't stop here either. The "good Christians". People who claim to be Children of God, yet they judge only by what they see on the outside. Rather than accepting them and their choice, they choose to either ignore, hate or cure. Do not try to throw out bible verses here. Just follow me and listen. These are people just like you and I. They are looking for happiness in this world, yet this is something that constantly eludes them. Marriage is inaccessible due to a minded world that refuses to accept them. Rather than seeing two people who have found a happiness that they thought was beyond reach, they simply see something that a book told them was an abomination. What would they think of this wonderful book if they knew about the people that wrote that book? "Please don't tell me everything is wonderful now..."
We feel we have come so far as a civilization, as people in general, yet in Texas an African American boy was chained to the bumper of a truck and dragged to his death. His body was torn to pieces. Everyday, young boys and girls are struggling with their world around them, because they don't know whether they like boys or girls. They are taunted and harassed, and the people around them do nothing to help them. They see them as troubled kids just doing their time. Some are strong enough to build from this, but many are not. These kids will not remember growing up happy, they will remember that they hated high school. I had a friend like this. He tried to commit suicide about a month before we graduated. Ed was a good guy, just troubled. I ran into him one night. I had a friend, a gay friend whose partner was in trouble. He was a drinker and he needed to be brought home. Like most alcholics, he was violent, so it was on me to go get him as I was the only one in our little group who could hold his own against him. I went out looking for him and found Ed instead. He looked terrified to see me. I hadn't seen him in six years, and instead of a warm greeting, he was completely freaked out. This shit never left him. I was never anything but a friend to this kid, yet he couldn't get past associating me with high school, a time that was so horrible for him that he wanted to kill himself rather than go another day living like he was. Hidden and scared.
Now I look at these two new people in my life and I am scared for them. Why? Because I have seen the other end of the spectrum, and it is horrible. People are not always the nicest, and while I know this is something they have encountered and overcome time and time again, I am still scared for them. You never know when a Billy Bob is going to come out of nowhere and try to hurt them to "teach them a lesson about bein' straight." It would kill me to see anyone hurt them, and for what? Sexual orientation? How stupid is that?
I am sorry to rant, but it just seems that we as a society have become so desensitized to things like this that we just shut it out. Oh, that happened on TV. That's never going to happen here. That's make believe. Tell that to the boy tied to the fence. Tell that to the man who was killed in a bathroom because somebody thought he was gay. Tell that to the girl whose mother said she was her best friend and then disowned her. Tell that to the kid in high school who has nobody to talk to because he is terrified of what might happen to him if he is strong enough to come out.
For those of you who stuck around, I truly hope you take this with you in life. I know that there are those of you who are going to read this and tell me again how this goes against the will of God, that this was not the intention. How would you feel if you were to learn that there are gay animals out there? There are no gay animal rights parades, no gay animal rights paraphernalia, so what does this? This is just how they are. This is how God made them. Take care of yourselves and before you make fun, or judge or hate, think about it... what if this was your wife that somebody was judging or teasing or hating? What if this was your daughter? Your son? You would fight to the death for them. Open your hearts and your eyes. Isn't it time for things to change?