Okay, I’ve calmed down from my Prop 8 tantrum. I had a great epiphany as a result of going through it and it was that gay people need straight people.
Of course we always have, but what I mean by “gay people need straight people” is that John and I will never have marriage rights without the stand-up support of our straight friends and family members. Here’s why:
Mother Nature only makes between 2% and 10% of the population gay. And despite what the religious right nutjobs will tell you, it is not possible to recruit people to be gay. Unlike ethnic groups who can grow their numbers by going forth and multiplying, gay people will always be a statistical minority.
The only way we will win equality is if more gay people come out and fight AND if our friends and families stand with us. What does that mean?
Be vocal. If you’re at a party and someone starts talking about how “wrong” gay marriage is, remember they are talking about us. You don’t have to knock ‘em out or anything. In fact, being loving is recommended, but you could say something like:
“My (friend, brother, cousin, son) is gay. He and his partner have chosen to commit their lives to each other and as tax paying citizens they have a relationship that deserves the same rights and protections as any other married relationship.”
Or if you don’t want to get into all that, just say, “I disagree with you.” Many otherwise good people simply spout off what they’ve heard all of their lives, UNTIL they hear someone they respect disagree with them. All of a sudden that person has permission or a challenge to think differently.
Be educated. I can help with that. I read a lot of gay political news. A LOT! I post only a fraction of it here. I realize only about half of my readers are gay, so if I bother to post something gay related, it’s because it is a pretty high profile item. Never be afraid to e-mail me with questions. Maybe you aren’t even sure what you think about John and I getting married. If you have specific questions, don’t worry about offending us. I was raised a conservative Southern Baptist boy. There probably aren’t many morality related questions on this topic that I haven’t considered.
Be brave. This goes for my gay friends, too. Don’t be afraid to have the courage of your convictions. Gay people either learn to be brave or to hide. Ethnic minorities are more likely to face prejudice in the midst of families and friends like them who can say, “don’t listen to those racist jackasses, this is who you really are.” Many gay kids, on the other hand, grow up in families who not only don’t understand them but who reject them outright. Family members and friends may see them as other, less than, immoral, dirty, wrong. That’s a hard mountain for a gay kid to get on top of. Don’t be part of the problem. Learning to be brave is a challenge, but hiding is death.
So just so you know, John and I need you. Please help.