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As I enter another day of living “out” in a small conservative town I find myself searching for the positives. Across parts of the country we are fighting for recognition of basic human rights. All that I read and see makes my stomach turn. While there are glimpses of grace and love there is so much hate; hate that transcends religious, political, and individual agendas. Surprisingly, it’s the Southern Baptist Convention that provides the bright spot in today’s search. Last week, President of the Southern Baptist Seminary made a huge statement at convention that enlisted those in the SBC to consider their homophobic remarks and actions. While he may not agree with our “lifestyle” he did urge convention goers to understand and love rather than hate. That is certainly a step in the right direction. The SBC president even went so far as to sit and have a civil discussion with GLBT protesters. From all that I have read and gathered he is now gathering heat from the far corners of fundamentalist evangelism, God give him the strength to continue to love. All that being said, it breaks my heart see, hear, and feel the disdain and judgment of the so many people. From the loud speaker of a political figure to the tiny look of my family, there’s nothing quite like realizing you are on the “wrong” side. It makes the moments spent with all those who see me only for who I am and who understand those looks all the more precious. Perhaps it’s living in a small conservative area that heightens my sensitivity to the more emotional side of my life. But it’s so refreshing to be in the presence of people who truly understand the fears, the hurt, but also the joy. It baffles my small mind how so many can disregard and act out against truly good people. I wonder if it would make any difference at all to see how much we give, how much we help. I wonder how my family’s reaction would change if they could see the good that we do for others, the charity we support, the love we give unabashedly. Because I’m not of an approved “lifestyle” does that make my Christ-like love less? You see what you want to see, what you’ve been programmed to see, what you’ve been taught to see. Here is what you won’t see, what you cannot bring yourself to open your heart and engage in…
You cannot see the thousands we help support when we put on ridiculous looking drag shows. You cannot bring yourself to see past your prejudice to see the love that is felt so deeply when I wrap my arms my friend who has hurt for so long he/she can barely love hirself. You don’t see the pain we hide so as not to make you uncomfortable. You don’t see the fear that is thick like fog when I walk into a place and every head turns and looks. Is this the day I get beat up? You can’t see the Christ-like love that shines when I give my last dollar and all my time to sit and just be with someone who hurts, who needs a friend, who needs to know that they are valued and loved regardless of what others have told them. Do you see the love that crosses gender, racial, and religious boundaries because I know exactly how it feels to be hated.
All you allow yourself to see is who I lay next to at night, even though that love is more unconditional than you could imagine.
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