Saturday, June 22, 2013

Gay OK

The other day I was walking down the street, and I saw two men holding hands.  

It's not an unusual sight, especially in my neighborhood, which is steps from Boystown.

I often see men holding hands, or men kissing.  Their are rainbows and gay bars and even - holy hell - a  Catholic Church with a huge rainbow sign beckoning "ALL ARE WELCOME".

This neighborhood is a beautiful place to live, both for the lake front and for the acceptance.  

All are welcome. 

It's so simple, and yet it's not a rallying cry that I hear very often, ya know?  I belong to a Church that is welcoming in theory, but exclusive in practice.  The word Catholic comes from a Greek word which translates in to "universal".   But it's not universal.  My church teaches that if you're gay, the only way to get to heaven is to repress your sexuality and never act on it.  Spend your life alone, devoid of sex and romantic partnership.  

I read a few blogs that have a heavy focus on religion, specifically Christianity and Mormonism, and while they aren't specifically anti-gay (in most cases) they are very conservative, and the anti-gay sentiment bubbles barely below the words on their page. I don't even know why I read them, except that it's kind of a peek behind the curtain.  A way to see the opposing team's playbook.

I'm not sure that I can do anything to change the minds of people that are anti-gay.  (And, by the way, in my opinion, if you're anti-gay marriage, you're anti-gay).  There is nothing they could say to change my mind, and I suspect the feeling is mutual.  Yet I also refuse to "agree-to-disagree".  It's too important of an issue - there are lives at stake.

It's upsetting to feel like this - like your hands are tied.  But I as strongly as I believe in gay rights, I also believe that  believe that the tide's are changing, and I am confident that in the not-very-distant future, those people will be on the wrong side of history.

In the meantime, I will smile when I see a gay couple holding hands, and try to be a friendly face from an often hateful world. 

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