[art by Kim Joris]
On this National Coming Out Day…
I want to tell my many LGBTQI friends that I love them.
I want us all to recognize that LGBTQI people have to come out every single day of their lives … and that we should work toward a world in which that isn't true.
I want to ask people who would hurt and kill people because of their sexual orientation (or for any reason at all) to recognize their shared humanity, to seek the source of their anger, to heal.
I want my LGBTQI friends to be able to marry the person they love.
I want young LGBTQI people to know that there are safe places for them in this world, and that it does get better.
I want people who say that God hates fags to find peace in their hearts and a way to have religion be loving and inclusive, not hateful and divisive.
I want people who disagree with me to start their own blog and write their own beliefs on it rather than sending me hate mail about what I'm posting here. I'm happy to receive letters disputing what I say–this should be a dialogue and your beliefs are your beliefs and I appreciate that–but I will no longer read or respond to hateful, threatening, despicable ones.
I want Fred Phelps to be saved from his consuming hate and fear and ignorance but that's about all the attention I can muster for Mr Phelps.
I want people who use the Bible to strip LGBTQI people of their humanity to stop confusing the Bible with their interpretation of it.
I want homophobic people to spend a year getting to know someone who is gay before denouncing them.
I want homophobic people to spend a year examining the source of their fear and anger.
I want LGBTQI people not to fall prey to stereotyping straight people either.
I want straight people to learn how to be better allies for gay people.
I want straight people to speak up for LGBTQI people.
I want every single one of us to speak up when we hear a gay joke or "that's so gay." Every single one of us. Every single time.
I want us to spend less time fighting against anti-gay factions and more time moving toward creating the kind of inclusive society we desire.
I want my daughters to grow up knowing that love is love, that straight love and gay love and everything in between is beautiful and right and complex and sometimes painful and life-affirming and the only thing there is. At the end of it, love is what's left.