Convicted.

Hope you have some time…I’m on a roll…

Unless you have been under a rock the past few days, you know about the Supreme Court taking up the Prop 8 and DoMA decisions. Unless you have been living under said rock for the past ten years, you know that the two pieces of legislation can and have divided families and friends, they have caused hurt and anger and shame for countless many people.

In the name of love….

On Tuesday night, Facebook was ablaze in red….from allies, from the LGBT community, from mothers and fathers, brothers and sister, children and I even think I saw someone’s pet….all red, all in support of equal rights.  I posted to my page, to wear red on Wednesday to show your support.

My job is to keep things moving in a forward direction.  With 125 people at my office, 110 of which are men, it’s a lot like wrangling a bunch of toddlers at nap time…I love my job.

There is an HR dimension to my position, meaning I provide HR support to six locations.  I get emails about dress code, body odor, foul shit in the refrigerators, weird shit in bathrooms, someone got feelings hurt, someone didn’t show up for work and someone isn’t wanting to work…you get the drift, it’s never a dull moment.

So Wednesday starts like any other day, I’m late…as I “log in” and begin deciphering 156 NEW UNREAD emails, I come across this….

From: Thomas *******
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 9:14 AM
To: Stephanie *****I
Subject: I would like to file a formal complaint . . . .

grrrreeeeaaaaaat…..just how I wanna start the day….so I open, with both eyes closed, to find.this….

. . . . . next time you are at one of those meetings, or parades, or whatever it is you people have to keep yourself organized, I’d appreciate it if you’d tell the king of the Gays (actually, being “of the Gays”, that would make it a Queen, wouldn’t it? ) to give us a little more notice if we’re supposed to wear Red or whatever.

I only have 1 red LKQ shirt. My other red shirts consist of 2 – 49ers jerseys and a “Where’s Waldo” t-shirt. Being as that I wore my red LKQ shirt yesterday,  I don’t have any red pants (although, come to think of it, if I did have red pants, I would probably be much more passionate about this particular cause . . . ), and Jerseys are only allowed on Friday, I am now wearing a red T-shirt for an undershirt, and if I unbutton 1 button, you will find Waldo.  It’s mildly uncomfortable! Waldo is not supposed to be hiding under my shirt!

With a little more advanced notice, I could have waited until today to wear my red LKQ shirt, and this uncomfortableness could have been avoided. So yeah . .  . . . 

Thank You,

I am completely and utterly blown away.  This was AWESOME!  I love surprises and to be honest, I knew this guy was an “ally” of sorts, he had previously sent me a message on FB defending my right to marriage and put a sweet comment on my status for all my friends to see.  So I knew he appreciated “the Gay” but to say that he supported me, my marriage…and did so in front of 110 other guys by wear a red “Where’s Waldo?” shirt meant more than the words.  His actions spoke for him.  I was grateful.

I walk into my department and my several of my staff are wearing red shirts.  Not a word was said until late in the day, but all day, I was honored and amazed at these people, silently supporting me.

More of my staff wore red the next day, to support the second day of arguments.  Thinking about it now makes me smile.   I love my job.

During the first day, all day, I kept seeing more and more people changing their pictures to the HRC red equal sign.  It was like my Facebook was bleeding.  This is social media at its finest.  Spreading words, allowing people to unite, opening lines of dialogue that may or may not have ever been opened.  Yes, it is the Age of the Geek, the Technology Era and as much as we get it wrong, sometimes, it’s done right.

Wednesday afternoon, two things happened that have done two different things….(1)was a text message that lifted me up so high, I thought I would be able to grab a star and (2)a realization that the fight I have hits closer to home than I ever expected.

The daughter, in her infinite wisdom, sent me a text and I will only summarize it due to its to me, for me and will be only mine forever…she said she had been seeing and hearing hateful, negative things about gay marriage all day and was sick of it.  Instead of fighting with others about their ignorance, she decided to do what I had taught her and send a positive message to someone about love, honor and respect.  I was the recipient of said text.  I burst into happy tears, called her, thanked her and listened as she told me her story, her testimony to the power of love.

I don’t know when it happened, but I raised an incredible daughter.  I have read that text a million times.  I shared my tears with my staff and was buoyed by her love and support.  The strength she gave me in that moment was wonderful.

Later, when I had  chance to come home and start looking at Facebook and reading about the days arguments, I realized, while many had changed their profiles, some closer had not.  I was puzzled.  In particular, three that I was sure SHOULD have, due to their proximity to me and my life.  I questioned two…

One just hadn’t been around and was like “you know I don’t do that. I don’t get into that stuff…don’t get all mental on me.”  And it was true.  They don’t and I didn’t.

One didn’t feel like arguing and was spending the day boycotting Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and every other known social site they were on….

The last one, they got a phone call…it went sideways quickly.  I remained calm but my heart was and is still broken.  Three.  Close to me.  Three not supporting my rights.

And then, I got pissed.

And then, I got the laptop out.

Buckle.up.

Here’s my open letter to those who oppose gay marriage,

Shut the fuck up.  Seriously.  Don’t espouse to me that it’s a sin, or that it’s against God’s law.  Don’t tell me you love me, but you can’t support my right to marry.  What the fuck!?!?!?!?!  How the hell did we get here?

Let’s think for a minute about this marriage thing, half of the breeders out there aren’t in it to honor God, to honor each other or to even commit to a lifetime together.  Some are in it to gain citizenship, some are in it to gain health insurance, some are forced into it by circumstance.  In the age we live in, it’s not even a “permanent” commitment.  The divorce rate is 48%!!!!!

Still think my faggot marriage is going to ruin the sanctity of your marriage…turn on an episode of the Kardashians, or Bridezillas.  Tell me about the sanctity now.  Nah….stuff your sanctity.

I would never be one to question God.  Ever.  I will be judged by Him and Him alone when I get there.

Oh, you have convictions.  You have opinions.

Let me tell you this….your convictions broke my heart.  Hope it was worth it.  Your opinions ring in my mind.

Your convictions on gay marriage, that it should be between a man and woman only….are hurtful to those who have loved and lost.  I know gay people who have been together longer and are more committed than many of the hetero couples I know.

Your convictions cost me MY CIVIL RIGHTS!!!!  Your convictions allow a legislature to be passed that make me less than you.  Allow me to be second class.  Allow me to not be worth the same as you.

Your compassion, your support, your love…the things I need, weren’t and aren’t there.

Yet these same people, will ask for my support, my love, my compassion….hell, they will ask for my money, my vote and are shocked when I will give these, because unlike you, I don’t stand in judgement of anyone.  I understand that everyone has a right to their own beliefs.  I honor our differences.  Why must you try to force me into a box?

No, no one asked me to change.  No one said they didn’t love me.  I never put those words in anyone’s mouth.

However, 24 posts and not a single one supporting me…speaks volumes.  Folks speak of God’s love and His judgement.  And yet, to those closest, don’t practice it.  Perhaps if I was a stranger, needing something, it would be different and I would get that necessary support and prayer.

No, I’m not a stranger….and I need it more.

For one to boycott instead of taking a stand, that is an act of cowardice.  If you don’t stand now, when will you?

For one to not make the effort, no matter how small, shows that perhaps when you ask for that bigger effort for something that matters to you, you will be left standing alone.

For one, to post anything and everything but a momentary word of support for your friends to see…why should I support you in return?

I know the answers to all of this…

Because of my love for God, my love for myself, my love for my family and friends.  My faith has taught me to love through pain, to love through confusion and those that are lacking, will be shown to me and I should love them more.

I prayed last night, deeply as I went to sleep. I prayed that I could let go of the hurt, the confusion, the anger and focus on one thing….

My faith in God above.  That He will provide me what I need in life.

I have my children.  I have my wife.  I have my health, I have family – the mother, the sister, the niece….countless cousins and my aunts and uncles…more love than I can handle.

I have the unwavering support of so many of my friends – gay, straight, bi, whatever….they support me, us, because they know the time is now, it’s here and things need to and will change.

All of us deserve equal rights.  I am just like anyone else….I pay taxes, I obey traffic laws, I have bills, I digest food, I brush my teeth….I am no different.

If the problem at the bottom of this was because we were a religious society, all practicing ONE RELIGION, I get that the arguments about God’s law hold up differently.  But Christianity makes up only 20% of the worlds religions.  Is the other 80% bound for hell?

Just because my neighbor may be Jewish, is he not worthy of the same heaven as me?

No, this isn’t about religious convictions.  This is about keeping fear alive…keeping hipocracy burning…to keep hate in so many hearts.

What does it hurt to allow me to marry?  To file taxes, to be by her bedside in illness, to adopt, own property, to live as we love?

Is it going to make your marriage implode?  You may have bigger issues if that’s the case.

At the end of the day, I am a girl…I hurt when I get hit, I laugh when I’m happy and I love….just like you.  Only I love another girl.

Folks, sin is sin.  My sin is no greater than your sin.  My homosexuality isn’t a bigger sin than your bigotry.

Only my sin, doesn’t break your heart.  Your sin, wounds many.

In the end…take this lesson…love.is.love.

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