This is from a piece I wrote for elephantjournal a while back. Hope you enjoy it (again).
Someone posted this on Facebook the other day about Michelle Bachmann’s political ambitions:
“…one quibble: her husband may be (sic) closeted homosexual…self-loathing homosexual…but he is most certainly NOT GAY. Gay is a mindset and a political position fought for and died for by people who have self-respect. Just because he sucks d**k secretly doesn’t make him ‘gay.’”
When I read this I was a little confused.
This was posted by someone who is something of a leader in the gay community, someone I respected.
So I was patient. I looked for the humor in it, the irony, the insight, the truth. But none of that was there.
In the end, all I could find was bitterness, self-righteous arrogance and hatred, the same stuff that fuels the homophobia that has torn all of us apart for generations.
This is the kind of speech and thinking that keeps people alone and afraid in the closet. I don’t know if Mr. Bachmann is gay or if this is just a cheap shot, but who would want to come out if “Gay” people are like this? I know these kinds of words kept me in there for years. I didn’t want to believe that I was “one of them”.
I have to admit, I got a little bummed out after I read that post. If we can’t be compassionate to “our own” then what’s the point?
But then I stumbled across another quote and I became hopeful again. Here’s one by West Point graduate Dan Choi who was kicked out of the military for being gay, thereby ruining a promising career:
“On this battlefield, our only weapon is love. Our only body armor is truth.”
If we’re going to engage in a struggle and we hope to come out of it healthy and whole (both us and those we are struggling against), then this is the kind of thinking we need to have.
Loving others, being kind to others, being mindful of how we speak about others, especially those who hate us (or those whom we hate), isn’t the easiest road…it’s just the only road worth taking.