A friend of mine asked me if I could tell his story since he knew that I wrote and blogged. I won’t tell you who, how or where I know this friend from, but this person is a friend. See, he is openly gay…only to his friends. He remains deep in the closet to his family. He’s old enough to move out and live on his own, which he has been doing for some time now. But he still can’t seem to admit to his family that he is gay.
He’s funny, silly and full of life but being gay is a part of him. I don’t necessarily agree with his choices (or non-choice, that is, if you believe that you are born with it) but that doesn’t mean that being gay speaks less about who he is. He is kind, thoughtful, smart and funny. And being gay is just a part of that list of who he is. I RESPECT HIM. I ADMIRE HIS COURAGE. Yet with the confidence he has, with the joy he has of being who he truly is, he can’t seem to tell his family. He can’t seem to come out.
This speaks less about him and more about society. Has society made it so hard for people to be honest? Has society closed the eyes of parents from the truth of who their child is? Has society allowed the condemnation of the sinner instead of the sin? After all, we hear stories, left and right about parents disowning their own flesh and blood because they chose to live as an open homosexual. We hear about run-aways and orphans choosing to live on their own because their parents have made it unbearable for them to open-up, for them to come out and tell the truth, for them to live in the same house. We read about children who commit suicide because their classmates found out that they were gay. We read about teenagers being beaten death because of their sexual preference or identity. It’s all around us; no wonder there’s so much hate in the world. We allow hate to flow through us. See, if we start allowing these things, they soon become the norm. And the norm isn’t always right. We are given the power to change the norm. We are given the choice to go against it.
This isn’t a political issue, this isn’t even a social issue; this is a human issue. Are we becoming less and less human? Are we become less and less humane? Have we gotten so barbaric and hateful that anyone who has different views from us must be deemed wrong? Have we forgotten how Jesus loves? Have we forgotten how he loves? Have we forgotten how he accepts and befriends the sinners? Have we forgotten that he, too, ate with the so-called sinners?
This isn’t a religious issue, it’s a human issue. You don’t have to be religious to be kind. You don’t have to be religious to be decent. You don’t have to be religious to be humane. You don’t have to serve any deity to be respectful and loving. You just have to be a human. We are human beings, we just are, we love.
To each, his own. And his choice is his choice. His story is one that I hope I would be given the opportunity to write again when he finally sees the time to tell his parents. Because I’m sure he will be received with love.
Perhaps Jesus said it best, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:22)