Homosexuality Isn’t Contagious…

…I really want to add an expletive, but that just wouldn’t be right, would it? I have encountered a couple instances of plain old ignorance in the past week, and that, of course, prompted this blog. As the mother of three daughters, I have always prided myself on staying out of their fights. I was not a mom who got in the middle of their drama, and I didn’t call other moms complaining that their girls were picking on my babies. I have seen lots of girls make up the next day, while the parents continue to bash one another. That isn’t pretty. I also know that many times (most times?) my daughters probably had some part in whatever was going on. Even when I saw the hateful messages sent by the mean girls, I refrained (as hard as it was) from getting involved. Consequently, my girls can take care of themselves.

And here comes the however…when adults are hateful, it pisses me off. Ignorance? Well, there is just no excuse for it. So, without using names, I will just put them in my blog, and perhaps they will read it, and realize how ridiculous their words were.

The first incident was last week on – get this – Facebook. A person from the church we attend posted the following:

Here’s my two cents worth on this gay football player getting all this attention. I heard a preacher many years ago say that God made ADAM AND EVE NOT Adam and Steve. We just celebrated Mother’s Day. If this stupidity continues somewhere down the line we won’t have Mother’s day. Come on people WAKE UP!!!

First of all, I am really sick of the whole ‘Adam and Steve’ thing. Grow up. But then there is the ignorant part: Seriously? Everyone is going to DECIDE to be gay, so we won’t have any more kids, hence no more Mother’s Day? That’s ignorance at its finest. I tried to reply as respectfully as my ticked-off brain would allow. I told him that homosexuality is NOT a choice, and that because I have a daughter who is gay, I am offended by his post. And then, another church-goer replied:

 Let UM HAVE IT GARY. HOPE IT,S NOT TOO LATE.

(I won’t even touch the errors). And people wonder why so many people don’t attend church? Thankfully, we have an awesome church, and this is not the norm. I considered not returning because I will not go anyplace where my daughter is not welcome, but after some online conversations with my minister, I knew that wasn’t the answer. I went to church yesterday, and I worked really hard to think nice thoughts, after all, God knows what I am thinking!

I got through that, and only lost one night’s sleep. Then last night hit. My daughter came home, seemed a little down, and headed upstairs. After a short time, I received a text from her (What? Don’t you text from another room – especially another level – to avoid all that walking?). One of her best friend’s mothers decided that her daughter could no longer be friends with my daughter because…yes, you guessed it…she doesn’t want her daughter to be GAY!  Are you kidding me? It’s contagious? Really? I went upstairs to console my now-sobbing daughter. Hearing her say, “Mom, I’m not a bad person,” was heart-breaking. No, she isn’t a bad person. In fact, she is one of the best people I know. She is kind, intelligent, athletic, responsible, and beautiful. She is everything I could ask for in a child. She has never been in trouble; she doesn’t touch drugs or alcohol; she is going to serve as president of the National Honor Society; and students and staff respect her. Addison is in every leadership group she can be; she’s an awesome golfer; she is in the top 10 in her class. But because she happens to be gay, a parent won’t let her daughter hang out with her? I want to smack that mother. I am not a violent person (at my size, that would just get me in trouble), but this ignorant woman broke my daughter’s heart and made her question her worth. How dare she. I suspect it might not be so much that she doesn’t want her daughter to ‘catch gay’, but that she is worried what others might think. If she hangs around a gay friend, she must also be gay. Right? This mother is likely more concerned with her own image than with doing what’s right.

I wish people would realize that sexuality is only one part of who we are. There is so much more to a person than whom he or she is attracted to. My daughter is a wonderful friend. She would give her last dime to help someone. She is fun to be around, and so compassionate. She is an excellent listener, and can provide common sense when needed. Certainly, she isn’t out trying to convert heterosexuals to the other side. I told her that when she goes to college, things will be better. When she gets out of this small town, she will be more accepted for who she is. The thing is, for the most part the kids at school have been awesome. It’s some of the adults who are judgmental and small-minded.

What’s the answer? We have to educate people. We, and by that I mean YOU, have to stand up for acceptance. Homosexuality is NOT a choice. Gay teens deserve the same kindness, respect, and friendship as every other kid. People need to quit throwing the Bible at the gay community, especially when they choose to focus on only what doesn’t affect them. In the Bible it says the following are sinful:  divorce, using the Lord’s name in vain, cutting one’s hair, wearing make-up, over-indulgence of food or drink, gambling….you get the point. So why do some people pick out only the verses on homosexuality? Why do they have the right to force their interpretation on me? The overall message of the Bible is to love one another. That’s it. We aren’t called to judge or condemn; we are only called to love.

I’ve said this before, but if you are curious about the whole Bible/Homosexuality debate, there is a book called ‘Torn’ by Justin (Somebody) on Amazon that is fabulous. If you want to help kids like Addison, please share this blog. My daughter is not contagious.