Monday, January 27, 2014

I'm Coming Out

I watched the Grammy's last night and was inspired by the performance of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with Mary Lambert. It was beautiful and moving and it just cemented something that I haven't shared with many people. But I've decided to change that.
I'm coming an ally.
For a long time now I have struggled with and been conflicted about my feelings on gay marriage. I was raised in a very strict Christian upbringing. One that denounced homosexuality and taught that gays were sinners.
Even as a young teen, being taught by a gay theater teacher, who I loved for his unique vision and way of seeing all of us as beautiful and worthy, I felt conflicted. How could I love him, if I was supposed to denounce him as a sinner. Did that make me a sinner? Because I loved him and wanted his happiness. While he was instrumental in teaching me about my self worth he made me doubt the things I had been taught about "his kind". It was confusing to say the least.

I've kept my mouth shut for a long time. I've resisited taking a stand. I've resisted being drawn in to arguments about gay rights and I've felt horrible about it for a long time. But this...this my friends is going to change.

You see...when R, who is now 19, was 15ish, she let her family know that she liked both boys and girls. She considers herself Bisexual. I was astounded and initially disapproving. Husband-Man was the same way. We didn't denounce her though. We waited. Was it a phase? Was she just being "cool"? It was tough to tell...and kind of still is, because to my knowledge she's never been in a committed relationship with another woman. However...I don't profess to know everything about dear R. Nor do I need to.

But over the years I've slowly come to the realization that no matter who she is, who she loves, what she believes about herself...I will always know these things about her. She is a member of the human race and she was created by God to be loved and I will do everything I can to love her the way she needs to be loved. Tough love. Kind love. Love through obstacles. Even when I felt like she hated me...I loved her. It may not have seemed like it...on either side, at different points, but there is much much love between me and R.

Of all the things she has taught me in the 13 years I have been with her...she taught me how to accept my conflicted feelings. She taught me how to feel about my LGBT friends. She taught me that the lessons I had learned in church long ago may have been wrong.

So I'm declaring now...I've chosen a side.

I'm on her side.


If she decides to be in a relationship with a woman...I'm OK with it. I'll still love her. That will never change. She'll always have my support.

I refuse to sit in judgement of anyone on this issue. Who am I to tell you who to love? I'm not Him. I'm not God. And one of the most fundamental lessons I did learn from a young age is "Judge not lest ye be judged."

I'm not going to call you a sinner. I'm not going to say you aren't.

What I am going to do is campaign for you. Your right to love who you love. Your right to be who you are. Without restrictions. Without condemnation.

You can agree. You can disagree. I care not.

All I know is that when I meet my Maker on Judgement Day...if he asks me why I chose as I did I will say to him..."You taught me to love unconditionally. You bid me to not judge. I've done as much as I can to follow your example and I'm unashamed."

Because I'm not ashamed.

To my friends; Jeff, my Disney and Downton Abbey buddy. Jennifer, who becomes Godzilla as opposed to my decision to Sparta Kick people when they make us our heads of course. Tyson, who is so quietly kind and thoughtful and just the nicest person to talk to. Katy, who works and giggles and makes me smile when I see her. John, who is my brother. David, who is also a Downton buddy but is also a sewing friend...I love how he says "Hey girl, Hey!" every time we chat. Tony, who taught me to be me and to be free and to value myself when I was only 15 and so scared to be who I thought I was.  And all of you others that I can't name or think of at the moment.
I'm with you. Wholeheartedly. You have a new ally. I have a lot to learn and a lot to continue to change in myself. But I want you all to know that I am your champion. No matter what. I love you all for who you are not who you love. And I feel so much better about it. No conflit. No confusion. I'm out and I'm proud.

When I was at church they taught me something else
 If you preach hate at the service those words aren't anointed
 That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
 When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
 Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
 I might not be the same, but that's not important
 No freedom till we're equal, damn right I support it

 ~Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert


PS: Don't forget to find me on Facebook at here and follow me on Twitter @InANutShelley

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