Friday, February 24, 2012

A Voice in the Heartland

I don't normally write much of my own struggles because so many have a much worse lot in life and we all need help at some point. My efforts here have been to try and help anyone who needs it where ever they may be. However, events here at home have me concerned at the blatant contempt and hate being expressed.

In an open letter Bil Browning of the Bilerico Project summed up many of the frustrations and pains many of us in my state feel and grow up with. I'll let you read his words before continuing.

Growing up in Indiana is a good life and its traditions and heritage as valuable as any. However, it is a different life if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered.  You learn to hide who you are, deflect questions, and feel a guilt laid upon you by an ignorant society.

Don't get me wrong we have some bastions of relative safety but in all honesty if you were to to say or do the wrong thing in the wrong place your very life could be at stake. It can be a pleasant society where all seems serene and tranquil, where nothing goes wrong but beneath its surface is a bitter brew that will unleash vile things.

In my own life I have seen much hatred and bigotry. I could list each event as if they were yesterday. I have seen a preacher destroy personal property because a person was perceived to be gay. I've seen a young man so isolated in a classroom that his tormentors taunt him with no reprisal from the teacher. I've seen the ones with bruises, scars, and blackened eyes so carefully diverted to the ground to hide, if not in shame, in pain.

In my life I have never committed a crime, I don't live in excess, I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I am not sexually promiscuous. I've never raised my fist in anger at anyone. I was a boy scout and went to church and still have my faith. My whole life I have helped others, done civic duties and volunteered. I am and have been a good citizen.

I know the call of "Is anybody out there to help?" I know the pain! You know what else I know?

I know they amend a Constitution because it was written to not discriminate against any group. I know when you seek to deny any person or group equal protections under the law you seek to do them harm. I know when you cloak yourself in words of not hating and then follow them up with words that seek to diminish me you deceive yourself as well as others. I know when you harass or berate a person simply for existing you seek to raise yourself above examination. I know when you present yourself as the savior of children you will hurt and bring about the deaths of many yourself. I know when you wrap yourself in the word of God you rarely practice it. I know...

I am a citizen. I am equal.

When the day comes and those that have committed hate realize they do not protect themselves or their beliefs but instead hurt the very people in their communities and lives I will forgive you because our lives should be about love more than hate. When those axes ground to their handle are lain down I will weep tears of joy to wash away the pools of blood.

To those who may never learn this lesson I will feel sorry for you because your life was consumed by hate and fear. You missed a life of love and surety of ones self.  My heart will lay heavy that the fire of hate consumed you.

Whether it be this state, this nation, or this world we struggle so hard. Over and over we have to relearn the universal truths. People are people, love is love, and all life is sacred. If you can not know this in your heart, realize its love that creates lasting change in the world, then maybe you should consider the actions you take in life because every one of us is Human and those words, actions, and choices affects another person.

All the words and motivations voiced are false illusions. The purity of truth is how will you treat the person before you?

Will your legacy be love or hate? It's that simple.

Love is Never Wrong

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