|Un cafe? Un pernod, peut-etre?|
|Hey There, Neighbor! Hi, I'm the person who lives down the street. I'm the one who always waves hello, occasionally we talk about kids, lawns, home improvements or how outrageous taxes are. I'm a mature professional person who lives and works in our community. I'm working to maintain a reasonable standard of living for myself, my child, and our community. We get up in the morning, my child gets on the schools bus and I go to work. In our spare time we go camping, we bake cookies, we watch TV, we read, we celebrate holidays, we go to church, just like your family.
So what's the big deal? There isn't any, I'm just like you with one possibly one exception. I'm gay. I just wanted you to know that I'm really not very different from you. I don't want to change your lifestyle and I'm no threat to your way of life because I have the same goals and dreams. There are many people like me, leading quiet productive lives on our community. We won't lead parades and we won't carry banners. We'll just quietly go about our lives and try to soften the attitudes of our society. You just might have a relative who is gay, maybe you don't know about him. It's possible, considering that between seven and ten percent of the population is gay. Maybe next time you'll avoid making a joke or sarcastic remark when you see someone who you think is gay or find out one of your co-workers happens to be gay. This person could very easily be someone you care about but just didn't tell you because he or she feared your reaction. If by chance your grown child comes to you and says, "Mom, dad, there's something I'd like to tell you about myself. I'm gay," I hope you'll accept him or her with love and compassion. Nothing more can be more devastating than to be rejected by your parents for something you can't change. Being gay doesn't change a person, it is simply a part of what makes that person who he or she is.
The federal government says I'm a single head of household. That's true, because I'm not allowed to marry the person I'm in love with and have chosen to spend the rest of my life with. We've put our life together on hold until our children have grown and gone their own ways. Not because we are ashamed of who we are but so our children won't have to face the ugly prejudices of our society. To my straight friends who know, again, I must say, "thank you for not caring." Your acceptance and support had made my life easier and happier. We only go through this life once; wouldn't it be much nicer of we could all accept the differences between people and realize those differences aren't so tremendous after all? Isn't that what we would like our children to learn?
Your neighbor, or your colleague, or your daughter, or your mother, or your sister, or your cousin, or your aunt.
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