October 11th is National Coming Out Day. Today as part of that observance my daughter and I participated in a March for Gay Rights in Memphis. It was an historic event in this city. Never before has the GLBT community and their straight allies come together in these numbers to protest and to demand equality. And make no mistake Christian readers...it IS about equality.
Most of us in the straight Christian world have no idea what life in the GLBT community is like. We don't get what it is to be a minority, despite our incessant whining about how persecuted we are because people want to wish us "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". We don't comprehend what it is like to live in fear day after day in our places of employment. We don't contend with hatred day in and day out simply because of who we love. We don't have to consider anything other than age of consent when the issue of whether we're legally able to marry comes up. No, that's not even right...the issue of whether or not we're legally able to marry simply doesn't come up. Its just a given. So much of what we take for granted is denied our GLBT brothers and sisters.
March organizer Michael Hlidebrand told WMC news "Nobody knows you can be fired for being gay. They don't know about all of the rights we don't have that straight people have." And we don't and worse we don't care. We stick so dogmatically to the one note song that being Gay is a sin that we cannot hear the chorus of voices around us asking, "So what? Even if it is what does that have to do with denying us our HUMAN rights?"
Because I believe that marrying the person you love is a HUMAN right. I believe that the ability to live openly without fear is a HUMAN right. I believe that the ability to be who you are at your place of employment is a HUMAN right. For so long we've followed the hateful, hate-filled rhetoric of the so called "Religious Right" that we have swallowed the lie that the "Gay Agenda" is pushing for "Special Rights". It is simply not true. Our GLBT brothers and sisters want and deserve the same rights that we in the straight community take for granted as our birthright.
Today I am "Coming Out" and standing alongside my GLBT brothers and sisters and saying: Enough!
WHAT do we want?
What do we WANT?
What do WE want?
Separate is NOT equal and HATE is NOT a Family Value.
I am a straight ally and I love my GLBT brothers and sisters. Equality NOW!