I received a very sad comment on my blog just now. It was from a man who claimed to be gay who said my work on GLBT issues proved I was gay. He said had proof he would release if I didn’t come out.
I’m very lucky to be at a church that would just shrug if it discovered I were gay, but I was sad for someone who thought that the only reason straight allies would work for his rights was if they were secretly gay. I am very lucky that if I were gay it would be safe for me to come out. My life wouldn’t change much, but many people are not so lucky.
This is his comment and my response”
(quoting from my blog) ” I soon began to see a correlation between the people obsessed with other people’s sexual behavior, and the people who could not handle their own.”
That’s YOU, my friend. I think you could help all of us…why won’t you? Please, Jim–you know the truth. Please don’t make me prove it. Please. Now is the time for us. You must know that most of us know it by now anyway. Don’t you truly believe there’s nothing to be ashamed of? And you must know that i have the means to prove it. Hello, smart phone. I don’t want to have to be this way but if you won’t come out for us what am I to do?
This is my response:
“I agree there would be nothing to be ashamed if I were gay, the only problem is I’m not. So we both know you’re bluffing on the “evidence.” I’m just sad that you think the only reason a straight person would stand up for you is if he or she had ulterior motives. There are tens of thousands of us straight allies that are working on your behalf. We’re not fixated on your sexuality, we’re fixated on the human rights you’ve been denied. I’ve done a funeral for a gay man beaten to death in a hate crime, I’ve cried with same-gender mothers who lost their children to abusive ex-husbands because of homophobia. I’ve spoken with teenagers considering suicide because they had been made to feel ashamed of who they are. I’ve seen peaceful gay activist beaten by the Houston police. If that doesn’t move one to activism, nothing would.
I could care less if your enemies think I’m gay, but it makes me sad to think how alone you must feel believing that you have no friends outside of the GLBT community. We are legion”
I am also not gay, but I also support the path of equality. Where I live, you can be labeled as gay simply for not hating anyone who is different. Or for being intelligent. Or liking opera. If I were gay, I would have lots of support and no shame. I am straight and I fight for rights.
This has been nice. I hope our GLBT friends hear this all this support for their full rights. As I said, I am not rare at all. There are allies all over the place. And our numbers and committment grows every day.
I can not thank you enough for being there as a friend, allie and a real man of God. Inclusion is the word of the day for you everyday. Without heterosexual allies we would have never came this far in our battle for equality. You are about doing the right thing and I thank you for that. Don’t feel bad I have been mistaken for being heterosexual before. lol
It has been my honor friend. I am the one who should be grateful. All I have done is give others their due. My GLBT friends have freed me from my own prejudice and given me hidden parts of my own heart.
Hello, Jim. I remember 20 years ago when you and i and my husband-to-be had lunch together at Kirby Lane restaurant. You’d brought a book, maybe in case you needed to wait for us. The book was about gay life, sorrows and societal issues. I asked what you were reading, You looked up and sighed, and said, “I’d hoped i’d have been remarried before i needed to start to work on this.”
Apparently, God called you to work before your hoped for conditions were met. And so, i know that you have been seeking equity, justice and acceptance, in Christ’s name for our gay brothers and sisters for at least 20 years.
Also, right after we’d completed our vows (you knew i’d been married twice before), you said, “I think this one’s gonna stick.” And it did.
I admire you and i appreciate you. You have stood with us, blessing us as my husband and i gave our vows in 1992. You have been there when Mother and then Daddy died, in 1996 and in 2005.
I admire you and i appreciate you and i thank you.
Gratefully, Linda Huie Wise
I had forgotten that. When the issue started showing up on my radar, I had been divorced for a few years. I guessed (rightly) that working on this issue as a single male in my middle years I would be written off as closeted myself. I think that was my own homophobia. What I eventually realized that, at least in my case, homophobia wasn’t fear of gays, but fear that I would be thought gay if I did not join in rejecting them. What happiness to leave that fear behind.
You have had quite a journey. I’m glad it has turned out so well. Thank you for letting me share some of it, and for sharing in mine as well.