I have been pretty much out of the closet for twenty-five years. I have rarely kept my mouth shut on the subject, including a dark evening where I could very well have died for admitting who I am and what I am.
What I found was a slowly growing acceptance that amazed me and only encouraged me to live my life outwardly and proudly. I would walk through a mall holding a boyfriend’s hand years and years ago. His mother asked if it was something we should be doing. “What if children start asking questions?”
And that was really one of the main reasons I was holding hands with that boyfriend (long gone). “Let them ask questions,” I said. For what about that kid who knew he was different and was afraid and maybe even hated himself (as I once did). What if he saw the two of us? Maybe we changed lives. Maybe some boy saw us and his heart sped up and tears of gratitude welled in his eyes and he thought, I’m not the only one! Look at them!
None of us ever know what lives we touch every single day. Surely a reason for us to always be our best?
I was listening once to a gay activist, I don’t know who is was now. It very well might have been Harvey Milk. Someone asked him what the everyday man could do to help with gay liberation. His answer was to be out. People needed to see that there was nothing to be afraid of. We were just regular people.
As the years have passed I’ve seen acceptance grow and grow and grow and I am sure it was because of people taking that activist’s advise. More and more people seeing that their brother is gay, their neighbor is lesbian. Their dog walker and their teacher and their doctor and a sports star and that police officer and the college student who mows their lawn and their favorite actor.
I have seen wondrous things happening in the world. Things I never thought would happen in my life time.
Gay marriage is a huge one. Why just this past Monday a judge in South Dakota overthrew a same sex marriage ban. There are thirty six states where same sex couples can marry! And that is not including South Dakota, where there is a stay (that will surely fall very soon, as with other states). It appears as if four couples will hear their cases before the Supreme Court of the United States and that will of course seal the deal, especially since they overthrew DOMA.
I didn’t think this was going to happen in my lifetime, and here I am married to a man! Legally married.
So I hear the people talking about the horrors of what is happening to the GLBT community. What is going on in Africa and in Russia. And yes, it’s bad. I don’t close my eyes to it. But it wasn’t that long ago that gays could be arrested in the United States–and were.
We see what we are looking for. We can wring our hands about the horrible things happening to the GLBT community. Or we can applaud the good. I choose the later. I believe we manifest what we focus on.
This week I saw something else. Tiffany & Company, one of the most renowned jewelers, is now endorsing gay marriage! And instead of protests? Overwhelming support.
I know it is sad that there are those that surely see all of this as the final signs of the coming of the Beast. But I’m sure that is how they felt during emancipation or when women were given the right to vote.
Because I’m not only talking about the growing acceptance of gays and lesbians. It is far more than that. The world is waking up. Love grows and grows and grows. That is what I chose to focus on. Why last Sunday night Transparent, the television show about transgendered people, won two major awards at the Golden Globes.
How wondrous! How wonderful!
I am grateful for the growing acceptance in the world.
This is not about the coming of the Beast. It is the return of Christ. For doesn’t He come again every single time eyes and hearts open to the Christ Nature?
Photograph by Peter Lindbergh, for the Ogilvy & Mather agency.