I knew that already -- who doesnít? But the other night, I relearned the entire concept. The hard way.
I mentioned to my mother that I had started a gay rights page. She looked at me like Iíd sprouted one of those Teletubbie antannae, went all shrieky on me, told me that homosexuals had caused AIDS, told me sheíd never let my little brother go to a preschool class with a gay teacher, and then started right in on The Myth List. All the while assuring me she was just stating the facts.
Iíve seen prejudice before, against lots of things and people and by lots of things and people. But against my devoted cause, by my own mother -- I now can state factually for the first time that I know how you feel. Itís not much fun.
Itís funny. I never thought for a moment Iíd be so stunned if she disagreed with me. Weíve been adversarial for years, and Iíve pretty much gotten used to it. But then there are the surprises. I remember her from less bitter days as accepting of others, non-prejudiced. When I was a child, I played with a multi-racial group of friends and took no hostility for that. She was always teaching me color didnít matter; physical ability didnít matter; Iíve drawn on that early wisdom for a long time . . .
. . . just to have it collapse on me, like a house of cards subjected to one too many sneezes. The other year I dated a black guy. My dad (born in the 40ís) told me I might not want to start a serious relationship with him, as ďinterracial relationships could take some flak from Other People.Ē Other People, my @$$. It was his prejudice finally stepping into the picture; I donít know if he knew it.
And now my mother clonks me in the head with a slab of lies, half-truths and twisted facts. That just doesnít seem right. One of the things I most admired about her collapses before my eyes. Another one down and very few to go. How can someone like her wind up so small? She was never a bigot before.
Or at least she never seemed to be.
Bigotry slips between people, an invisible wall, and remains transparent until struck, whereupon it lights the blaze that burns bridges.
Itís hard to find things out like this. I shouldnít be complaining to you. If youíre reading this essay, youíre probably homosexual and went through worse when your parents found out. Or maybe youíre heterosexual, or maybe youíre a lucky person with understanding and openminded parents.
Iím trying not to think about what my mother would do if I actually were lesbian, but I canít help but wonder. I feel slightly ill at the notion. (Not of being queer; of my motherís reaction.)
My relationship with my mother is winding up in a dookie heap because I questioned 90% of everything. Some things, I now realize, I never really questioned before. (Use the Scientific Method; dammit, girl, the Scientific Method!) Now Iím sitting here, typing, and clonking myself in the head with a chunk of truth unknown.
Gay rights have been debated for years and it's about time that our country, a country of equal rights, takes this to heart and grants homosexuals equal rights. I am a sixteen year old lesbian who sees this as a debate with a definite answer. All homosexuals deserve the same rights as heterosexuals, just like blacks deserve the same status as whites, and everyone else in this world for that matter. This descriminating against homosexuals is based on prejudice - it's not based on some "moral standards" that our country sets. What is moral to one person is prejudice to another. I have no doubt that a resolution will come about sooner or later, but I think the sooner the better. It's unfair to deny homosexuals of any rights that heterosexuals have. I hear from peers and adults how gays shouldn't have "special rights" such as marriage. That outrages me because what makes it so "special" about a gay couple marrying in comparison to a straight couple? Absolutely nothing - that's right. Every homosexual on this earth should have the right to marry and we should be given the same benefits and equal treatment as heterosexuals. This country has a very unjust image of equal rights, as it has had for decades. It's these images that have to be changed for the better for future generations whom might one day welcome a world free of prejudice. NOTE: This was sent me by an unknown contributor, and I don't quite know whether it was intended as a submission or not, but it sure looks like it. If you know who wrote this, please contact me -- I sent an email back, but I haven't yet gotten a response.