Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gay Old Times

A Facebook friend brought my attention to this story: Constance McMillen, the openly gay Mississippi teen who was figuratively gang-raped by her school district and classmates back in March, "was asked to be grand marshal in New York City's Pride March, said Arthur Finn, co-chair of Heritage of Pride, which organizes the march and other related events."

I don't use that kind of language very often, but I've been fairly open about the fact that, while I would never have considered violence against gays, I was pretty homophobic and disgusted by them in my younger years. And 30 years later, I'm still ashamed of that. I'm pretty introspective, but it took me a while to realize that it was a reaction to fear. However, I had no idea what I was afraid of. When I made that leap, in a lot of ways, I got over it. At the same time, the realization that I was excluding real human beings from membership in "my club" raised some real regrets with respect to the ways I have treated or reacted to others. Shame and regret accomplish nothing in and of themselves, and I have slowly learned that the sexual lives of others are not only not my business, but have no business even crossing my mind. And seeing and hearing accounts of valued friends having to fight to be treated in the same way others expect to be treated deeply angers me.

The banner over on the right side of my blog, which has been there since pretty early on, "This blog supports gay marriage," has nothing to do with my own desires- I have no interest in getting married, gay, straight, or otherwise- and everything to do with my wish that any of my friends can live as they please, with the same societal blessings and the same legal rights and protections as anyone else. Just as I do. And face it, my life choice- and it is my choice- to be solitary is far less common, and in a real way, much less "natural," than homosexuality, which I am convinced is not a choice.

So it was with pleasure that I learned that Ms. McMillen had not only been honored with the grand marshal title, but had also been presented with a $30,000 scholarship during an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneris Show. Good on ya, Constance! As my FB friend commented, "I think her car should have a big sign that says "Suck it, Itawamba High!"

In other news, I have no idea who makes the decisions on what will adorn the Space Needle in Seattle...
...but I thought this was pretty darned classy. Good on ya, Seattle! (Hat tip to The Daily What)

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