When I was 14, I lived in a small town in NC, where I dared to publicly state that gay people deserved equal rights as everyone else. (This was the year of the signing of DADT and Ellen coming out.) I’ve mentioned that I was a target (I won’t say “victim”) of bullies in this blog, but this act was the catalyst that seemed to give everyone a blind eye to turn when those ongoing antagonists now launched angry, sometimes violent, attacks. Word got out around our school that I was the “freak lesbian”; my siblings were harassed for having a queer sister; a minister at a church across the street used my deviance as fodder for a sermon about Evil infiltrating the minds of the town’s youth; teachers and friends stopped sticking up for me; my parents remained silent on the issue, only telling me to “tell [my] little friends to stop toilet-papering our house” after the second or third time it happened.
I felt alone. Demoralized. Belittled. Like nothing, actually. (This was, coincidentally, around the time my depression/anxiety kicked up.)
And yet, somehow, in my still-budding mind, I knew that what I was saying (because, you know me; I continued to say that shit. A lot.) was right. I knew it in my heart.
I still know it in my heart these 15 years later. But today I am tired. Today I am resentful and scared of my neighbors. Today I want to hide away from people and not let them hurt me anymore because of their own fearful, brainwashed awfulness. Today I cannot stop crying.
I can’t be enraged anymore because I don’t have the energy.
I can’t be hateful to anyone because I’m exhausted with hatred.
I can’t be part of this discussion to fight back anymore because I am depleted.
Me and my inner-14-year-old need some time to hold each other and heal. We need to cry and cry and cry about the way people are, the way religion makes them crazy, the way we cannot reason with fanaticism, even when it’s staring back at us from family members. We need to sit quietly and remind each other that we’ll be okay. We need to remember how many times Love has pulled us out of our darkest moments and let that Love seep back into our Selves a little bit before we try to hurl ourselves back into the game. We need to heal again.
So, no; I’m not going to pontificate about Amendment One. I’m not going to say anything that everyone with a soul and a brain is saying over and over. I’m not going to engage in redundant anger-mongering debate about how ludicrous and inherently evil this all is. I know all that already. I don’t need to feed it.
I need to take care of myself and my heart today. I need to stop crying and lamenting this current situation. I need to forgive and return to acting through Love. This is the only way I’m going to have the strength to get back to working for Love tomorrow.
“We cannot break into anyone’s heart with our fists.” – Halcyon
”When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall – think of it, ALWAYS.” –Mahatma Gandhi