My small existence in my small town just outside of Boston was sheltered enough that I figured everyone outside my family, my town, my state was raised the same way. At 13 years old, while walking with my oldest friend to the movie theater--a jeep wrangler drove by filled with hormone infested teenage boys. The jeep slowed down and a glass bottle was hurled in our direction while one of the cowardly passengers yelled: FAGGOT!!!!
My friend and I looked at each other and awkwardly pretended that the past 30 seconds didn't happen. I was filled with a mixture of confusion and anger: wait, what? ....this is MY friend next to me. If I would never try to assault you, why would you do the same to me or my friend? I can only imagine what he felt as the insult and object was directly aimed towards him. It was the first real instance of prejudice I had encountered; soon, I realized, that my friend walking next to me in a heated silence probably had endured this for much of his young life.
It's never crossed my mind to care about the sexuality of others. Even at a young age, I didn't see the big deal. Clearly sexuality is a highly sensitive topic-but-I've found that those that are most vocal about the abomination of two females or two males or transgender people openly caring for each other are those that are hiding behind the mask of religion and moral righteousness.
Kindness to others. I take that very seriously. Laws have been instituted (and some, thankfully, FINALLY repealed) telling my best friends that they are less. They are not equal. I have more rights than the friends I split Oreos with after school in 2nd grade. Nights spent giggling at sleep-overs as children. We laughed the same. We consumed the same oxygen. Yet because I am a woman, and I happen to have been born feeling a biological attraction to a man and not a woman, I can stay by my spouse's side in a hospital, and my friends cannot. What kind of fucked up bullshit is that?
I certainly respect people's opinions to disagree with me. It is something altogether different when people start voting for laws and political leaders that would instantly create two classes of humans in this country. Why is it such a big deal how people like to have sex? Why does such an intimate and loving act between people (and sometimes not intimate and not loving...but just straight up enjoyable) have any place to be discussed on a judicial level? What right does that piece of trash in pearls Michele Bachman have to do with anyone's sex life? Her DOMA Repeal reaction enraged me.
"This decision is one that is profound because the Supreme Court not only attacked our Constitution today, they not only attacked the equal protection rights of every citizen under our Constitution, they attacked something that they have no jurisdiction over whatsoever, the foundational unit of our society, which is marriage,"
Really? Wasn't less than 100 years ago that an amendment to our glorious and all binding Constitution gave YOU the right to have a say? Less than 100 years ago, you neanderthal, an amendment was created so that YOU could step up to a microphone and slander this country's ability to recognize the need for change.
We live in a country where opinions technically can be shared without fear of retribution...but it is still a country where openly gay mayoral candidates are murdered. Where teenagers jump off bridges for feeling shamed about their biological makeup.
Humans are animals, so what scares us often incites us to have carnal and visceral reactions. But we as a species are also able to have cognitive discourse. We don't just aim to survive on the base level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. We have the ability to strive for more, for better.
At the end of the three prayers my father and I would recite each night, we would ask God to watch over our friends and family and make sure they were happy and healthy. Because really, that is all that matters.