This song is out recently and I finally had a chance to really listen to it. I’ll be honest that it brought me to sobs because of it being a subject that is close to home. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mINGKrtG3iw )
There is a lot of talk about this generation being more open and accepting and the discriminations that we all faced growing up being largely a thing of the past. The facts are that this isn’t all that true. While these issues have gotten better with every generation we still have a ways to go. The horrendous facts are that kids do hide who they are, they are afraid to be who they really are and sometimes they make choices to not be here at all rather than live with who they are.
We, all of us, whether you’re the up and coming generation – just graduated, about to graduate… whether you’re the parents or the grandparents or the friends…we all have to not only sit back and think that people can be who they are… we have to *show* that it’s ok…
I’m talking about not only sexual orientation but gender identity and the whole realm that those encompass. Growing up is a gauntlet of emotions and trying to figure out where you fit. If you don’t fit inside your own mind because your mind has been shaped to reject and shame who you are – it’s hell.
“that’s gay” “faggot” “queer”… used to indicate a derogatory insinuation… are these ok? Simple, they’re not. Think about the 16 year old boy who hates himself for having sexual feelings for another boy or the 15 year old girl who can’t stand her body because it feels “wrong” when you toss those terms about. How would you feel in their shoes to hear how you identify being used to insult?
I was talking with my younger son a few months ago and it was during Pride weekend. On the radio they were playing the top 100 songs “in no particular order – cause who says a countdown has to be straight?”… He asked what “straight” meant because the sentence didn’t make sense to him. So I explained how the term straight is used usually to describe when 2 people of opposite genders love each other and are close to each other. I then explained (as best I could to a 9 year old) the terms gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered etc… It was a long conversation lol! He asked lots of questions and some were very pointed about same sex couples. He asked why a man and another man couldn’t marry each other if they loved each other… he asked how someone knows if they’re gay or straight…questions that I tried my best to answer.
The most amazing question he asked was simple though… “Why do they have to call it different things? Love is just love. Whether it’s 2 boys or 2 girls, it’s still just love. It’s not gay love or lesbian love or straight love. It’s just love”
Please make it just that simple.