I met my best friend when I was 1 year and 361 days old. My best friend is loving, funny, caring, smart, thoughtful, loyal and a great runner. He is taller and much more attractive than me. We have had our differences, but don’t all brothers and sisters?
He has been gay since the first day we met. People wondered, they assumed, they questioned, but I never understood why. It never mattered to us and it should not matter to anyone else. But for some reason, it does, and today, we were all horrifically reminded of that fact.
I normally put more time into a blog post. I rewrite, I edit, I revise. But today’s events make it clear that time is of the essence.
Perfect should not be the enemy of good when there is still much work to be done, and the message is timely and important. While words are insufficient, I feel compelled to speak up for him. He has stood up for and protected me. I must return the favor as we all must return the favor to the homosexuals (and all individuals of the LGBTQ community) we love in our lives.
There are presumably many factors that contributed to this morning’s unthinkable events. Whether gun control, religion, terroristic states, homophobia and / or mental illness. All have been placed on the table since we awoke to this heinous news.
I cannot speak to many of these factors as I do not pretend to be well-versed or fully-informed to their nuances and complexities. But I am well-versed in one: loving a homosexual. And with the persecution that still exists – you might not even know that you are loving a homosexual too.
The men at Pulse were our brothers, our uncles, our fathers, our grandfathers, our cousins, our teachers, our co-workers, our teammates and our friends. Homosexuals are not a threat to anyone. To anyone’s way of life or anyone’s being. They are not to be feared by anyone.
Homosexuals are humans, as we all are, simply trying to live life, while seeking happiness and fulfillment. All humans have different definitions of happiness. For the most part, as long as someone’s vision of happiness does not threaten physical or mental harm – it does not matter if we understand it. We accept it and respect it.
More than 20 years ago, I toured the Holocaust museum in D.C. Since the visit the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller have been burned to my memory:
First they came for the Socialists,
and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade
Unionists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and
I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was not one left to speak for me.
These words found me again today. We are all responsible for speaking for each other. We must speak for each other and we must love for each other. Love and Tolerance and Protecting our brothers and neighbors is a responsibility we all bear.
Because in the end, the message, which is vital to the protection of our loved ones, is simple: we all must speak love, show love and be love. Tolerance and love for all differences is now.