I really cannot recall the first time I realized that one of my friends was gay. I know I was still in high school. Coming of age in the 70's was truly a different time than now. The confluence of the end of the war in Vietnam, the blooming and booming drug culture and the continuing fallout from the civil rights movement made for interesting times.
Looking back, I think that the area of human sexuality has been the slowest to change in terms of understanding and acceptance.
I can remember the first time I spoke up for a gay friend. I overheard my mother talking about the 'issue' of homosexuality on the telephone. When her conversation was over I said something to this effect :
I cannot believe you would sit there, a professing Christian, and presume to judge a person without knowing them, trying to understand them! Can you imagine how it must feel, knowing that part of the very thing that makes you an individual is despised by society to such an extent? Being a homosexual is not something he chose. It is a part of who he is, like the color of his eyes or the way he has curly brown hair. He is a kind and talented and loving person. And being gay is just another part of all that make him who he is.
My mother, now 79, will now speak up for gays. I do not think it is because of what I said. I think it is because she came to love, as a son, one of my friends prior to knowing he was gay.
I read this on NPR earlier today threats-and-lies-and-who-im-supposed-to-be and remembered how she was able to accept him, and later more and more people. Not in spite of their differences but because of who they are. And I wonder how could anyone .... well, you know.
I have friends who are gay. I have friends who are bisexual. I have friends who are straight. Their sexuality is not a deciding factor in whether or not I love them. Why does it have to matter?
That is all.
Why does it have to matter?