Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Open Letter to Family & Friends

I wrote this letter a month or so ago with the intent on publishing it here on my FB page. I waited because I really didn't know if I had the nerve to do it and deal with the backlash from some. But I can no longer wait. So, for those of you that will be shocked by what is in the letter I can only hope that you will be understanding and supporting but if not then so be it. Nothing about me has changed, just you didn't know. I fully expect some of my FB friends to 'delete' me - that is fine...but don't be a coward and just remove my name and not say anything...tell me why! it goes!

We have all read the headlines. Stock Market crash; people losing their savings; unemployment at numbers not seen in decades; foreclosures at an all-time high; food shelves unable to keep up with growing demand. So, one might think that there are many citizens and organizations that could use some help right now. But what do the “religious organizations” think is the best way to spend their energy and money? They believe that it is best spent (the national organization for marriage will spend $1.5 Million) on trying to scare people into thinking the world will come to an end if two citizens (of the same sex) that are in a committed, loving relationship are treated “equal under the law”. I believe that these organizations, religious and otherwise, are free to do, say and spend how they wish. However, I am no longer going to sit back and remain silent while those (some of who are in there second or third marriage) speak with smug-self satisfaction about the meaninglessness of the committed relationships of myself, my friends and others.

I want to thank those organizations (national marriage organization, Americans for truth) for finally pushing me over the edge. I have long believed that I am not to sit in judgment of others and that EVERYONE should be treated EQUAL in the eyes of the law. I can no longer tolerate those that think it is their “religious right” to discriminate and treat others different. If you feel the same way that I do but continue to support or help fund ANY organization that supports or funds the groups that try to vilify gay citizens -then you too must think I am the monster they try to paint me out to be. If you feel the way that I do but don’t speak out when someone tells a joke or pokes fun of someone that is gay –then you must think it is okay to attack me for who I am.

Growing up raised by my grandmother in a small town in southwest Iowa, I was taught the values that make me who I am today. I was taught that you should always be yourself, and speak the truth and to stand up for the things you believe in(often times despite the ridicule or torment that this can bring in a small town) But, most of all my grandmother taught me to love unconditionally.

Not everyone is going to agree with me and this may cost me friends or contact with some family members. However, the stakes are too high for me to remain silent or to walk a tightrope so that I can maintain those “friendships”. I am who I am and if you cannot or will not accept that –then I don’t have time for you in my life anyway.

Now is the time for everyone that believes in the words “all men are created equal”; Equality Under the Law” to stand up, join forces and combat the lies of those that would attack any gay citizen for being who they are. Now is the time for those that are still not out to friends, family, co-workers to come out and let it be known that we are no different than those that we live next to, work next to and even sit next to in church. It is not enough to merely stay inside your “circle of accepting friends” and complain about those that attack who you are. We can not expect others to ‘accept us” if we are unwilling to accept ourselves. History belongs to those that get involved. With the events of the past few months on our side, we need to seize the moment and keep the momentum moving forward and hold accountable those that will make promises seeking our money and vote then turn a deaf ear to us when we need them the most!

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