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COMMENTARY: My being gay is not my opinion – it’s my life

I’ve been asked numerous times why I write so much about gay issues. Why can’t I just let things go? Why can’t I just let others have their opinions? Why must I protest and tell people not to shop at certain stores? Why do I think my opinion is right?

To be clear; it’s not my opinion, it’s my life. I think if we all understood this, we would understand why it is I write about issues that affect my life.

Also – to be clear; I don’t think my opinion is right, I just believe that my life has as much meaning and deserves as much love, respect and dignity as the person who follows me around a room reading their Bible to me telling me I’m going to hell.

Just because I’m forever trying to educate people about how it feels to be gay doesn’t mean I think I’m trying to force my gayness on to you. What it means is that a straight person will have a different view of their life than I do, and if you don’t even bother to listen or educate yourself on how other people live, how can you possibly know that what happens in other people’s lives matters to the world at large?

I’ve been asked why I’m so hard on some people of faith, why do I feel the need to attack them, why can‘t I just let them be.

I would love nothing more than to just let them be, if they would simply do the same for me. Just let me be.

For some reason though, who I am doesn’t jive with what they believe, so in order to keep me in line – they spend millions and millions of dollars passing laws that prevent me from living my American Dream. Will I write about that? You bet I will, and I’ll be listing names of the people and the organizations that feel they have the right to say my life doesn’t matter.

To tell anyone they don’t matter, for any reason, is just wrong, and any religion that teaches you to hate and pass judgments on others is wrong. No exceptions. I don’t understand why more people don’t get this. The more we are divided, the more we lose as a people.

If you’re not offended because the Boy Scouts of America won’t let gay boys into their troops, you should be.

If you’re not offended that women are losing access to birth control – you should be.

If you’re not offended that United States Citizens are being denied their right to vote by the thousands – you should be.

If you’re not offended by Chick –Fil- A (a fast-food restaurant) giving money to a group known as Exodus International whose mission statement is: “Mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality,” you should be.

These things matter; not just to me, but to every single one of us. It shouldn’t be people thinking of ways to divide us, it should be people thinking of ways to unite as one open, giving, accepting society.

It’s hard enough just living from day-to-day sometimes. We all, regardless of faith, sex, and orientation have the daily struggles of life, death, illness, family, jobs, money … We don’t need hate, anger, bigotry, thrown into the mix.

Being straight isn’t an opinion – it’s a life. Being black isn’t an opinion – it’s a life. Being a Muslim isn’t an opinion – it’s a life.

Being gay isn’t my opinion – it’s my life.

(Editor's note: Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in a small town in Pennsylvania. "I moved to California in the early 1980s, met my partner Susan and knew she was the love of my life," Barb said. "Thing was -- I was married -- so was she. ... We're still together some 30 years later, minus the husbands, and I share the love of her four children -- Stacey and Shannon, who live in San Diego; Brendan, who lives in Grass Valley, Calif., and Todd, who lives in London. Though our children I have nine wonderful grandchildren and four great-grandchildren who fill our lives with such love and joy. I love to write and my camera goes wherever I go." Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab," can be found HERE.)