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COMMENTARY: Listen to your hearts, not to the haters

Why it is that people hate so much? With all the riches this life has to offer, why is so much time and money spent on telling people who to hate? More to the point: Why do people listen to such things?

Just what is it about the LGBT community that frightens the straight community so? And what is it about the LGBT community that frightens the evangelical community so? I really don’t understand why there isn’t common ground to be found.

Why is it that the straight, evangelical folks don’t believe that the gay folks can believe in Jesus and live a spiritual life? All this hate and anger because of a few words written in a book? I don’t believe for a moment that Jesus was a gay-bashing preacher, so where does the gay-bashing come from?

I don’t understand the whole hatred thing. I don’t understand how my 30 year relationship with Susan has endangered the world as we know it. I don’t understand how a parent can love a child beyond all measure until the moment their child declares they are gay – and then, in a blink of an eye, that child no longer has a parent, a sibling, a family. I don’t understand how people who profess that they live their lives according to the teachings of Jesus can talk and act and vote with so much hate in their heart.

I don’t understand the folks who go to any college or university that only allows certain people to attend. In my mind, if you only surround yourself with people just like you, and learn only the things that fit into what you believe – then I have to wonder how you will ever adjust and grow and succeed in a world that certainly doesn’t fit into any mold.

How does one learn of other cultures, or religions, or politics or history if the only thing you are learning is what you already know? And how does one learn tolerance and understanding, and compassion when being educated in an environment that discriminates? I’m aware that there are universities and colleges where I would not be permitted to attend, but really, is it a place I would want to go? I think not.

I don’t understand how, when we all know of the inequities in the world, there are those who continue to do everything in their power to make said inequities almost impossible to overcome. We only seem to want to help people in the aftermath of floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, etc. I don’t believe the concept of helping people on a daily basis, just because it’s the humane thing to do, enters the conscience thought of most Americans. And certainly, this humane thought doesn’t enter the conscience mind of many politicians, who do have the power to make a difference. They don’t seem to want to make a difference that might work for the common good.

I don’t understand these folks who fight with all their might to stop abortion … and yet they support the death penalty and sending people to war. And if they knew the fetus was gay – would they still want the child to be born? And if we drop bombs and kill millions of innocent children – would those deaths be OK? How do these folks determine which life is worth saving? Is there some sort of litmus test for a life worth living? And who gets to make the rules?

I love this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”

Being gay in an angry straight world takes courage – listen to your heart – not your critics. Make peace with who you are and realize that life happens from the inside-out, not from the outside-in like the haters would like you to believe.

Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab," can be found HERE.)