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COMMENTARY: If you yell all the time, no one will listen

This is a crazy world we live in. People are quick to judge and quick to tell you exactly what is wrong with your life.

The gay community has fought for decades for fair and equal treatment under the law. We want to be treated with respect and have our voices be heard in a world than somehow seems to only hear what it considers to be normal - although what is normal is really up for debate.

After years of struggling we are finally having our gay voices being heard and our civil rights are ever so slowly coming to pass. Why then must the voices who seem to speak for the gay community believe that it's perfectly OK to start telling people where they can and cannot speak?

If Tim Tebow wants to speak at Liberty University, who are we to tell him otherwise? Do I agree with the anti-gay stance of Liberty University – of course I don’t – but it’s a private university and who am I to tell kids not to go there for an education or Tim Tebow not to speak there? It’s not for me to say – and certainly not for me to attack him for his faith.

If Tim Tebow is homophobic – well, that’s on Tim Tebow, not me or you or any of the folks who write and publish and speak about gay rights. Do they have a right to write and publish and speak how they feel about him speaking at Liberty University? Absolutely, as much right as Tim Tebow has to speak there or any other place he wants to speak.

Not everyone is going to like us and just accept us for who we are, and the more we tell people how they are supposed to act and vote and where they can speak and what they can write - the more they are going to think we are just radicals standing on corners preaching and holding placards about equal rights. They aren’t going to care – they are simply going to want us to shut up and go away.

Honestly – sometimes I just want us to shut up. So Tim Tebow is speaking at Liberty University. Who cares? The man is the second-string quarterback for the New York Jets – I see that as his own little bit of karma.

We (the gay community) want to be treated as equals – we want respect and dignity – we want our voices to be heard and mainly we just want to live our lives in peace with the people we love. We can’t want anything less for every other person of every other gender and religion, now can we? Wouldn’t that be just a bit hypocritical on our part?

The people who hate us – you will never change their hearts and minds by yelling at them or telling them where they can speak or what they can say or how they should feel. People are who they are. The bigger and better path is to simply live your life with dignity and know who you are – and know your life matters. Voting is essential – donate time and money when you can to people who can help – and never be less than who you are.

Tim Tebow can’t take anything away from you that you aren’t willing to part with. Know that in all things – it’s not so much about what you say as it is about how you say it.

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.