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COMMENTARY: “Hey world, I am what I am”

Today is Tuesday, March 26, and by the time most of you read this, the Supreme Court justices will have heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which is a voter-approved initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California.

On Wednesday, March 27, the justices will hear oral arguments on the federal Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage in the United States of America as between one man and one woman.

Before any of these decisions even take place -– by the end of June -- I want to remind each and every one of us who we are.

We are human beings deserving of love and happiness. No religion, no government can give you that –- or -– take that away from you. They can only take away what you are willing to give them. Remember that -– and give nothing away.

It took me 50 years to gather the strength and courage to accept myself for who I am, and no government, no religion and, most certainly, no individual will ever take that away from me. Pass any law, vote on any referendum, pray all the prayers –- I’ll still be gay.

There will always be those “proud” Americans who will consider lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered citizens to be the “other.” These people don’t want to know who we are, or what we deal with, or how we struggle just to be heard. They think we are disgusting, vile, dirty, loud, over-sexed and deserving of nothing.

Many of these people are the Bible-thumping folks who really follow no loving God that any of us know, and instead follow the God of ignorance, bigotry, hatred and intolerance. These are the people who hate change – and will never let the thought of acceptance enter what is their belief system. But change is coming -– too slowly for some –- too fast for others -– but change is most surely coming.

No matter what the Supreme Court justices decide, your life matters. Nothing is more important than each of us knowing we have a place in this world. No law, no decision, no person can make your life less important than it is, unless you allow them to do so. Again, remember that and give away nothing.
Stand tall and know who you are. Don’t let your life be defined by whatever people may say, what religion may say, what your own government may say. It matters not. What matters is that you know who you are, and you know that your life has meaning.

"Life's not worth a damn 'til you can say, Hey world, I am what I am!"

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.