I recently heard someone describe the change in their understanding of what homosexual rights should and shouldn't be as coming out of a cave and into the light. He and I both grew up in the Presbyterian Church and we both grew up thinking we didn't know any gay people or as he put it "I grew up not knowing I knew gay people."
My senior year in high school tragedy struck and I learned that not only did I know a gay man, but he was murdered for it. He was our Director of Music at the church and had been very involved in my life and my family's life. The church basically handled it by not handling it and I still have friends from that era who have not stepped into a church since because of the way the youth were pushed aside and questions were not answered.
This was also when I was told that AIDS was punishment on gay people.
Then I went to college and played on the women's softball team. I was still a bit naive as I had to be told that two of my teammates were dating. How did the person who was telling me know? "Because their beds are pushed together!"
Yes. Still naive.
But the thing was I liked my teammates. And those particular two are STILL together... how many of the rest of the college sweethearts on the planet can say that?
I found that as people would tell me that other people were gay I more and more just didn't care and furthermore did not understand why that made a difference. There was one girl on another team who hit on me... I didn't like her, not because she was gay but because she was rude!
Of course, I played on the women's softball team, I had short hair, I loved football... this meant I had to be gay too. And I realized that the only difference between 'them' and me was that I was attracted to men, they were attracted to (in this case) women. What was the big deal?
I don't care.
But I think I am ready to take one more step beyond 'I don't care.'
I am a very visual person and sometimes - okay a lot - I don't get things until I see them. While away on one of my recent trips I watched a gay man rock a baby to sleep and my soul was convicted. I cried then, I cried later... there are tears in my eyes now.
Why are we keeping people who love each other apart?
Why are we keeping people who feel called to be parents away from children who so desperately could use their love and care?
Why are we using phrases like 'sanctity of marriage' while heterosexual people are abusing the privilege left and right.
And we are doing it all in the name of our Lord and Savior?
That CAN'T be good.
And so slowly I find myself moving from 'I don't care' and 'don't ask, don't tell' to 'How can I make a difference'?
I am out of the cave, into the light and trying to figure out which way to turn in order to make an impact.