God is Love…
I grew up believing that gay men and women had a choice. That choice was to either accept that men and women were made and meant to be together and that marriage was a sacred bond between a man and a woman or they would be doomed to everlasting damnation.
I didn’t believe that men should have these “feelings of inappropriate love” towards other men and the same with women. I knew that if I could squelch my own personal crushes for boys in High School and Jr. High, that a gay man or woman could and should, do the same.
I trusted what my parents taught me was correct, because I thought true happiness started with a marriage between one man and one woman, in a sacred ceremony. I was so adamant about my stand on gay marriage that I lost touch with close friends who didn’t feel the same way I did.
I didn’t realize I had lost touch with so many friends due to my perspective on the matter. It was not until years later when I ran into an old friend from college who told me the way he felt over my rants in regards to the LGBT community. I was surprised and humbled over his admission and complete candor to my utter disregard to the way he may have felt, we were very good friends in college.
In order to restore a semblance of peace among my other friends that I was still in touch with, I stopped conveying what I felt was wrong. It was because I was beginning to realize that I may be the one who was in the wrong.
By this time I had finally moved to Las Vegas to be with my daughter’s father, I had fallen in love. And though I grew up also believing that I would never fall in love or even find someone who was a tad bit quirkier than I was, I did. This was one more perspective that changed as I got older.
In the years that I lived in Las Vegas, I met close friends and people who have changed my life. These friends that I still have today are some of the most thoughtful and kind people that I know. Knowing the details of their own relationships and the fact that all of the rights that would be afforded to my boyfriend and I, had we decided to get married were denied to them.
While in Vegas, I learned that my younger brother was also gay. He and I were so close while we were growing up. He was always so delicate, and I felt as though I needed to step in and protect him from the kids in our family and society at large because of his disposition.
I never wanted to admit to myself that he was gay, I didn’t really want to know. I thought if I just ignored what everyone we both knew said was “so obvious”, that I wouldn’t have to deal with it. My brother told me the same thing when he finally admitted to me that he is gay. He told me that he didn’t want to disappoint me because I was against gay marriage and that I thought everyone had a choice to be straight.
I adamantly told him that regardless of his sexual orientation, that he is and will always be my brother. But, it bothered me that he felt the way he did about my lack of concern. I also found out that my younger sister was also gay and that she never really wanted to share with me her ideas for fear of the same type of rejection.
I know that my siblings love me, and they know that I love them. I knew I was wrong. I knew it because I taught the principles that stated that “God/Heavenly Father, knows that some of us have those feelings of love for the same gender, but…they still have to fight it…because it’s wrong.”
It was so blatantly obvious to me that what I felt while I was growing up was inherently wrong. It is still so blatantly wrong to admit that if you believe in God and that God would purposely put us here to make us miserable. I cannot imagine a God that would give one man or woman those feelings and then send them to hell if they act upon those feelings. He gave me feelings for men, and I am able to find a man to marry and I’ll go heaven. The reasoning never made any sense to me. It still doesn’t.
I realized that my narrow view of love, was skewed to meet someone else’s perception of what is right in the eyes of a God who I still believe in. What has changed is the belief that if God is love, he loves all of us, and wants what is best for us. This is the God I know, he loves us, and is willing to accept that men and women who are LGBT should have the rights to raise a family in a marriage that completes them.
I now believe that my siblings and everyone in the LGBT community should be afforded the same rights that I will be afforded when I am married. I believe that God is love, and his love is unconditional. If our communities exercised the same unconditional love, we may not have such a hard time accepting another point of view. It took me losing friends and nearly losing sight of my love for my own family to understand that everyone should have the same rights. Everyone.
I believe that in this life, we only get one chance at happiness, and we can magnify this happiness when we allow everyone their right to choose their mate, and afford them the same rights straight married couples have now. It’s a simple solution to what our society has made a complex problem: unconditional love. I love my siblings regardless of their lifestyle. I want for them what I can have for myself, marriage: with all the advantages, drawbacks and blessings that come with that certificate.
I wanted to join Give A Damn, because I care, I Give MORE than A Damn. In my attempt to help even one other person realize that it is not our own personal views that should stand in the way of the way another views love and marriage. I don’t want to make it an excuse to hide behind the view that God says this or God says that…I know that’s not true, because God is love.
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