This I Believe

Sarah - Ft. Collins, Colorado
Entered on December 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: tolerance

I believe in love. I believe that love is just as real between a man and a woman as

it is between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. I believe in equality for

everyone. I believe in gay rights. I feel that no one has the power to tell an individual that

their love is not worthy. To me, that is criminal. I believe in acceptance.

My Uncle Russ is so funny. As a kid he goofed off in school, and I love hearing

all of his stories about the things he did. My uncle lives his life to the fullest every day. In

my opinion, he is the coolest guy I ever met. My uncle is also gay. My first reaction to

this comment is, “So what?” I grew up knowing this. Acceptance and tolerance are very important to my mother and she made sure to teach it to her children. So Uncle Russ

being homosexual meant little to me. In my mind, a man and a man loving each other

made just as much sense as a man and a women. I had assumed that everyone else saw the logic in my thinking. Boy was I wrong.

I believe a lot of people have some perverse idea of gay men. It is understandable; stereotypes make us feel secure. Categorizing people helps us to make sense of the world. It is a belief that I have heard many times: gay men are sexual predators. If they aren’t, then they ‘act like a woman,’ wearing feminine clothing and talking and acting in a way which isn’t ‘manly’ at all.

That might explain (but not excuse) the looks and comments I get from some

people when I tell them that my uncle is gay. An ugly look comes arcos their faces , and

they recoil slightly. “Really?” They say, “Oh.” And then mumble something and switch

subjects. Uncomfortable subject, I presume.

While it might bother other people to hear about my uncle’s marriage to another

man, it makes me smile. To see those two together is to see two people who are very in

love. In my opinion, love is love.

We live in a society where erotic and violent shows and movies are run of the mill.

Nobody gives them a passing glance. But people blush, giggle, and ‘eww’ at homosexual

couples. Why?

In America we value acceptance. People brag about how much improvement has been made since the days of Martin Luther King Jr. Improvement hasn’t been made;

we’ve just switched targets. The use of the word ‘gay’ as a put down as in ‘This homework is so gay’ is an example I hear almost everyday. My Uncle Russ hid the fact that he was gay for many years, afraid of people and their prejudices. Uncle Russ can’t be the only one. It makes me wonder how many men and women hide who they truly are because of people and their cruelty.

I can only wish my uncle and his husband the very best. Both of them, and everyone else for that matter, deserve love. To them: congratulations.

This I believe. I believe in acceptance. I believe in love. I believe in love in any form. This is what I believe.