Before I get started, let me mention a couple of other things going on today. First of all, I’m part of the Mystic Month of May Blog Hop, brought to you by the Colorado Romance Writers. Today’s stop is here. I’m also a guest today over at Riverina Romantics, which happens to be another stop on the Hop Against Homophobia. I’m giving away a book over there too, so please stop by. For a list of all the stops on the Hop Against Homophobia, click the rainbow badge above. There are nearly 250 participating blogs, all offering prizes. Now, onward…
A couple of years ago my husband and I were out for dinner with our daughter (who was about five at the time) and my parents. My daughter told us how her friends at school liked to chase the boys and kiss them. My mom said, “Don’t you kiss the boys?” My daughter said, “No, I don’t want to kiss boys. The only person I want to kiss is Courtney.”
I’ll never forget the look on my mother’s face, and the way she started to say, “No.” Even after my husband and I cut her off and told our daughter, “That’s fine,” my mother kept trying to tell my daughter how girls should only kiss boys. Luckily, my kiddo was too busy eating her French fries to pay much attention to her grandmother.
Much more recently, I introduced my daughter (now seven) to my female massage therapist and her wife. Afterward, my daughter said to me, “A boy can marry a girl, and a boy can marry a boy, but I didn’t know a girl could marry a girl.” I didn’t go into the legal complications of same-sex marriage. Instead, I simply said, “They love each other. They should be able to get married, right?” She said, “So I can marry a girl when I grow up?” I told her, “If that’s what you want.” (I sure as hell hope it’s legal by then!) She said, “Okay,” and promptly went on to talk about things she considered to be far more important, like whether or not we could stop for ice cream on the way home.
My point here is not to say that my daughter is obviously gay. She’s only a kid, and who knows what will happen with the advent of puberty. My point is this: in her mind, there’s nothing strange or confusing about it at all. Boys can love boys. Girls can love girls. And if people are in love, they can get married. It’s that simple.
I guess I’d just like it to be that way. Why can’t everybody accept this beautifully simple concept with the calm levelheadedness of my kid?
But of course, some people can’t. Some people are threatened by something as simple as two people being in love. And that hatred destroys lives. If at any point anybody should doubt the power of homophobia, we need only be reminded of Matthew Shepard.
If there’s anybody reading this who doesn’t know the story of Matthew Shepard, please go read it. I live in Fort Collins. Our local hospital is where they brought Matthew after he was found bloody and beaten and tied to that fence in Wyoming. Of course, we know now the details of what happened to him, but what I really remember about that day was the confusion. I can remember feeling like my town was reeling, horrified, wondering how such an awful thing could have happened in our own backyard. I remember feeling like all of Fort Collins was pulling for him.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough.
It seems like just about every week, there’s a new story of how homophobia has taken a new victim. One need only read the news to see how bad things can be. I don’t know how to fix it, other than to say, it’s time for it to stop. It’s time for people to stand up for what’s right.
I know there are a lot of contests going on today. I know there are lots of things being given away. What I’d like to ask you is, what can you give? And to that end, I’ve decided to do this:
- Donate $5 (or more) to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. You’ll received a confirmation email from them.
- Forward that email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (The email doesn’t contain any of your personal payment information, I promise.)
- For every $5 you donate, you’ll be entered in my drawing. That means if you donate $20, you’ll be entered four times.
- The contest ends on May 20th. At that point, I will draw a winner.
- The winner will receive a Matthew Shepard Pendant (it’s also available on a pink cord), as well as 2 ebooks of their choice from my backlist. I’ll announce the winner here on my blog, and I’ll notify them via email.
Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for donating. Thank you for standing up for what’s right.