It’s been almost a year since I’ve started this blog journey. In that time, I’ve seen so much good in people. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen a lack of understanding from many amendment supporters. In today’s guest post, one of my closest friends shares her thoughts on that one simple word, understanding.
1. mental process of a person who comprehends; comprehension; personal interpretation: My understanding of the word does not agree with yours.
2. intellectual faculties; intelligence; mind: a quick understanding.
3. superior power of discernment; enlightened intelligence: With her keen understanding she should have become a leader.
4. knowledge of or familiarity with a particular thing; skill in dealing with or handling something: an understanding of accounting practice.
5. a state of cooperative or mutually tolerant relations between people: To him, understanding and goodwill were the supreme virtues.
I don’t know when I first heard the term “gay,” but if you look up the term in Webster’s, it’s actually not such a bad word. However, whenever I heard the term as a child and young adult, I pictured someone that I’d have nothing in common with. Running into a gay person was right up there on my list of things to avoid along with running into an axe murderer. Flash forward a few years… Who would have thought one of my closest and best friends would be gay? Or how much we’d have in common?
Before coming to Minneapolis to work, I had only ever known one gay person. I’ve been here for over 12 years and now I know more than I can name. And do you know what? They are normal people!! They come in all shapes and sizes (although most of the guys I know wear smaller jeans than me :)). They are human beings and they have as much in common with you and I as they have differences.
I’m not here to change your mind about what you think is right or wrong. I’m here to challenge you to listen, learn and truly understand before jumping to conclusions. Do you know someone who is gay? Have you heard their story? Better yet, ask them if they’d rather be straight if given the choice. I can guarantee you most would rather not be on this road.
I know one thing for certain. I am a better person because I know Mark. He has a big heart, incredible work ethic, he pushes me to take risks and he finds ways to build my confidence. The best thing about him? He accepts me just the way I am, so it’s the least I can do to accept him for who he is and understand the courage it took to not be ashamed.
I consider myself very blessed to be surrounded by a group of friends that respect and understand me. We may not always agree on all things, but when it comes to something as core as equality, they’ve stood by me through all of this.
To Dee Dee, thank you for the courage to write this post. For everyone out there that wonders whether something as simple as telling your story and letting people know the real you can make a difference, tuck this one away as a reminder.
And to Dee Dee, thank you for your friendship and advocacy. They mean the world to me.