My parents once told me about a conversation amongst their friends that took place when I was about eleven. They all had daughters of the same age, about 8 and 11. The conversation turned to the future and dating. My parents said they didn’t care who my sister or I dated, regardless of race or sex, they would just want us to be happy. Joking but serious, some of their friends told them they just might be too liberal for them.
Too liberal for wishing their children a lifetime of happiness? I still don’t get it.
While my sister and I didn’t date women, we grew up knowing we wouldn’t be loved any less if we did. (As for the boys we dated? It didn’t matter the color of their skin, their faith or what their parents did for a living. And I thank my parents for never making us think that any of those things mattered.)
Today, October 20th, is Spirit Day, a day to stand united in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens. Wearing purple, we unite against bullying. Stand together and say there is nothing “too liberal” about supporting equal rights and equal respect for all. I don’t own any purple clothing, so I opted for a purple pedicure (it is still sandal weather in the eternal summer we’re having here).
People talk about growing up sheltered and going out into the world and discovering diversity. Embracing it. But sometimes it’s the opposite. And I think that learning about prejudice just might be more frightening than unlearning it.
I have a large family, and an even larger extended one that is as close as any one in our family tree. And within this great big group of people, I grew up knowing that it didn’t matter in who people loved, who they spent their lives with or how they raised their children. I guess, in my own way, I was sheltered, too.
And it made me realize how lucky I am to call my family my own. Two men, two women, a man and a woman – a couple is a couple. Families are families. Love is love. And that’s what it should be. xo a.
And now five great things someone else said about equality and human rights:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.. – Edmund Burke
Please use your freedom to promote ours. –Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese Democracy Leader and Nobel Peace Laureate
Equality lies only in human moral dignity. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Prejudice is a vagrant opinion without visible means of support. – Ambrose Bierce
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain. – Emily Dickinson