At work today it was “Pride Day” – which was good because it raised donations for the Pride Foundation (that supports WA, OR, MT, AK & ID). Of all the donations raised, my work matches them dollar for dollar which I love and I know it helps but I wanted to do more.
So I wore a Love is Love t-shirt – but does it help?
Or does it really just make me feel better because I’m showing off my support?
Did it make some people uncomfortable when they walked by me? Maybe
Did it make some folks sneer or look away in disgust? Possibly
Did it make some look at me and wonder ‘is she one of them? Or ‘is she a lesbian?’ Probably
Do I care? Hell no
Because every time I can make people see my support is a success
Because every time I can voice my support to someone with closed off views is a win
Because every time I don’t turn away if I hear or see someone bullying a gay person or couple is a step in the right direction
Because every time a co-worker’s eyes widen when they see it and they whisper, “I can’t believe you wore that” – I can say, “Of course I did. Where is yours?”
Because every time someone says to me, “Oh, you’re so brave for wearing that,” I can tell them, “Let me tell you who are the REAL brave people are.”
Because I am a fricking human being and that is the only kind of them that I give a shit about.
Am I afraid that someone might lash out at me over this or I might lose friends over it? A little
But my fear is NOTHING compared to the battles faced every minute of every day by the LGBTQ community.
I’m never afraid when I walk down the street holding my husband’s hand
I never worry that we won’t be accepted when I introduce him to new people
I never think twice about kissing him goodbye when we’re out in public
Because what he and I have is considered ‘normal’, it’s acceptable
And THAT’S what needs to change
I am but one straight voice in this fight and that may not seem like much
But every voice can be heard if we all speak at once
If every voice speaks up when they hear a gay slur or see someone being bullied for being gay – it can help
It’s easy to hide your beliefs and tell yourself not to get involved or not to speak up because what difference can one person do?
But easy doesn’t change things
Easy never makes a difference
Easy doesn’t challenge
And easy doesn’t reward
So fuck easy
If we all stop hiding – if we all ‘come out of the fear closet’ and stand up to the bullies, stand up to the bigots, stand up to the haters – together our voices can be louder than theirs
So I wore a shirt today
I walked around in it with my head held high and a smile on my face
A smile that said, “Yes this is my shirt and I proudly believe that EVERYONE deserves to love openly and without fear”
Hard? A little
I’m a straight female – this isn’t my fight
But I’m a human being – so it is
If just one person opens their eyes and looks at my shirt – I win
Because if I can get them to open their eyes then I just might be able to get them to open their heart too
It may not seem like much, it may not make a difference
But it’s my voice
I’m shouting it loud and I will not stop
Not until everyone can walk down the street holding hands and nobody gives it a second thought
Not until we start holding Human Pride parades and everyone joins in
It’s my voice and I will keep shouting
Today I shouted by wearing a shirt