Some months ago someone I deeply respect asked to interview me about the "gay community" for a college class. While I wanted to help and agreed, I felt I had little to offer. He was searching to understand and define something that I could not myself define. I reached into my past and sought to describe times I felt part of a distinct community that included many gay and lesbian people but we were not distinctly separate and different. I'm not sure what he walked away with. I never heard how his "study" went and do not know who else he may have interviewed.
Today a friend posted this comedic view of a family trying to understand a "gay wedding" and it wakened my senses.
One day we will stop saying "gay wedding". It will just be a wedding.
If you want to really drive me crazy, make a reference to "gay life style". Picture the sketch above with people asking about how gay people live. We are not singing "gay hymns". I don't have a gay dog. I don't walk on a gay street. I don't shop at gay stores. I don't spend gay money.
I realize now in talking to my friend we both missed the whole point. Yes, I have experienced and still experience places and times where I feel more accepted and free to be me but I do not live in a separate community. My gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender friends are not living in an alternative community.
Back in the '80s I heard a story about an establishment in Franklin with a new manager. The new manager heard that lesbians liked to hang out there and they expressed concern. The worker opened the cash register and asked, "Can you pick out the lesbian money?'
Like everyone else we are part of a work community, a religious community, a volunteer community, a family community. We are a living, breathing, contributing part of many communities. There is no separate and subversive group that drives some commonalty in any way that divides us from humanity at large. We are more the same than we are different. And we are as different from one another as we are the same.
We do not seek to destroy freedom of religion. We seek the choice of inclusion. We do not seek to destroy freedom of speech. We seek the freedom to speak. We do not seek to destroy. We seek the right to build with you. We do not live separate from you. We are your sisters - your brothers - your family - your co-workers.
Just see us.
Judge us by "the content of our character" - how we love not the gender of whom we love.