In honor of the Supreme Court’s hearing of the first of two cases concerning marriage equality, here’s a re-run of ten reasons why I won’t shut up about being a GLBTQ ally:
1. I didn’t choose to be straight. Gay, bi, lesbian and transgendered people didn’t choose to be gay, bi, lesbian or transgendered, either (I mean, really; who would choose to be a member of a group that is such a target for discrimination and hatred?). A lot of people I love are queer, and I hate that they can be targets of violence and oppression – or worse – simply for being who they are. How would you like to be discriminated against for just being who you are? Yeah; me, neither.
2. I was an advocate before I had children, but I’m even louder about it now that I have these girls looking to me as an example of how good adults should behave. I WILL NOT release closed-minded, hateful people into the world, and the more my daughters see me standing up for others, the better.
3. Love is love. It doesn’t matter if you love someone of the opposite sex or of the same sex because, really, love isn’t about sex.
4. The great Desmond Tutu teaches that none are free until all are free. Keeping rights and privileges from queer people threatens MY rights… and it threatens yours, too.
5. I can’t come up with a single valid reason for the terrible things that are visited on queer people; it’s all based on fear and ignorance. I make it my business to fight against the ignorance that fights against anyone – queer people included. God doesn’t hate, and neither do I.
6. Diversity is what makes our world more fun and interesting. Some of the most interesting people I know are queer, and part of what makes them interesting is that they are different from me in that way. Instead of hating those differences – or fearing them – I celebrate them.
7. The U.S. claims to be the most free and open society in the world. While that may be true, we’re not really putting our proverbial money where our mouths are when it comes to queer people. As a conscientious citizen of this country, I think it’s important to point out those contradictions, loudly and as often as possible.
8. I don’t want to be associated with closed-minded people. I’m an advocate and an ally because I want queer people to know that not all straight people are uptight homophobes.
9. No war was ever won without help from the inside. There have always been spies and sympathizers behind “enemy” lines, and anything that I can do to pry open the gates and let some good guys in is okay with me. Oh, and I vote.
10. Isn’t there enough pain and hatred in the world already?