Monday, May 23, 2011

Tornadoes and Ostriches

So for everyone who doesn't know yet, last night (may 22, 2011) a tornado touched down in Joplin, MO. They are calling it the nation's deadliest tornado since 1953. The death toll is 116 and might be rising. The closest thing I can relate to was a tornado that touched down in Oklahoma on may 3, 1999. It tore through everything just north of where I'm from. But that wasn't really anywhere as deadly, just lots of damage. We moved there just a month or so afterwards, and I remember seeing the aftermath and thinking "why on earth would dad make us move here?!" My family has never had to deal with that kind of loss, but we've come close sometimes.
Talking with my dad this morning, he told me how much he wanted to go and help, but it's 200 miles away. He can't imagine going through that himself, but we know many who have. He equated it to the idea of the lottery. Only in the sense that we all know someone has to win, but the real chances of it being you are slim to none. The winner's chances were still nothing, just like everybody else, until the very moment they won. Twelve years of living in Oklahoma has let me experience more incredible storms and tornado sirens than I could possibly count. I've had tornadoes within a mile of my house, and yet every time I always think "that's never really going to happen to me".
There is this mentality I have found many people have, including some of my past (and possibly present) roommates. The idea that yes, people who deal with same gender attraction exist, but I'm never going to know any of them. This is a popular theory, from what I gather, here at BYU. It's not so much a hatred as just an ignorance. Everyone thinks that they're never going to have to deal with it, and probably never know someone who is either, so they don't learn about it. It's other people who go through those things, right? A few months ago I had the opportunity to talk to a psychology class about my life dealing with being lesbian and Mormon and what I had to go through. Afterwards I noticed there was someone I knew from my freshman year sitting in the back. I'm sure she would have never thought that she knew someone who was gay. In fact she told me as much afterwards (did I blow her mind?...probably). I'm also very sure that my parents never thought they would have to deal with this in their lives, let alone their own child.
Chances are you're going to know someone who deals with same gender attraction...and you probably already do. It's not like the lottery at all. It's a serious issue that you or people you love are going to have to deal with. Don't be ignorant and don't bury your head in the sand. We are people, not ostriches!

1 comment:

  1. I'm one of those people who never thought I'd actually know people who were gay. Then my brother said he was gay. Then I finally gave in and let myself begin to accept that I'm was never what I thought. I was the perfect Mormon. I was going to marry a man in the temple and have 4 children and live forever after. Plans change when you learn to be yourself, and I will say that once I decided to love myself I realized that I needed to know what was out there. I checked out all the books I could find on homosexuality from the BYU library. I looked up articles on the internet. I watched youtube videos and read blogs. After all that I realized that I couldn't just sit around and read all day. I had to do something. I had to help others realize that it's okay to be who you are and to love who you are.

    Thanks for the post, Bridey :)