Monday, July 18, 2011

They're Everywhere

Anyone who follows me on Facebook (you bunch of creepers) knows that a few weeks ago I had the very unfortunate experience of reading the opinion column in the Daily Universe (BYU newspaper). The columnists had decided to write in response to the New York gay marriage law going through. I'll post it here, not to get all riled up again (that may or may not be another post for another day), but for context for anyone that has no idea what I'm talking about:

It really upset me. For one, it just showed ignorance and narrow mindedness. Also because the next day they only posted letters to the editor that agreed with her, leaving me feeling that all those opposed were not given the chance to make it manifest. I just didn't like that so many are quick to try and put their opinions on others. I knew that in the past my reaction would have been very different. I would have been scared, seeing the the article as the opinion of all BYU students and equating it to saying I was a bad person. I'll admit this would have only been made easier due to my ridiculously low self esteem at the time and the already deeply held belief that if I were to admit the truth (being a lesbian) to anyone, they would get the torches and pitchforks and run me out of Provo. (thoughts may have been exaggerated to illustrate the depth of my fear and self hatred). Now I know better, about both myself and the people around me. However, I'm sure that there are others who are at the stage in their process that I once was, and I worried.

I got the idea in my head that if I went and talked with her in person that she might gain some understanding, even if it was only the slightest bit more than she had before. Well, it did not go down the way I had hoped at all. A few minutes into it I could already tell that she was not the least bit interested in understanding or listening to anything I had to say. Luckily, my roommate (who later wrote a kick ass response to the article) came with me and stopped it before it got worse.

Before this sounds like I'm just ranting, I'll bring in my actual point of this post. My whole life the idea of loving people and acting on that has come so easy to me. My experience with being lesbian and learning to accept and love myself for everything I am has opened my mind and heart even more, which I am so grateful for. Sometimes it's hard for me to really understand why people wouldn't want to try and understand or love one another. Then I remember that other people don't actually think the same way I do, or have not been through things in their lives that might force them to really take a look at something outside their own bubbles. This really brought me down for a while. It was this reminder that no matter how much I accept myself and others, there will always be people who won't.

That being said I would like to tell you that there will always be people who will accept you and love you for everything you are. A friend once told me that even if they don't understand, if they love you they will try. This past week or so events have brought to my attention, not just all the people who currently are in my life and making it wonderful, but also the people who have been or have yet to be but are willing to step up and help me through anything. I am very fortunate to have these people who love and support me. It has taken me a long time to find them, but I am constantly reminded that these kind of people are all around. Look for them, you might be surprised by people sometimes.

~Bridey J


  1. I've thought about how I'm going to have a near year to spend in the BYU area without a degree to pursue. I will likely be spending it supporting other LGBT people in the area as I pursue my own relationship with my boyfriend. :D

    I hope that my efforts to help those that come our way work. I want to do a lot more than what I've done so far, and I hope that I can help you in the process. I felt like I didn't give you or Tiff much attention before I left. I hope I can make that up. :)

    As for this "This is Not a Family" post, I have a lot to say to her that's not terribly kind. From what I understand, the only authority she would listen to on the topic of kinship is the LDS authorities, and frankly--she can keep her vision of the family. The movement of gay civil rights will show her with thousands of real life examples that she's far out of line and misguided as to what a family is. It may take some time, but she will see it before her life is through.

  2. Loved your post, Bridey. It has a beautiful message. Thank you, in turn, for helping those around you and being there for all of your friends. We all appreciate it.

  3. It is truly sad when others are unable to see how very closed they are being. My favorite part is when she says, "Don’t get me wrong, I believe in equality and fairness. I believe every individual has certain guaranteed rights which should never be taken from them," but then she went right on to attack the fight for equality for a group that she doesn't see as "normal." What she implied was that she believed in equality and fairness for every individual…as long as they fit into her neatly packaged little “good” and “moral” box.

    What we have to remember is that people like to define and label things. They like to put things into categories and sort them away into their internal filing systems in an effort to make their world make sense. This helps them feel validated and safe. If you label something as "wrong" and you are not participating in that so-called "wrong" thing, then you are, in your mind, better off than those who participate. Naturally, she is going to glean information from "authorities" that support her way of thinking, further validating her opinions and (false) beliefs. We all do this in some way.

    What I saw in this article was someone who didn't understand something and was reacting from a place of fear about the unknown. Truth be told I feel slightly sorry for her because she is missing out on a lot of beautiful diversity and depriving herself of many potentially amazing relationships with people who are different from herself. Like AKB said, if she pays the least bit of attention there are and will continue to be thousands of examples that counter these opinions. Still, I’m certain that there will always be those who hold those opinions. We can’t change their minds for them. All we can do is live our lives the way we see fit and do what we can to bring awareness (this blog is an awesome example of that) and hope that someday REAL equality will be the reality. And if, in the end, they never see how off base they are, it will be their loss, not ours. We can't control politics. We can't make them accept us. But they can't keep us from loving who we are or from loving who we love. We don’t need their permission to be happy.

  4. I hate seeing this article pop up all over the place. But, I agree with Jo. All we can do is live our lives. I do hope that this blog will do some good in raising awareness, but for now all I can do for myself is enjoy who I am, and love who I love (which I hope will be everyone I meet). :)

    Want to know why I love being lesbian? watch my vid

  5. The focus wasn't on the article. I was trying to say that yeah, no matter how hard we try there are still gonna be people who don't listen and won't change, but we should focus on the fact that there are so many people around us who will. I was getting really upset this last week over every little thing that reminded me that some people will just never understand, not just about me being gay, but how I look at life and how I am. Then I started seeing my friends and roommates and how they just love me for how ever weird I am and laugh with me and cry with me and talk about important things to me, because I'm important to them. I was just trying to say don't dwell on something you can't change. Instead, look at the people you do have and be grateful.

  6. I see that, Bridey. But, some people are probably seeing this article for the first time from this blog post. I do think that it's a good example of how some people just don't understand. It's okay that they don't understand, but it is a little frustrating to read about just how much they don't see. I love that you're able to appreciate the good people in your life. I hope you realize just how many there are.

    Jo, I'm one of those people who likes to label things. This is one reason I'm grateful to be lesbian because I feel like my need to organize everyone into little boxes is stifled somewhat by the opposing perspectives I see life with.

    AKB, I don't know what you mean about not giving me enough attention before leaving...although we didn't go do anything :( I think that you're doing plenty now just by posting (and commenting) on the collab :) I agree that the gay rights movement will show her and a lot of people what family really is (at least I hope that's where it's heading).

  7. We all like to label things, Tiff. As soon as we were born we were taught to label things (hot, cold, good, bad, right, wrong). It's how our parents and society teach us to understand the world. I, too, am grateful for the expanded awareness and broadened perspectives that can come with being gay. In fact, it makes me want to do a jig. (Insert jig here)

  8. If I had my way, I'd walk around with a label maker sticking tags on everything so I'd always know where it is and what it is.
    That was a great jig.