Friday, March 06, 2009

Get Up Stand Up Speak Up

I was a very shy kid. Very. My mom used to joke that I didn't start speaking until I was eighteen......years old.

I think a lot of my shyness had to do with being gay.

I had no role models, or funny uncles--unless you count Uncle Arthur on TVs Bewitched.

So I didn't know what it meant to be gay, and I kept my mouth shut. See, I think I thought that if I didn't speak, no one would notice me, and if no one noticed, no one would call me a fag or a queer, or any other name I didn't want to hear; and didn't want anyone else to hear.

So I kept quiet.

But I was still called queer and fag, pushed around some, taunted. Being shy didn't hide me as much as it attracted more attention.

Then, once I got older, and sort of came into my own, knowing who I was and that I was okay, I realized I didn't have to be Paul Lynde of Terry-Thoma to be gay; that I could be David Kopay if I wanted, Not so much.

But I didn't have to be limp-wristed and lisping if that wasn't me. And it wasn't. Although that was other people and that was okay, too. I learned that gay people, men and women, are all sorts of folks. Football players and lisping dancers. Doctors. Lawyers. Teachers.

Gay people are like the American Express card.

We're everywhere you want to be.

I have been thinking about this as I listen to the news about the California Supreme Court, and how they might uphold the passage of Prop H8.

I think we all need to come out. Every last homo and dyke and bisexual and transgender on the planet, needs to step up and say, This is me. And I deserve everything everyone else gets. I deserve it.

The more of us who are out, being ourselves, living our lives, the less scary we are made to look. Don't forget that Buttars guy in Utah who said gay people have no morals. That's what people think.

Gay = Degenerate.

Uh, no it doesn't.

Gay = Straight. Because we are all just people.

Gay = The couple next door who work in their yard and walk their dog.

Gay = The guy at the Post Office mailing Christmas cards to his family and friends.

Gay = A family; maybe not like all families, but a family nonetheless.

Gay = Not being less than.

Gay = Freedom to be to love to live to work to think to feel.

I am not that shy boy anymore. I haven't been for a long while. I speak up now. I say what's on my mind. And I am going to start telling people. everyone and everywhere, that treating anyone as less than anyone else is wrong.

Carlos and I don't hide our relationship from anyone. This is us, and if you don't like it, well, that's a shame, because we're fun and we're nice and we're good people. See what you miss if you block out gay people?

So there's no more standing idly by and listening to people talk about those gays in California with their signs and their anger.

Gay = The right to marry or not to marry.

Gay = The right to adopt

If you belong to a church that doesn't like gays. That's okay. That's church. It is not government. It is not the law.

Gay = Freedom from religion if that's what you think.

Gay = Equal.


frogponder said...

Gay should equal everyday, ordinary, ho-hum, this is normal.

truthspew said...

Like you I was a quiet kid. I didn't find my way until I hit my mid 20's.

I was always too worried about what people would think. Then I claimed my Italian American birthright, I just don't give a fuck anymore. I'm going to say what I have to say.

I'm told that when I'm on, I go for the jugular. Can't help that, I get really pissed off when people try to deny my equal rights.

Ultra Dave said...

Good post Bob! You are absolutely right. Some how most people only remember the half naked guys on pride floats or the leather guys having sex in the streets at Folsom or Decandance events, not the normal everyday guys that are around them in their lives.

Joy said...

Good post. And what FP and UDave said.

Constant Motion said...

Gay = Proud.

Beth said...

wow Bob...this post is BEAUTIFUL! So well put. and to be honest, as a straight girl, I don't really know what you've gone through. But I DO know that you are a wonderful person, a fabulous friend with a whicked sense of humor, and I love you terribly. It hurts my heart to know that you've been hurt by people and Christians esp. that is sad. Becasue I am a Christian, and MY God loves ALL people.

But Love to you and Carlos!!!

Berry Blog said...

Well said Bob. Now I'm old and don't care. If people object I just piss my pants and they go away.

Mark in DE said...


Gay = more similar to straight people than different from straight people.