I have a platform here that is centered around food. Around family time. Around our family.
Lately there has been a lot of chatter about social platforms not sharing realistic parts of our lives. The thought is that we show only what we want to share. Sharing in order to make our families look happy, enriched, satisfied and full-filled. I have been a product of this movement too. I have shared the joys that come with being a Mom, wife and friend. I have wanted to share the joy that we, as family, enjoy each and everyday that we are together through our dinner table chats, our food choices and our grocery shopping adventures. In between these ideas, I have also shared, my thoughts and ideas of longing, searching and finding myself and the struggle of being human. I started a new blog to share those stories. That blog is still growing. Sifting Through Life has given me a place to voice me.
Well today I am using this blog, my blog, to share a part of my family that I have not shared with you before. WHY? Because this is where I have the most voices, readers and listeners. Here is where you know me. You can relate to me. You have watched me evolve, fail and muddle through life. You know my family at its best and at its worst. This is a shining moment for our family and I want to share it with you.
Recently the LDS church updated their handbook in regards to baptismal covenants for children of LGBT parents. I won't take the time to go into details because you can google that for yourself. If you have been a reader of Simply Gourmet for a while then you know that we left this church.
You can read that post here.
I know that in sharing this part of my family that I will lose readers. I don't have time to worry about that anymore. If you chose to leave I wish you well. If you choose to not agree and stay out of an understanding that we can still interact even though we don't share the same beliefs...I applaud you. We are not seeking or asking for everyone to go against what they believe. Simply to have an open line of conversation that expresses love and mutual respect for our differences.
I am not gay. My daughter is. We have never been a family in the closet, When she first told us we called everyone we knew and shared the news. The good news. She had experienced self hate, self loathing, and a long road to get to this point. Her admission to us was received with, "yes we already knew that." Because we did. It took her a while to find her level of comfort to accept herself. To accept that it is okay to be different. That it is okay to love who ever your heart leads you to.
This new edict from the church has thrown our family into the mix once again of having to be a champion for our daughter. It's been hard but also eye opening. To those family and friends that have our backs, who get us, who love us no matter what--we appreciate you. We understand that this is hard. You may find yourself sympathizing with our side even though your life is attached somewhere else. We know this is hard. It's hard for us to watch. Thank you for reaching out to us. We hold her extensions of love very tenderly next to our hearts.
I won't rattle on but I need to share this with you. This is an open letter my daughter wrote on her FB page. It is raw. It is honest. You may not like it. I don't care.
This is our family. This is our authentic life.
It's okay to disagree with our family unit. We want the freedom for everyone to express their families in a way that makes you feel alive, whole and loved. This is us. Love it or hate it...thats a choice. We are okay with different choices because we are all different.
Here it is:
And I figured, with me being out of the closet for over 4 years now and having never hidden or lied about that fact since that that would be common knowledge at this point. However, I tend to not post about or make note of this fact about me very often, especially on Facebook. I may support the HRC here and there, or like posts about LGBTQA+ rights occasionally, but for the most part I am rather mute on this subject and my opinions of opposition groups. The reason for this, sadly, is that I worry that in doing so I may alienate or hurt the feelings of certain friends and family members who I know have very strong, opposing opinions or who belong to religions that openly preach against the rights and humanity of people like me. I’ve never wanted to make anyone feel like I hate them or think horribly of them just for holding homophobic views or for simply belonging to groups that do; and though I have serious criticisms for certain religions apart and as a whole I do tend to hold back on stating them so that those who I know to have great love and faith in those ideologies aren’t hurt by my words.
However, it would seem that for too long I’ve been trying to preserve the feelings of people who are not trying to preserve mine.
So to be clear: yes. I do see when you post about your homophobic opinions.
Yes, I do see when you share or make statuses decrying marriage rights for gay couples in America.
Yes, I did notice when you shared that article supporting business owners who refuse to serve gay customers.
Yes, I did see you like that photo showing support for Kim Davis.
Yes I did read that church article you shared talking about how gay families are not real families because they lack a heteronormative pattern. Your brother, his husband, and their child probably did too.
Yes, yes, and yes. I did see that. And not to make anyone think I see /everything/-- I certainly don’t. I don’t spend much time on Facebook anymore so I miss a lot (intentionally). I guess what I’m saying, however, is that I see enough.
And to be clear; I don’t care if anyone has homophobic views. I have lived for too long fearing and worrying about and suffering from the effects of homophobia to care anymore. Actually, I would prefer you to be open about it. We live in a country where our opinions and free speech are a wonderful right that we have and social media gives us great platforms to connect with and share our views with like-minded people. However; the thing that people seem to forget is that free speech does not protect us from criticisms and/or any effects of holding views that degrade, dehumanize, or offend anyone we know.
In this case, the effect of your articles, your statuses, your likes, etc. is that they tell me that I cannot trust you; that an integral part of me is unmentionable and unwelcome to you. They tell me that you think I am lesser and that I don’t deserve the same rights as you. They tell me that you think it’s okay for me to be banned or barred from churches, businesses, services, etc. on a basis of my sexuality. They tell me that you think that for some crazy reason that *I* certainly can’t fathom that I have chosen this and just want attention for it. Or that you think I’m mentally ill and a few humiliating and degrading rounds with a shock therapist and a bible would fix me. They tell me that you think that I and anyone I fall in love with should never have the same legal protections, rights, and recognition from our government that you get. They tell me that you think I don’t deserve happiness or unconditional love until I choose to conform to a lifestyle that doesn’t work for me. They tell me maybe one, maybe two, or maybe all of these things are things that you believe. And some of you may think that if you hide behind someone else’s words-- that if you share instead of write, or like instead of post—that I can’t put you into the same exact box as the person who actually said it; and that used to work, actually. I used to make excuses for you. I used to figure maybe you didn’t read it all, or maybe it was a mistake, or maybe you don’t 100% agree with what you shared. But now that has changed and unless otherwise stated I will hold you to every word; as will probably every other loved one you know that those hurtful words apply to. If these effects are not something you wanted, if they weren’t your intention, then maybe it’s time to start using your own voice. Or maybe it’s time to choose to not say anything. This is what taking responsibility for our opinions entails. But just to be clear again: you being open about your beliefs is preferable to me. It's your right as much as it is mine-- and I can handle different political views. I can overlook that impolite meme I didn’t think was funny, and I’ll ignore that rude comment or passive aggressive status. I’ll bite my tongue about that poorly-constructed argument you wrote and I don’t at all mind you sharing doctrine from your religion as long as it’s not too accusatory or abrasive and I assume that you give me the same benefits. But when you share homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, etc… when you spread baseless hatred or fear or intolerance or assumptions about people whose condition or lifestyle hurts nobody—that is when you teach me and countless others you didn’t think about to avoid you. That is when you teach me that you don’t care about me as much as I care about you.
Whether you think it or not, when you hold such views you are holding onto the belief that you are superior in some way to any member of a massive, diverse, and more or less harmless group of people simply on a basis of one aspect of who and what they are. If you at all think that anyone deserves less rights or less consideration or less sympathy from you, a government, a church, etc. because of their sexuality; you are indeed homophobic, and that is indeed a form of hate. Please own up to it, at the very least. Again, I would rather know your opinion outright than flounder with excuses or dissonance on your behalf.
And for the record once and for all; those homophobic articles and statuses and posts you share are in fact talking about me. They are talking about your brother, your sister, your daughter, your son, your niece, your nephew, your friend, your coworker, and anyone who applies-- none of us are an exception and I doubt any of us think ourselves to be. And we see it.
And from now on you are aware of that, and I will no longer make excuses for you.
If that doesn’t bother you, then carry on.