[Editor's Note: Please welcome our newest blog writer! Kory, we're thrilled to have you!]
I feel like all I ever see on the local and national news nowadays are articles on the issue of gay rights. The local news is peppered with reports on NC’s marriage amendment, and CNN always seems to have something that was mentioned during a GOP debate or campaign speech. I actually dread reading these articles because of the hate I know I’m going to see in them. I read interviews of people who say all kinds of nasty and completely untrue things about non-heterosexuals, and it really does upset me to know that there are people who actually agree with a lot of those ideas. I’m not naïve, of course; I know there are tons of people who feel so strongly against the idea of gay rights, but there’s something about actually seeing and hearing those opinions that makes me feel so alone sometimes.
This is where the allies come in to the picture. This is when I’m so appreciative to have my friends. I feel so comforted when they ask me those awkward questions, or when they make that inappropriate joke. It means they’re comfortable with homosexuality; it means they want to understand people who are different; it means they care. And then I think about all of these people in the world who feel just as strongly in support of equal rights, and how the numbers are growing everyday.
As I’m writing this, in fact, the straight girl in the room is ranting over how stupid the marriage amendment is. She is actually upset that the legislation passed, and she has nothing to gain or lose over the passage of that amendment. I like how she asks me about how homosexual relationships work, and how I look at anti-lgbt laws, and all those questions that let me know she is willing to take the time to explore differences and understand them instead of defaulting to lashing out and being afraid.
Even though I wish more people would take the time to try to understand our differences instead of going on the attack, those people can never make me feel the way my friends do; the way our allies do; the way anyone who actually makes an effort to stand up for civil rights does.
To all the allies out there—thank you. Thank you for refusing to resort to hate speech and discrimination. Thank you for asking those questions. Thank you for all that you do for everyone who doesn’t fit the mold. Thank you for showing us that you care; you will never know just how much that means to us.