Today I was at Vanderbilt Hospital in the waiting room of the Urgent Care Center with my mother. At two operational intake desks on each side of the room, sat four women, three African Americans and one Caucasian. The only other people in the waiting room were three men who were boldly talking about racism and their ugly point of view about white supremacy and how President Obama is evil.
My mother, who was the one waiting to see the doctor, turned around without even thinking and said in a disgusted tone, “Why don’t you keep your opinions to yourself?” After which, I stood up and made sure they knew we meant business. I went over to one of the ladies at the at the reception desk and said, “Will I get in trouble if I tell that loud redneck to take his conversation outside, because this is a public place?”
She answered, “No. And I would certainly appreciate it,” as I know she wasn’t allowed to speak up because of hospital policy.
Honestly, I was aghast at the behavior of these men—so brazen and proud of their disgusting prejudice. You’d have to wonder what kind of normal they had been bred from.
Then there was my mother, a person who had been brought up to believe that “negroes should be slaves” and that they were unclean by virtue of their color. I know this because the first time I befriended a “colored girl” I was told that she was not to come into the house. In fact, I remember inviting her to my sixth grade birthday party. Only about four of the twenty young friends showed up to my “outside cookout.” I was too young to realize it was because of prejudice. I never understood. I couldn’t see color then. I can’t really see color now.
So, you have to wonder about people in general. Can we truly blame their upbringing for what they believe? I was raised in a very prejudiced home. My mother was raised until she was probably 35 to believe African Americans were less than white folks. But an open and compassionate heart learns to love and accept when given a chance. Right? Mom and I did.
When people are prejudiced against gay or GLBT people, they have an opportunity to learn from their experience every time to be more compassionate and loving, despite their religious belief or cultural background. I have some friends that in their country being gay could get them killed. Yet, the freedom here in America to love has given them the compassion to open their hearts to something new and wonderful—the power to choose between law and love.
I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to the day the Supreme Court is faced with the decision of allowing gays the same rights as the rest of society. Isn’t it time? How long can you hold back equal rights from millions of Americans—people you interact with every day… These same people are your hairdressers, your ballet teachers, your singing coaches, your acting coaches, your bankers, your lawyers, your school teachers, your artists. We are in every part of the subculture of the United States, paying taxes and primarily living the same life as straight people (except for a little more stylishly, you have to admit). What doesn’t afford us the equal rights of an American? That is the true question?
When the answer comes down from the Supreme Court, we will see where the country is in accepting change and compassion for all human beings, not just GLBT people. This is not just a gay matter. We have been fighting this battle since African Americans were freed from slavery and since women wanted to vote. Freedom and the ability for the country to change from its staunch old-granddaddy laws from the 1900s is NOW.
We have to voice it.
We have to change it.
We have to shout it out loud!
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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.
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