Since my last blog, some big things have happened in the gay community. Jimmy LaSalvia, the co-founder of GOProud, announced that he has left the Republican party and has officially registered as an independent. A federal judge in Oklahoma ruled that the state’s gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. Oh, and probably the most well known – 33 couples, both gay and straight, got married at the Grammys with Queen Latifah presiding and Macklemore and Madonna managing to get in on the action.
Now, aside from my confusion as to why anyone would actually want to get married with 32 other couples (not to mention the weirdness of having Queen Latifah conduct your wedding), I have to admit, it was kind of cool. The fight for equality has come a long way and a simple scroll through your Twitter feed will show a giant and (for most of us) welcome culture shift.
But, the great divide remains. Media and extremes on each side drown out any attempt to cross the river and the lines are drawn. Those on the far left criticize the, as the DNC’s poster boy sang, “the right wing conservatives” who “think it’s a decision” while managing to preach tolerance for the LGBTQA (look how politically correct I can be) community while simultaneously preaching hate for those on the right who don’t agree with them. On the other side, you have a culture that teaches Christ’s love, but then, at best, prefaces it with a “love the sinner, hate the sin” type attitude that apparently only applies to one group of people (to read more, check out this great op-ed). Then, you have a group of people that feel isolated by both.
Who are these gay people who call themselves “Christians”? Let alone those who are confused enough to think they’re Republicans (because God forbid that Americans not be one-issue voters)? The Jimmy LaSalvias and Gregory Angelos who dare try to bridge the gap are unable to win acceptance from either side. For, it would seem that the two sides are more content to throw stones at one another, than ever truly listen to what the other has to say.
As a woman who was raised on one bank of the river but who, at a very young age, accepted that a part of herself lay on the other side, I can tell you – it’s hard. Do I expect everyone to jump in, hold hands, and sing Kumbaya? No, of course not. But would I like for us to hear each other out? Yes. Would I like to be able to come out to my parents and simultaneously have my liberal friends stop telling me that they don’t understand how I can be a Republican? Absolutely. And would I like to wake everyone up to the fact that my sexuality does not, in any way, affect or change my spirituality or political affiliation? Hell, yes.
It’s time that both sides of the aisle wake up. Can we preach tolerance and forgiveness if we’re unwilling to tolerate or forgive those whom we don’t understand? Can we really sing “Same Love” or preach “Everlasting Love” if we’re unwilling to apply it to those who disagree with us? One side has to make the first move. But as much as I’d like to think the human race is inherently good, it isn’t. It will take more than that. It may just take one side swallowing their pride, getting in the boat, and having enough faith to cross the sea.