I was on Blip.fm the other day when I heard a song that wowed and stunned me. MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS – SAME LOVE will be, if it’s not already ,a Gay Equality Anthem for the ages. It starts with the singer expressing to his mom that he is gay as a young child. The mother corrects her child and lets him know that because he’s a little boy who likes girls he can’t be gay and that turns out to be a big lesson for the singer. He thought because he fight certain homosexual stereotypes that meant he was gay. He learned that stereotypes are not factual and that he’d have to let his heart lead his learning about a people that have been oppressed and discriminated against for as long as we can remember.
I remember growing up and Texas and being the only little black girl in class. Because my classmates and I were so young it was, for the most part, easy to make the minor adjustments I needed to maintain a healthy and happy social life. Because of those experiences I feel passionate about my first introduction to the idea of gay people. I think it was HBO that played a documentary on what it was like to be a gay American. I was about 10 or 11 when I watched this and had no previous knowledge that people could be attracted to the same sex. Thought it was a new concept I felt a strong sense of empathy for the plight of a gay man who falls in love but feels the need to hide his relationship out of fear of emotional and/or physical harm from angry people.
I walked away from that documentary feeling elated at the thought that love conquerors all. Impressed that a man could love so deeply it would remove the effects of hateful and bigoted people. The feeling in me deepen as I grew up and befriended a number of gay people and learned from them their strengths and struggles. I could relate to them on some fronts but on others I had to just walk in their shoes to understand.
But then I got saved and found “God”. I came to a point in my life that I did not feel connected to my higher power and I was confused by the many prevailing spiritual opinions. So I prayed to God that he would send the truth and the next thing I know I was going to bible studies several times in one week, got baptized and changed a lot of my life. The bible studies gave me a lot of the answers I’d be looking for but one topic in particular troubled me. If God is love how can he be against gay relationships. Before I was introduced to the bible I just assumed that God thought like me… love is love and true love is powerful and good. But that’s not what my new “christian” friends believed. Instead of arguing and trying persuade the majority that they are wrong I quietly study that Bible scriptures trying to make sense out it all and sharing what I was learned with some of my gay friends.
I’ve since left the church as well as suspended the believe that I had to replace my beliefs with words found in the Bible. I still believe in the Bible’s goodness and wisdom but I believe that it takes a lot more digging and soul searching to find its truth than to just read it and superficially come to understand its meaning. So now I had to take the time to get to know myself and what I believe to be true without the influence of others. Although I was once patience hearing the opinion that homosexuality is a wrong is starting to make me mad.
I don’t get angry enough. I mean that I come from a place of open mindedness and I try to gently educate the ignorant few (I believe most people come from love). Not just on the topic of gay equality but on all the controversial issues that I’m passionate about. My Method of persuasion is to listen closely to the heart of the hater and then softly speak to the things that matter to them. It doesn’t always work but it makes me feel like I avoided “the two wrongs don’t make a right” problem. But sometimes I don’t want to be kind and patient I just want to get pissed and express myself.That sentiment is well articulated in Lily Allen’s Fuck You…music has a way of connecting to emotions that I have a hard time acknowledging and expressing. Fuck You lyrics speaks in a way I wish I could so I love signing it. It makes me feel like I’ve gotten a lot off my chest.
Venting is needed sometimes but empathy is what is needed for great change. The song and beautiful video Same Love helps to show that gay relationships are the same as straight relationships. People need to be able to connect with those they have a natural bond with in order for true love to grow and flourish. The singer on the chorus says “I can’t change…even if I wanted to…even if I tried.” but the tone of the song denotes that no change should be needed. Let people be their full and wonderful self and you see the brilliant impact it has on the world as a whole.