There is one thing social media has done for me and that is to challenge my stances on varies issues. One of the things that started my latest challenge was a post about there being homosexuals in the theater. Really! Who knew? The Bride and I are patrons at our local Playhouse Theater and have become friends with a good number of the actors, actresses, supporters of the theater and those who run it. The latest challenge came from that connecting point with the theater and our community.
As I was reading my news feed on facebook I read where someone, who also was a patron I believe, called the theater and ask if the next play was going to be a “gay” play. They actually, I believe I got this right, was asking if it going to have a gay person in the play. I will not go into the details but that started a very long and interesting news feed to say the lest. As yes we have an individual in the theater who is a gay.This gentleman is also nice, extremely intelligent and talented to boot. Since I do know him I took it a little personal. It is as if this person, and their worth, were reduced to their sexual choice. AS you may guess I do not introduce myself as such: “Hi I am The Jagged Man, the heterosexual.” Nor does this person introduce their self’s as a homosexual. This issue being raised I found very problematic to my being. (Insert sigh here).
At this point I was challenged in a very pointed way: How do I really feel about homosexuality? Lately I have tried the “I will not judge you if you do not judge me” approach because it is easier that way. I know as an adult we sometimes think we have ourselves figured out. We know where we stand on things but like great theater life should be entertaining but challenging as well. I must confess I did not feel entertained when, concerning this subject, the pressure on my very being would not go away.
I grew up with homosexuality really not being an issue in our household. Oh I was told it was a sin but no greater than any other sin. The difference was the sexual sin was more noticeable and our sins we seemed to be able to hide better. My parents brought us up in a very strict religious based set of morals. They did not though teach us to look down or consciously judge others. What I learned later form my parents is to value relationships with people based on this notion: People by virtue of them being human have great value. Before I had started the process of living that out I learned how to be a very hypocritical, ignorant and sometimes a down right stupid human being.
In my teen years I learned to hate gays. I was coward and I allowed myself to be influenced by my peers. I did not differentiated between lesbians, homosexuals or trans gender individuals. They were all gay ,they were all sick and I hated them.That was until I was nineteen when I worked with a gentleman named Mike.
Mike was gentleman and he was also a homosexual. I for the first time saw that he was not what I had made homosexuals to be in my mind. He also taught me a very important lesson: You cannot “catch” homosexuality. It is not a virus you can catch. He thought it was either a choice or something you just were. Even that it is a choice can debated in individual cases but I am not ready to enter that debate just yet. Mike and I became great friends though I lost touch with him after I moved away to find myself but I am grateful for the insight his friendship brought to my view of this subject and my life as well.
Through his friendship I realized there some things my parents gave me others did not get. One was unconditional love. Simple to state but it is a bitch to do I can assure you! I never felt unsafe in my home. I knew my parents were my parents. My dad never cheated on my mom. They drank but responsibly so not to put me and my brother in harms way.They were committed us and to one another. My dad respected my mom. My dad would hug us and listened to us when we asked for his time. I knew whoever my parents left me with I could trust them. I knew I would be safe as if I was at home. They were our shields and protected us physical and as much as one could otherwise. We got to live our lives out at the end of the spear because we wanted to not because we had to. I get that not everyone has been as fortunate as we were. I wish my parents on everyone.
So where do I stand now? Honestly I still do not think it is life’s best for someone. As a man I have done the math and it does not add up. Humanly I have done the math as well and guess what: I do not get to judge. I am good with that. I am really thankful about that as well. So what now? I guess I will try to continue to follow my folk’s example and be in people’s life’s and love people just because…….and guess what there’s homosexuals in theater. Who Knew?