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Thu Sep 5, 2019, 06:39 PM

We Used to Say That It Didn't Matter

I was listening to Joe Sudbay and Noah Michelson on the way home from work and it stirred me:

I've been around DU a long time and don't post a lot. But, one of my very early posts was to ask for advice for how to support our then middle-school aged son after he'd left a browser window open that showed he was at least questioning his orientation.

Ultimately, we decided to just maintain an open environment. To show support for the LGBTQ community. To say that "it didn't matter" who people love or how they identify. That everyone should be loved and respected for who they are.

He's in his early twenties now and is living openly as a gay man. We never had a formal conversation where he came out. At some point he mentioned someone he was interested in, looked at me and his mother, and said "I never made a big deal about it, because I knew it didn't matter to you." I'll never fully understand what his journey from questioning to openness was like, but I at least felt like we must have given him a safe space to make it.

But again, there was that phrase - "it didn't matter."

Today, as I listened to Sudbay and Michelson talk about this administration, their terrible and hateful policies, and their lasting impact on the judiciary, I realized it does matter.

It matters like hell.

My son is gay. Your brother or sister may be transgender. Maybe your neighbors are a same-sex couple. Or your best friend bisexual. Really, it doesn't matter. Except it does.

It matters that there are people who believe my son, and all members of the LGBTQ community, are "intrinsically disordered."

It matters that they would deny them care and services.

It matters that they would deny them housing.

It matters that they would deny them service to their country.

It matters that they would deny them employment and the dignity of work.

It matters that they would deny them the safety and security of marriage.

It matters that they would deny them the fulfillment of having a family.

It matters that they would beat, maim, and even kill them.

I wish I had some great rallying cry or call to action to end this post. But all I have is to keep loving, fighting as hard as I can, and to vote.

As allies it may not matter to us who our LGBTQ brothers and sisters love. But, it sure as hell matters that we love them.

27 replies, 3542 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply We Used to Say That It Didn't Matter (Original post)
ok_cpu Sep 2019 OP
canetoad Sep 2019 #1
erronis Sep 2019 #2
ok_cpu Sep 2019 #9
marked50 Sep 2019 #3
hibbing Sep 2019 #4
PatrickforO Sep 2019 #5
soldierant Sep 2019 #6
ok_cpu Sep 2019 #10
soldierant Sep 2019 #19
Rhiannon12866 Sep 2019 #7
ok_cpu Sep 2019 #11
Rhiannon12866 Sep 2019 #13
Behind the Aegis Sep 2019 #8
ok_cpu Sep 2019 #12
SCantiGOP Sep 2019 #14
calimary Sep 2019 #15
Karadeniz Sep 2019 #16
Atticus Sep 2019 #17
Caliman73 Sep 2019 #18
keopeli Sep 2019 #20
Hekate Sep 2019 #21
cate94 Sep 2019 #22
spanone Sep 2019 #23
pnwmom Sep 2019 #24
locks Sep 2019 #25
NCLefty Sep 2019 #26
lambchopp59 Sep 2019 #27

Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 07:08 PM

1. Extremely well said

K&R.

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 08:20 PM

2. I love what you say. It does matter that we care and have open minds and hearts.

In 70+ years I've learned that we come in all sizes, colors, packaging, etc.

I also know that I am not perfect in many ways. But I hope others can accept me, mostly.

And I'll do my best to accept everyone I meet on equal terms. No prejudgements. As we all know that isn't perfectly doable but we can damn well try.

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Response to erronis (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 06:28 AM

9. Thank you. Well said - we all should meet on equal terms.

And, as long as we're open, I believe we'll find that as a whole we're complemented by our differences and should not be fearful of them.

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 08:25 PM

3. Very Insightful-thanks

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 08:54 PM

4. Powerful post, thanks n/t

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 08:56 PM

5. Indeed. Good post. nt

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 09:02 PM

6. When a person, or a society,

is learning to grow and expand their horizons to learn how best to approach - well, people who don't think they need to learn anything because they know it all - we come up with phrases which help us but which more time and more learning shows that they are - maybe not wrong, but inadequate.

In my journey, for instance, I have used and then come past the term "color blind." I'm not where I need to be, but I am still working in that direction.

As parents - you done good. "It doesn't matter" was clearly what was needed st the time. Bless you for now wanting to come even further.

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Response to soldierant (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 06:32 AM

10. I appreciate your kind words

I'd say "welcome to DU" but I see you've been around a while too. I read all the time, but do not post a lot.

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Response to ok_cpu (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 07:34 PM

19. I joined years ago,

posted a few comments, and then didn't come back until recently, so I'll gladly accept the welcome, with thanks.

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 03:34 AM

7. K&R, Well said!

And thank you for the wake up call!

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #7)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 06:40 AM

11. I don't know what it was about that interview yesterday

I listen to Signorile's show every day. Michelson is a regular and Sudbay is on a lot. But yesterday, I heard a little more strain and urgency in their voices. It shook me up.

There are large groups of people living with the anxiety and threat of not keeping, or ever being able to get, the things that I take for granted every day. It shouldn't be that way.

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Response to ok_cpu (Reply #11)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 06:48 AM

13. I understand, it seems like that's happening a lot these days to so many of us

With Trump, that sense of safety is gone. Things we took for granted are suddenly upside down and we never know what kinds of things we never gave a second thought about before are going to be affected or who or what will be targeted. These are scary times since we never know what's going to happen next. Anxiety is rampant these days for all kinds of unexpected reasons. You're definitely not alone.

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 04:08 AM

8. Thank you!

Too many are ignoring the very real threat against the LGBT communities, until it is "cool". Thank you for fighting and speaking out in our defense.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #8)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 06:46 AM

12. It's been said by people way smarter than I

but, an injustice to one is an injustice to all.

I want the world where it doesn't matter. To get there, it has to matter today.

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 10:10 AM

14. The change in America's acceptance of gays

Last edited Fri Sep 6, 2019, 10:17 PM - Edit history (1)

Is very similar to how the country turned against the Viet Nam war. Once it got to the point where everyone had a friend or family member who was affected, it became personal and the support for an immoral war - either in southeast Asia or against our fellow citizens - was no longer possible.
Thanks for a heartfelt post, ok_cpu. I had a cousin who died in the 80s when AIDS was still a scary curse from god that seemed to only affect the “deviants” in San Francisco. He sadly could only admit that he had been gay his entire life in the last month he was alive, and one of his brothers rejected him for it. I now have two other cousins who are happy, vibrant and successful people who just happen to be in same-sex relationships. We have come a long way.

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 12:13 PM

15. Yes. It matters. What an OUTSTANDING post!

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 12:36 PM

16. So happy you decided to post...that was a wonderful note...and you're 100% right!

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 06:20 PM

17. Please post more often. nt

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 06:29 PM

18. Yes it does.

My wife and I try not to use, "It doesn't matter". I know it is meant to be a neutral phrase, but to me at least, there is an implication of something you are "letting pass". We tell our son and daughter that what is important to us is that if they are with a partner that it is someone who loves them, respects them, and treats them well.

The shame is on society for placing stigma on people and discriminating based on who they are attracted to and with whom they enter into a loving relationship.

That is our biggest fear, not that they may be attracted to the same sex, but how small minded people might treat them for it.

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 07:45 PM

20. Thank you! Folks like me are dependent on the love and dedication of folks like you.

I am very grateful to you and the many straight allies that support and defend the lives of the LGBTQ community.

Your son is VERY fortunate to have you as a parent.

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 09:58 PM

21. A beautiful testament

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 10:31 PM

22. Thank you! N/T

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Fri Sep 6, 2019, 10:34 PM

23. K&R...

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2019, 04:12 AM

24. No wonder he was so comfortable coming out to you. Good job -- to both of his parents!

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2019, 07:13 PM

25. Thank you for this perfect answer

to Drew Brees. Many good people in New Orleans and Louisiana hold Drew Brees in the highest regard because he has not only brought fame to NOLA but shown real love to his hometown and exemplified the kind of family man we all admire. This is why there is so much distress and sadness over his defense of Focus on the Family and their hateful views about LGBTQ brothers and sisters who are not considered part of "the Christian family.". He is saying that it makes no difference because he lives and preaches love for all people, no matter their orientation. Surely he knows that it does make a difference as he has been involved with Focus on the Family since 2010 and the cruel legislation they have supported. I hope you will send your letter to Drew Brees and to the Times Picayune New Orleans Advocate.

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Sat Sep 7, 2019, 10:11 PM

26. I knew I was gay by 13. I also knew some people would hate me for it.

It took me a few more years to learn what they were called: Republicans.

I feel like I've been fighting them my entire life, voting against them, railing against them online. It takes a lot of energy, and it never ends because they never stop attacking our families. I am only comforted by the wins we've had, and there have been a lot. But I can't rest because I know if they had a mandate from the public to re-criminalize our sex lives, marriages, adoption, military service, etc., they'd do it in a heartbeat. This is a fight I'll be in for my entire adult life. Trumpism is mostly anti-immigrant but it could turn against us very easily so I speak out about that too. "First they came for the immigrants..."

Thanks for your support. I wish my mother had been more like you.

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Response to ok_cpu (Original post)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 11:48 PM

27. I'll echo Lefty's sentiment above

Wishing my father had been more like you.
I find it sickeningly funny when the RWNJ's refer to the "gay agenda" as some demonized attempt to "make" children gay, when the reality is the only agenda is to dispel the phobias, end the stigmatization and bullying of those who don't fall within the narrow parameters of dogmatized morality. The agenda is to help LGBTQ and questioning youth feel comfortable to be themselves.
Furthermore, this has taken such a backwards turn. The U.S.A. is supposed to be a refuge for the oppressed, instead the Trumpers are attempting to pervert that.
I would love if someday the U.S.A. were to offer refuge and rescue to LGBT worldwide, hopefully providing alternatives to inhumane brutality. Plus, heaven only knows once Trumpism dies down, we are going to need an army of fashion designers and interior decorators, because... oh, gurl:
?impolicy=img_600

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