The backlash this week from religious “leaders” in North Carolina and elsewhere regarding President Obama’s declaration of support of gay marriage has me rilled up. Okay, angry. Okay, VERY ANGRY. When I get this uncomfortable, this pissed off, this outraged….I know I need to get quiet and look inward. What is it in me that this brings up such a strong reaction?
Last year when same-sex marriage became legal in New York state, I cheered and cried. Cheered for the inherit rights of so many of my friends, and cried because I did not have a partner to share the experience with. Relationships have always been illusive, something that other people do. I desperately want one, yet can never seem to find the right one.
When the president gave his interview, my immediate reaction was “that’s great.” Then the preacher men started to get involved. I couldn’t believe the vile behavior. I began to watch every interview I could find, almost obsessively.
They are so homophobic!!!!!!!
And then it hit me. I have internalized homophobia!…. I have internalized homophobia?…..I have internalized homophobia. I am actually as angry at myself as I am of these religious leaders.
I am sad that I still carry the rage of tormentors that I have been listening to since my youth…all the years of hearing hateful speech, being teased, picked on, called ”queer” and “faggot”. I took in their prejudice and rage and made it my own, and I have kept it within me.
Oh, I masked these feelings when coming out of the closet in the early 90′s. I marched on Washington and in pride parades. I thought myself quite an “important” gay in Oklahoma when the local newspaper put me on their top OUT list. But in all of this, I was still a scared little boy who feared prejudice, hatred and at times for my life.
Regardless of detractors who think it was a political move, our President has courage. There is so much being made of bullying lately. Is it really that surprising when you look at the reaction to President Obama? I thank him for what he has done for todays youth and for those of us that are still attempting to heal these wounds of abuse. Clearly there will still be loud hatred and disgust for us, but we all know history has now officially turned the corner. And so have I. Thank you President Obama. Thank you.
We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear- Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of the clips that gave me pause: