That is what I learned on Sunday.
I am not gay. I am not trans-gender. And most days I am not bi-sexual or lesbian. The days I wonder are the days that being married to a man isn't one of my many blessings. And I am pretty sure that in the open mindset that I have and in the era that I live, I do find a woman on occasion that I find beautiful or intriguing. Then I come back to reality and remember that I do, in fact, enjoy men more and more particularly enjoy my husband.
I have had the pleasure in my lifetime gotten to meet and become friends with individuals who fall into the LGBT category. I also have had the DISpleasure of meeting individuals who fall into the LGBT category. It turns out, ladies and gentlemen, they aren't any different than those who I've met and become friends with or met and found I very much dislike who are heterosexual.
They are people too. Just like people of different races and people from different countries. They all have their own traditions, way of life, things they celebrate that are different than what I traditionally grew up with.
What I like most about the LGBT community is that they seem to be the most accepting group of EVERYONE I have met. I want my kids to be raised to be accepting of everyone the way I was and so I took Linus with me to the Pride Festival that was held in downtown SLC.
The festival was just like any other festival. There were the normal every day people. A few who were a little more glamorous and beautiful than normal people. And the obscene and over the top. Instead of it being white trash, it was gays, lesbians, and the occasional drag queen.
I enjoyed looking at the booths, the people, and enjoying the food.
Linus is at a stage in his development where he wants to be independent. Of course, that isn't always easy to achieve. Especially when we are out in public and there are a lot of people milling around. Matt bought him a backpack that has an attachable leash. I put that on him when he wants to walk around. That way I don't have to spend my time and mental focus on watching where he is all of the time. He walked around, enjoying the festival and others watched him and giggled.
It is very funny to hear the comments as we walk by. You can certainly tell those who have kids and those who don't.
From those who have kids, "That is the greatest invention EVER!" "Isn't that the best thing?"
From those who don't, "Hmmmm, I'm not too sure about the dog leash thing." "He's a kid, not a dog." "Backpack is cute, but what's up with the leash?"
Good thing I don't care what people think of my parenting skills huh?
Linus started to get bored and having a little temper tantrum right about the time we walked past a booth with a lady selling things for kids. Puppets, practical joke props, and....a bubble gun! Linus had to have it and I had to get it for him. He loves bubbles and I knew it would keep him occupied for a while.
I was right about it keeping him occupied. I was not, however, expecting all of the reactions we got from the bubble gun. He managed to shoot 3 out of 5 people there and not one of them was weird about it. Not one of them looked at me like, "Reign that kid of yours in would you?" Not one of them acted bugged by it. How great it was! All of them giggled, laughed, told him how cool his gun was, asked to be shot again, asked where we got it...one or multiples of these responses by everyone. Even though the bubble solution was stinky and slimy. And sometimes it got into food. No one complained or looked at me cross eyed.
Everyone was especially friendly and it was a very pleasant way to spend my Sunday brunch time.
So, as I've said, I have had the pleasure of meeting those who are LBGT. I have had the displeasure as well. I have seen the joy and happiness of those who have embraced who they are. I have seen the sadness and loss of those who have embraced who they are and have not been accepted. I have seen the anger and self destruction of those who don't embrace who they are because they don't think they have the right. I know that for some reason this is a controversial subject. That people think this is an awful way to be and can't stand supporting those who are "different." I for one, was taught Jesus loves everyone. I also was taught that everyone sins. So...if you feel this is a sin...*shrug* who are you to point a finger? I'm pretty sure that the fly on your wall has a few stories to tell itself.
I have the right to be who I am. Shouldn't everyone?