Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An Open Letter to LGBT Allies

Dear Allies,

Thank you. I do not think we say it often enough. We appreciate you, though that might seem less obvious as queer people gain more acceptance in society at large. The LGBT subcultures are notoriously cliquish, something many of us find endlessly frustrating. To some extent this is a defense mechanism, the logical extreme of a minority group's tribal mentality. I am glad that it has not driven you away, even when we fall prey to the same kind of group politics employed by those who despise us.

At the Baltimore Pride Festival this weekend, I saw more different-sex couples and young children than I ever expected. The sheer number of strollers and baby baskets (is there another name for those things?) there amazed me.

When straight parents intersect with queer issues in the news, it rarely makes for a happy story. We read about concerned mothers who do not want their children 'indoctrinated' by the homosexual agenda. We read about fathers who send their sons to reparative therapy or special camps in the hopes of 'curing' them. We read about grief-stricken families who wished that their kids had found support instead of taking their own lives.

Yet there you are, quietly raising your younglings to love and tolerate--or raising no children, despite all of the pressures and expectations that you 'should'. I do not expect the majority to ever agree with you; I will be happy enough with their indifference, which is certainly a sight better than hate. You, however, go above and beyond just letting us be.

You are the brother who kept my secret and said you would always love me. You are the teacher who gave me shelter from the bullies, and listened when my parents would not. You are the friend who tirelessly petitioned your legislators for our rights. You are the employer who kept me on when you could have replaced me with someone more 'acceptable'. You are the stranger who smiled at us when we walked hand-in-hand.

In your eyes I see a better future, for you are living proof that humanity can rise above the petty squabbling of ingroup against outgroup. While I welcome the neutrality or even tacit sympathy of the majority, I will always cherish having you on our side, even when all our battles are won. Thank you, once again.



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