Yep, us American’s sure like our wars on nouns. Usually I just think of them as funny headlines but since it was Wednesday and I knew what I wanted to post about, having been to pride this weekend, it came to me and I just had to keep it. Love is War Wednesdays are intended as fun, light-hearted looks at bits and pieces of weddings and events and I’ll try not to be too serious today, but I want to share something with you. A personal story.
One day, when I was sixteen, my mother and I were in the car. My siblings may have been in the back, I can’t for the life of me remember. Here’s what I remember: My mother saying to me “Sarah, do you like boys?” To which I responded “No, boys are stupid.” “Do you like girls?” It then dawned on me what she was asking. “No. I like boys. I just don’t like em.”
So she said, “It’s ok if you don’t.” I responded. “I know, but I don’t.” and that was the thing. I’d been raised to know that love doesn’t care about gender and neither did my parents. My mom was worried I didn’t know that. She thought of me as a sad teenager when I hadn’t been a sad child and had read that gay and lesbian kids were often sad because they thought no one would accept them. She wanted to make sure I was ok. Cards on the table: I came into my hormones late. For a while I thought I may actually be asexual. Then slowly, I started to notice boys. This talk was after that but it did make me feel that no matter what it would be ok. That’s a good feeling.
It’s a shame that so many people don’t have that feeling. I grew up in an area where people were mostly caring and accepting. In 2001, we had two girls go together to the prom, as dates instead of as ‘so I won’t have a date dates’ and we were happy for them. I’m not saying that the gay and lesbian population at my school had it easy. I don’t know how they felt. I only knew that if I ever came to the realization that girls were my interest, I’d be strongly supported.
The thing is, that’s the same reason I don’t automatically hate or tear down those who don’t understand why gay marriage should be legal (unless they are truly hateful then you may want to stand back). I don’t know how and where they grew up. I only know how and where I grew up. I know that I had and have so many advantages. I was raised to love and that’s what I try to show because I think it helps more.
That was my favorite part of Pittsburgh Pride as well. It was all about love and support and understanding. It was about loving who you are and loving others for who they are. It was about making the world a better place.
Lots of Love,
Sarah Joy McKenzie