Arm-in-Arm with our Straight Allies

Today is an overwhelming day. The Supreme Court of these United States of America has decreed that homosexuals are NOT second class citizens, afterall, allowing us the rights and privileges of the civil—not religious—institution of marriage.

While tears trailed down my face reading history happen in front of my very eyes via Scotusblog and my twitter and facebook feeds, the real knot welled up in my throat as heterosexual allies…

…filled my Facebook with wonderful messages of support like

I LOVE YOU!!! YOU’RE A REAL PERSON IN THE EYES OF THE GOVERNMENT NOW!!!!! You were always real people to me! ♥

…stopped by my office to congratulate me….

…sent me a chat messages, like:

congrats Todd. big day for the LGBT community. meeting you and getting to know you are going to be some of the most defining moments of my life. you’ve really opened up a lot of avenues I never once dared to explore. can’t thank you enough.

…and texts like this one from a friend who’s a member of a religious body known for its deep conservative views:

When I saw the news of the Supreme Court decision I thought of you first. Grace and peace my friend.  We are celebrating this step with you and so many.

With all due respect to the pioneers of the modern Gay Rights movement that began at Stonewall, picked up momentum through the election of Harvey Milk and the passage of the nation’s first Gay Rights Ordinance, and has continued with victory and setback and victory, the battles won today can be significantly attributed to the support of our straight allies.

Paralleling the civil rights struggle that younger generations of whites joined, taking up the cry against “separate but equal,” our movement for equality has seen a huge shift in support from heterosexuals who believe our citizenship is not separated by any particular characteristic and also by many self-professing Christians who believe their God loves us gays and lesbians just the same—and are willing to go on Facebook and proclaim it!

In my own life, I have been surrounded by straight allies for years–both before and after I came out in 2006. I have had a tight circle of people whose friendship had nothing to do with the fact that I was gay—chiefly my second wife, whose love and support buoys me to this day, my Wine Wednesday friends, and other friends—most especially the heterosexual men—who befriended me throughout school and youth sport activities over past decade or so. There are also a handful of my “old church friends,” who’ve made a point to let me know nothing about their love or support was affected by my coming out.

My four sons fully support me and are not afraid to proclaim their love and support for me and the people I choose to love as do my four heterosexual siblings and my lovely aunts and nieces and nephews, And I enjoy the support of several co-workers who know that my identity neither affects nor undermines my job performance (though some will say I just do it with a little more fabulousness).

Today is a monumental day for everyone who loves America. True: we are not emerging and recovering from an evil diaspora and the ugliness of slavery like many of our brothers and sisters. But, despite all those dead-set against us and the bigotry, misapplied religious hypocrisy, and hate designed to keep us down, we are emerging as fully equal citizens—at least in the eyes of the federal government, the Supreme Court of the United States, and 13 states in this union.

And we stand here today not just because we are a strong and active community but because so many lovely, brave heterosexuals stand here with us, arm in arm, singing along with us:

We shall overcome, we shall overcome,
We shall overcome someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall overcome someday.

The Lord will see us through, The Lord will see us through,
The Lord will see us through someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall overcome someday.

We’re on to victory, We’re on to victory,
We’re on to victory someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We’re on to victory someday.

We’ll walk hand in hand, we’ll walk hand in hand,
We’ll walk hand in hand someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We’ll walk hand in hand someday.

We are not afraid, we are not afraid,
We are not afraid today;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We are not afraid today.

The truth shall make us free, the truth shall make us free,
The truth shall make us free someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
The truth shall make us free someday.

We shall live in peace, we shall live in peace,
We shall live in peace someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall live in peace someday.

6 thoughts on “Arm-in-Arm with our Straight Allies

  1. True friendship is not about race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. True friendship is about souls loving, supporting, and nurturing other souls!

  2. Pingback: Arm-in-Arm with our Straight Allies | My Blog

  3. Pingback: for LGBT people of faith, it’s time to act! | uhm…

  4. Pingback: Coming out matters, especially if you’re straight. | uhm…

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