Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Dear Dad,

As goes without saying, I love you. You have taught me many things in life and I am grateful for that. But I write this letter out of frustration and it is directed at you. Seriously, Dad, grow up. While I was watching the first episode of Glee, you walked in for perhaps ten seconds, watched a clip and made a comment that irritated me. Here's the clip, in case you forgot:

You made the comment, "I don't want to watch any show where a girl sings 'I kissed a girl.'" Why did this frustrate me? Because you speak out of ignorance. Yes, you have the right to listen to what you want and believe what you want, however intolerant or stupid it may be. But had you watched the rest of the show, or even another episode, you would have discovered that girl is straight and just loves to push the boundaries. But no, you had to make your judgment based off of whatever moral standard you think is right.

Now on to what lies beneath your bigotry. I am tired of hearing you spout phrases and comments from Rush Limbaugh to defend an ideology I am so certain you have barely thought through. How is it you can comfortably say that the government has no right to lay claim to your money or make laws that protect the rights of others from your views and your opinions? How is it you can believe that Democrats, gays, feminists, and so many others are evil, misguided, and full of hate when all I ever hear from you is bitterness, anger, and frustration? How is it that you believe the government has the right, that you in particular have the right, to intervene in the life of a pregnant woman and tell her what to do with the baby? How is it that you can tell gay men and women that they are second class citizens in this country, undeserving of the most basic of rights? How is it that you can claim that the real victims in the United States of America are white Christians? I am sick of this.

Let that girl, or any girl throughout this whole wide world, say that she likes kissing a girl. Let her. I am not particularly interested in this or even find it attractive but I don't recall thinking that what I think or want matters to that girl. She doesn't care and that's perfectly fine. You, Dad, are permitted to like Mom because society agrees that their opinion doesn't matter in this. They simply support a union forged in love and commitment to each other. Never mind that your beliefs are repulsive and blasphemous to fundamentalist, evangelical Christians. Never mind that your political views are laughable to nearly half the citizens of this great nation. Never mind that your words, spoken with flippancy, have hurt those around you. Never mind any of that. It doesn't matter. That a girl could like a girl causes you to speak with such disgust and hatred is what frustrates me. Grow up and get over it. We're different and that's that.

What will you say to me in the future? I am gay and proud of it. That has taken me years to reach this point that I could even state that. It has taken me years to even look myself in the eye in the mirror and to even be comfortable in my own skin. Why? Because people like you have taught me that I am evil, selfish, and unwanted by God. You have sought to set at naught the very teachings of the God you believe in and that disappoints me. There is already so much cruelty, despair, and hopelessness in this world. How dare you add to it.

If she were real, I'd say push boundaries. Let all society enter into the debate on whether what's being pushed is good or not, without the employment of hate. We as a nation have never achieved perfection. Our greatest moments in history are not the pinnacles of our achievement, merely a point to reach on our continuous upward climb to a better society. That's what we as Americans are engaged in: a social and political experiment. I am so sick and tired of the bullsh*t that you spout. It's sickening how you think you are obligated or permitted to tear down others just to make yourself feel better. Whatever happened to the dad that I grew up with? Did I imagine a father that was more interested in the affairs of his family over what politicians on the other side of the nation did or said? Did I imagine a father that would read his scriptures, share his testimony, and talk to his children about what mattered in their lives? Perhaps...

I will let you rant and rail in my presence for as long as you feel necessary. I have my views and am no longer interested in giving heed to what you say until you can meet the most basic of my requirements for discussion. But what I will not tolerate is if you attack my friends or, someday, the person I love based on their political beliefs, religious beliefs, personal beliefs, or even their sexuality, race, or gender. This, is a warning in advance: you will never be permitted to speak rudely of the person I love. You may speak of concerns you have. But if you mock or belittle a boyfriend or my future husband on the grounds that he is gay or acts not as manly as you wish, then we will have words. Cruelty is intolerable. I will not permit your bitterness to inflict wounds upon those I love.

With that said, allow me to share things that I think are good and wholesome to me. They will likely be offensive to you. But I find Rush Limbaugh and most of your well-liked political pundits repulsive. Yet still, I sit through their hate-filled rants when I am with you and am willing to express love to you and a desire for a better world around me. You don't have to like or even watch these videos but know that they carry the message that means a lot to me: we, in all our variety as human beings, are equal to each other.

Merry Christmas, Dad. My hope is that you will find what is promised in this song below and remember what it is teaching. Christianity is not a warrior religion to me. It is the religion of the fallen, the hopeless, the forgotten. It is the religion of healing and forgiveness. It is not the religion of utterly crushing your fellow man or of utter humiliation over your opponents. It is not the religion of pride or of arrogance but of humility, of meekness, and of love.

Your son,

Friday, December 3, 2010


Dear Sentry,

I have learned something most grievous tonight. I have hurt another individual. Such a realization saddens me deeply.

So tonight, I wish to discuss an aspect of my character with you: my cowardice.

I speak such words without any attempt to elicit sympathy, pity, or forgiveness. Let us look at this calmly and with reason. You can substitute the word "cowardice" with "pathetic" if you wish, Sentry. For as the days go by I am increasingly aware of my cowardice. I see it in the little things I do and in the words I say to my friends. It fills my eyes with tears. I am no great angel of mercy in this world. I am selfish, petty, and weak.

Tonight, a friend told me that he regretted hanging out with me one night because I had made him feel horrible. I did this, Sentry. My heart is filled with such anguish and my head is hung with shame. I told this individual how truly sorry I was for what happened. In that moment, I could feel this cowardice in me become revealed. How truly, pathetically human I was, as my friend showed me. But worst of all, Sentry, he blames himself for it. He tells me that it was his fault and that I am not to blame.

That is not the case.

I am to blame. For years I was afraid to really look myself in the eye in the mirror except to put contacts in. All I could see was this pitiful creature attempting to exist, an existence down right wretched at times. The previous sentence is charged with emotion, Sentry. I recognize this. Let me take a step back and examine things. True, I have improved a lot of the past couple of years. I have shed much of my childishness. But I do believe that on some level I recognize how much cowardice still remains within me.

When I run and hide from all the stress in my life, that's cowardice. When I run and hide when someone tells me they like me, that's cowardice. When I take advantage of another, that is cowardice. So, in summation: I am a coward.

About a month ago, Sentry, I hurt a dear friend of mine. I used her without pause for consideration of her feelings. I took advantage of her. How pathetic on my part, Sentry. That she forgave me says far more about her character - merciful and kind - than it does about mine -cowardice.

A friend of mine, over the summer, expressed outrage that I belittled his friends and family members through the use of degrading labels. He showed far more courage and decency in that moment than I ever have. I am a coward.

The coward in me is a glutton, a sloth, and an idiot. He hurts people without care, Sentry. Such a loathsome creature, indeed.

Again, Sentry, in my defense, I am trying to improve. I wish such changes would occur over night but it seems I am doomed to remain the coward in slowly decreasing amounts. It saddens me that I am such a way. I am a coward because I am afraid to recognize how I should be and ignore the great need this world has for strong people.

Without attempting to invoke the phrase "the grass is greener on the other side" argument, I state this: my friends are strong. I am not. I have much to learn, Sentry. Forgive me, I ask solemnly, for this weakness within me.

Your friend,