Continued from: 1, 2, 3, 4
I don’t know what I was aiming for with these posts. Maybe a peace summit? ;-) There are certainly serious contentions between both sides here, the sort that will never be resolved in my lifetime.
But, to me, there are also areas where we can easily improve, and, to be clear, I’m right there in with that needs-improvement crowd. I try and I’ve changed a lot from that angry 19-year-old kid, but in myself I still catch reflexive assumptions and hostilities every now and then that, when I think on it, are often not justified (oh yes, sometimes they’re justified, d*beep it! :-)).
I guess I look at some of the people I’ve met here and I think how they are regarded by some in my camp and how they too often get lumped in with those who are real malicious threats to our homes. It’s sad. It’s our face over there, under somewhat different situations of fate, and with good intent. While both sides must keep in mind our differences can make for a good deal of variation in ability and consequence for each gay man and woman, “they” are more like us and could better understand us than most. And we can do the same. We shouldn’t be taking the word of the self-styled experts on another’s life; we should cross those false lines and talk.
Of course, some of our differences will remain clear and some things may not be easily resolved, and we’ll have some contention. Everyone knows I’ll pick a fight, and I’m sure I’ll exchange argument with even some of the people I most respect before another week is up ;-) (heck, I’ll argue most with the people I respect; those are the best arguments). But all that can be done in good faith and it can be done with friendship, and I’m happy to say that’s what I most see around these digital parts.
In the end, in the gay debate, left vs. right, tradition vs. change, anti-family vs. anti-human-rights ;-), I see a great opportunity here to lower some of the weapons and progress. There is a point we could reach where those promoting gay rights do so without attacks on the gay men and women who have created a more traditional life. At that same point those inactively gay men and women can protect their families without the need to undermine ours. As I’ve written before, I can hardly think of a better ambassador to the other side of this large social debate than a person who knows both what it’s like to be gay and to care and worry deeply about their family under social pressures, and I hope the other side feels the same. That shared ground is where this fight between two often brash and entrenched forces can easily become a civil and productive conversation between people.