Dear Gay and Lesbian Friends,
To me, this life is simply a learning experience, a school if you will. I strongly believe the purpose for our existence in this learning experience is to learn how to love and to be loved. We have a hard-wired, built-in system to guide us in our choices and decisions. Cars and smart phones have GPS. I believe all people are born with our own PGS, Personal Guidance System (also know as conscience). Smart people, whether they have a smart phone or not, will pay close attention to our PGS.
If we pay close attention to our PGS it will never fail to steer us to the right choices to get our power (power; the ability to get what I want) through kindness, courtesy, respect, love, compassion, negotiation, etc. I call this integrity, to integrate my conscience with my words and actions.
Living with integrity is the best path to happiness in my opinion, but it certainly is not always easy. It is often extremely challenging. On the other hand, MLK said, “The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where the stand in times of challenge and controversy.”
My brother-in-law Tony Caldwell has his own words of inspiration on this topic. He says, “The more we exercise our muscle of integrity the easier it becomes.”
Life’s biggest challenge I think is that living with integrity is not always easy. Often times we live with powerful feelings of fear, anticipation of pain. Because we all have a deep desire to love and to be loved, we often have intense fear of being rejected. We think of our self as inadequate, unworthy, flawed, or even unlovable, as not good enough to be accepted and loved. We buy into cultural stereotypes and judge ourselves unfairly based upon unrealistic expectations of what we think we “should be”.
It hurts me to think of the fear and pain my gay and lesbian friends must experience to live in this society with so much emotional, psychological, and spiritual immaturity generating and perpetuating so much hatred, alienation and rejection. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I think I probably have more gay and lesbian friends than I have straight friends. Some have come out and some haven’t. I can assure anyone and everyone who reads this, without exception, all of my gay and lesbian friends are the most loving, compassion, kind, and caring people you will ever meet. If you have problems with them, or reject them, it is your ignorance and fear that prevents you from loving and being loved, not theirs. It hurts me deeply to see someone’s actions or hear someone’s words that I know will hurt or scare my friends. I disgust myself when I realize I’ve participated in this cruelty with insensitive jokes or comments.
I have infinite respect for my friends who have been able to directly face, and rise above, incredible fear of rejection to come out of the closet and accept yourself as you are. You are such brave examples of integrity and self-empowerment. I feel such deep affection and appreciation for having you in my life. You inspire me to challenge and rise above my own struggles to fulfill my purpose of learning to love and to be loved. I have learned so much from you and I am grateful to you.
There are two reasons I’m writing this. One is because I want to make it public and known to my gay and lesbian friends I love and care about so much who are have not come out, if you ever decide to, I will still be there with you. I will accept and honor you for who you are. I will not reject you.
The second reason I’m writing this is because I want others to do the same. I think another quote from MLK sums it up the best, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
I guess I'm just not a silent kinda guy.