Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Imagine having to live a life where the very essence of your identity and whole being has to be defended publicly and reassured constantly. Imagine a life where more than often you have to hide how and who you love. Imagine for a second that kind of life. I am gay, I know. I went to see Milk the movie yesterday in downtown Dallas. Sean Penn was remarkable in his portrayal of slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk. The movie, a biopic, was intense and committed to tell the truth pertaining this hero of the gay community. Having suffered a great deal throughout my life for both concealing the fact and revealing the fact of being gay really makes me wish nobody has to go through this ordeal. It has been a life struggle having to deal with homophobia. Homophobia is so pervasive in our society. Many times it is not that obvious, it takes rare forms, it camouflages itself. It feed on fear and ignorance. Harvey Milk reminded us gay humans to fight for our rights, our human right to be free and live a good life. Above all, I think his most important legacy was his courage, his daring outcry against an unjust society. The struggle continues today when in the vast majority of states in America a gay citizen cannot marry or be protected against job discrimination. In many nations around the world people are killed for being gay. I often become indignant and emotional when someone expresses their hatred or intolerance towards gay people. Ignorance and disinformation are usually the culprits of homophobia. Harvey demonstrated with his life that you have to stand up for what you believe is right. He also believed that gay people must come out of the closet so their family, their friend, their neighbors and co-workers stopped making false asumptions about the "gay lifestyle" . When I came out to my parents I was 32 years old they immediately embraced me and assured me of their love. My two sisters do not wish to acknowledge me being gay. My brother fully accepts who I am (He went with me to see the movie). Many old friends stopped talking to me many years ago. The majority of my extended family pretends I am not gay and that I am some kind of a loner for not having a wife. I still do not understand why people react differently being given the same facts and information about being gay. I do know that those who have decided not to accept me fully for who I am simply put do not know me. I will not share the gift of my intense, vivid, adventurous, blessed life with them. Harvey Milk makes me proud to be gay, a gay human who lives and loves in this world. I am grateful for being gay, it has been one of the most important aspects of my life. The gift of being gay has opened doors to self exploring and realization, it has made me more human than anything else in my life. I honor the memory of a human being named Harvey Milk, an inspiration, a hope, a committed citizen, a brother in arms.