When I was young, I was a real asshole. I had no consideration for other people and their feelings, I always needed to make my point, and most importantly I knew what was wrong and right and everyone else pretty much didn't. I think you get the point, right?
Anyway -- I think/hope I have changed quite a bit over the years for various reasons, and now my credo is kindness and respect; that's really all that matters anymore. The same holds true for all my writing, so I usually stay away from anything controversial and keep a lot of my opinions to myself.
However, there is one thing that I have been itching to take a stand on -- online and offline -- and it's something I am not willing or able to respect any asshole opinions on: my daughter is gay and I think that's perfectly fine.
Let me back up a bit and start at the beginning.
Pauline is 17 and I never gave much thought to the fact that she didn't show any interest in boys. Whatever, right? When she started hanging out with M. a while ago, I didn't think too much about that either, until we all went on a little shopping trip about two months ago and my husband said to me: "I think those two are more than just BFFs. I was watching them in the rearview mirror and the way they look at each other... I know young love when I see it!"
Of course I asked Pauline about it and she said: "Yes, we are dating. I am gay." As simple as that. Honestly? I thought it was as simple as that.
We talked about it some more and she told me that she had known for a long time. And that she didn't want to confide in any of her friends, because "a lot of them think being gay is wrong." Whaaaaaa?
I was shocked. Really? In 2014? In Canada? Young people? Yes, apparently I am really naive.
Of course I respected her wishes not to talk about it on social media or with her friends, but my heart broke a bit for her. I realized that she will probably have struggles to overcome because she is gay, and fight battles that straight people don't have to fight.
Coming out is still a big deal (I came across this article by Vikki from Up Popped a Fox at Villageq -- read it!), and the world is full of intolerant and unkind people.
Over the last few months, Pauline has gotten more and more comfortable with confiding in her friends about being gay -- and I breathed a sigh of relief that they all have been supportive so far. I know everyone has obstacles to overcome in life, and I can't (and don't even want to) clear the path for either of my children, but the fact that one of my kids has to worry about being accepted for who she is at the very core makes me furious.
A few days ago, Pauline told me about something that happened at the Gay Pride Parade in Vancouver -- members of an anti-gay group snuck into the parade and distributed hate messages, wrapped in condom packages. Naturally, Pauline was outraged -- and decided to take a stand.
And I'm taking a stand as well.
I support my daughter and the LGBT community 100 percent. The only requirement I have for people (and that goes for gay and straight) is not to be an asshole, and to be kind and respectful.
If you are a hater of LGBT people, I don't want to be your friend. If you are a hater of LGBT people, I don't want to do business with you. That part is really simple.
Love you, Pauline!