i finally got myself to watch MILK last night.
it had been sitting on my dvd shelf for god knows how long, my bad.
“…you can’t live on hope alone, but without hope… life would not be worth living” - harvey milk
the media has been covering gay issues quite frequently and all this attention on gay issues has really gotten me thinking over the past few days. from stories about the rulings on DADT (don’t ask don’t tell), to the ongoing struggles with overturning PROP 8, to the recent suicides of gay teenagers across america, and even on the latest installment of glee.
one of my daily routines is to check the local newspaper site and read about local current events. i always shift my vision to the right and look at the most viewed articles. article #3 happened to be a what/where/when article for the upcoming gay event at six flags this saturday. i wanted to see how they were hyping it up, but i was too focused on the link that said (10 comments posted). i paused for a second because i knew what i was about to read, stupid bullshit that was only going to upset me, but i clicked anyways.
comment after comment about how stupid six flags must be to give the gays their own day. “how dare they celebrate those ‘animals’ “ one comment read. the one that put the cherry on top was a comment that compared homosexuals to pedophiles and to those who engage in bestiality… sexual deviants who should burn in hell. another comment that read “hooray for six flags’ sodomy day”
i exited the page and sat motionless for a while. quite frankly, it wasn’t so much the text itself because i’ve actually read a lot worse. i was more so bothered by the overall intolerance that still exists amongst us. i mean sure, i wasn’t surprised or anything, but i was still bothered by it all. i mean, of course people in this area of the bay were going to write such heinous things, solano county being the only county in the bay area to have the majority vote for YES on prop 8.
it made me think about my friends. it made me think about my family. co-workers, everyone. i mean sure, everyone knows i’m gay, and to my face… everyone’s cool with it to a certain extent. but how much can i openly live my life before my sexuality becomes an issue, a burden, a problem, an irritation. for example, sure… i’m allowed to be “cute” gayin terms of decorating for the holidays, getting excited over interior design, or picking out what people should wear. “cute” gay is acceptable. it’s like that’s the only times when it’s okay to be gay. but what about thesexuality part of homosexuality.
i started thinking about relationships. the differences between how easy it is to be a straight couple compared to a gay one. for example: what about when i get a boyfriend. is it going to be awkward if i invite him to parties? will ppl have to lie and say that he’s just a “friend.” when i bring him out with friends, will everyone be embarrassed if the two of us were to hold hands or sneak in an innocent kiss in public. is that a time for everyone to be ashamed that they brought me along. is that when my straight guy friends will pretend that they don’t know me?
i started thinking about the whole picture. i started thinking about the future. people tell me all the time that they have my support. how much support do i really have? it’s not just about showing support. anyone can “show” support, but not everyone can GIVE support. it’s not just about supporting the ONE gay friend that you have… but more so, supporting the ENTIRE CAUSE, not just .00001% of it. honestly, people want to talk about how gay marriage is okay and shouldn’t be an issue, but how many of those people actually went out on election day exactly 2 years ago and GAVE SUPPORT, obviously not enough! Shouting “No on Prop 8” simply isn’t enough. Wearing a button or slapping on a bumper sticker will not suffice. it takes more… needs more action!
only now when gay youth start taking their own lives do people want to actually start taking a stand. but honestly in my opinion, not enough is happening.
i remember not too long ago busting out my old journal that i used to keep back in high school. it was weird to see how depressed i was, how hurt i was, how close to the edge i was. several entries about suicide. several. it brought me back, way back. i was in a really dark place at the time. i remember being 15 or 16. my dad and i had gotten into a really bad fight about me being gay. stupid words were exchanged, awful names were yelled and i almost lost it. i ran outside with a kitchen knife. i walked to the bench my dad had built and contemplated my next move. i was just sitting there in the front of the house, holding this knife in my hand. i kept on lightly pressing it again the veins of my wrist, lightly enough to create soft white lines, but not enough to break any skin. i just sat there, in complete isolation in the open, tickling my veins with this damn kitchen knife. i sat there crying for a good half hour with weapon in hand feeling so incredibly sorry for myself.
i couldn’t bare to do anything further. i knew doing more wouldn’t have solved anything. i decided to breath deep and hope for a better tomorrow. it’s crazy how much i’ve changed since then. i’ve grown so much since then. i’ve learned so much about myself since then. and thankfully i had enough courage to put away that knife and give myself time to grow and learn. i wish more people could say the same. i wish more people didn’t have to give in like that. i wish more people would give themselves more time to grow and learn. i wish more people would give others more time to grow and learn.
sure, since Harvey Milk’s time in the 70’s, things are a lot different and being gay is a lot more welcome, but also in several ways, not much has changed.
i’m not sure what will happen in the near future, but i can only hope for more hope. i can only continue to hope for a better tomorrow. i can only hope that hearts will start opening, brains will start opening, and people will start realizing that the things that they say to others can indeed affect their actions. people need to realize that even though sticks and stones may cause damage, the emotional damage that words can create can be far more severe.
we all need to realize that love is love. no matter who is giving it or who receives it, love in any way, shape or form will ease all pain and will make the world a better place. this is what we need to hope for. that is what harvey milk hoped for. this is what i hope for…