Thursday, February 28, 2013

What Would I Say?

      What would I say if you asked me how I feel about Bill 18?
      Do you really want to know?
      I'm glad you asked, because it's been on my mind a lot this week.

I would say that everyone has the right to feel and be safe.
We are all the same - all looking for someone to validate who we are.
I would say that where there is intolerance and unacceptance it usually comes from fear.
I would remind us all that perfect love casts fear out.

I would tell people who are against Bill 18 that having a Gay-Straight Alliance in your child's school is not going to turn anyone into someone who will identify as LGBTQ.
Those beautiful creatures are in your child's school already.
They're just silent and waiting and probably afraid.
Trust me, they're there and they're waiting for the nod that says, "you were perfectly and wonderfully made as you are".

I would tell you how desperately I wish there was room for all of us at the table.
That maybe I've made plenty of space on the bench that I sit on, but that the bench on the opposing side of the table appears full.

I've spent the past month working on a Heritage Fair project with Ellie on the Indian Residential School System.  I still shudder when I read the words in the official government documents refering to "the Indian Problem".   (Like being Indian was something to be ashamed of, obliterate, and erase.)

Cultural genocide - right here in our home and native land.  

How could they have been so wrong?   I ask myself.  
I remember asking myself that same question as a young girl when I first learned about the Holocaust.
I also recall wondering why so few people ever spoke up and did something to stop it.

I don't want to be one of those "ones".  (God save me from it.)
Save me from ever living my life so that my girls have to look at me one day and ask why I didn't say something.

As my dear friend Joyce has pointed out over the course of our friendship, "if I'm going to be wrong and get things messed up, let me always mess up on the side of love, not judgement".

I would say that I'm afraid that the way that I feel about this is going to force me to make difficult choices.

I would tell you how grateful I am for the friends in my life from the LGBTQ community.  
How their stories have shown me what courage looks like.
That I don't think I would have ever had the courage or strength to be true to myself in the face of the fear and the hate that other people have looked upon them with.

Make room on your bench at the table.
We can learn a lot by sitting side by side.
There is nothing to fear.

         That's what I'd say.

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