Because my friend can get physically assaulted by her uncle as the words “dyke” spews from him ignorant mouth and it isn’t a hate crime. He’s just an uncle with an anger issue, not another perpetrator of unjustified violence based on the fact that she has a girlfriend. Because Love is real, but hate feels more tangible sometimes. Like fists and feet pounding into innocent flesh for the cause of a God who has clearly mandated a life of loving others well.
We live in a system that fails to understand or recognize the depth of violence perpetrated against lgbtq persons. It doesn’t always have to leave physical bruises. Sometimes it’s words. Or manipulation. Or the fear that sits just beneath the surface.
Like how I have to keep my head down when I walk into a women’s restroom because sometimes they demand that I leave.
Like how my youth pastor mocked our gay waiter after he left, with a limp wrist and a lisp.
Like how sometimes holding the hand of the woman I love can illicit some of the most bone chilling glares from strangers.
It’s hate rhetoric spewed by politicians more interested in getting votes than caring for all of their constituents equally.
It’s being asked to leave churches because, “it’s making others uncomfortable.” Because the point of being in a place dedicated to worshiping a man who flipped over tables is to make everyone around you comfortable. Yup. That’s it.
It’s serving a Christian organization for seven years and being asked to resign for fear of rocking a leaking boat. (Let the record reflect: Asking people to show love regardless of personal opinion will always be my favorite form of boat rocking).
I’m mad today and every day. For my friend who has done so much good work to be happy and whole. For my community and family of beautiful souls moving through a world thick with violence trying to keep the dust off of their feet, trying to keep their hearts soft and filled overflowing with love. For all the ways violence tries to take all of the good, beautiful things away.