Somehow, at a very conservative university, I've managed to fall in with a group that is more than accepting of all lifestyles -- the theater kids. No doubt, there are many other accepting people on this campus, but my group of friends is especially so. Many of us are exploring ideas of gender, sexuality, and self. Some of us know who we are, some of us are figuring it out, but in my group of friends, I am proud to say that we are all supportive of one another 100%.
I've been spoiled in this bubble of acceptance. I had a rude awakening the other night at a Glee Club party. I'm good friends with a large portion of the Glee Club, and was enjoying myself at a rather crowded, but fun get together. Suddenly, a loud voice cuts through all the conversation. I turned and saw a very inebriated and very angry young man yelling "I F***ING HATE GAY PEOPLE!"
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Before I could really think I was shouting at the guy. "Shut up! How dare you?!?" All I could think of was of all the people in that room that I knew were gay or questioning that would be hurt by hearing this guy. Though I probably should have stayed out of it, I yelled back, because I wanted those people to see that someone was willing to defend them - even if it was a sober 5' 2'' chick up against a drunken 6' 4'' Goliath. Did my words help? No. Did they stop that guy from hating gay people? Probably not. Maybe it wasn't my best move, but I couldn't stand to let the guy get away with it without someone saying something to him.
I'm glad that all my friends are so accepting. I'm glad that we all understand what it means to struggle with who you are and that we give each other so much love. But, the fact is that there are still a lot of people out there who aren't quite as tolerant as we are. The fact is, there's still a lot of work to be done. It's not always easy for me to see that from my little bubble, but I hope to be part of the solution - I just have to rein in my temper to be able to do that effectively. I've got to channel my passion for these issues into something constructive, instead of just yelling at some guy in the middle of a Glee Club party. The issues are larger than just him.