Tuesday, January 10, 2012

When straights meet the boss

I had an interesting moment this week that made me think about how much people actually put themselves into other's shoes. I wondered, what an amazing world we would live in if people did that more often. This is not to say that I'm not guilty of the same, but I try and think of it more now that I'm part of a marginalized segment of our society. Well, at least SOME are trying to marginalize us...

This week Ammon got to meet my boss. She has wanted to meet him for some time which excited me because I actually quite look up to my boss. A while ago, when I confessed to her that I was gay and explained my trepidation in coming out to her, she said something to the effect of "this company accepts anyone who does their job and works hard regardless. If you ever have any problems I want to know about it." When Ammon and my boss met it was the typical "nice to meet you" "likewise" interaction that you would expect when a spouse met the boss. I was so ecstatic to be at this point in my life I could hardly stand it.

I am fortunate beyond what I thought was possible. I'm open about who I love and am building my life with, and even those that don't like it don't let it interfere with our day to day interactions. Because (and I've heard this from people that are religious and don't agree with my life), it doesn't matter to them. To quote someone who put it slightly less eloquently: "I think it's gross, but that doesn't mean it's ok to treat you differently." This all got me thinking. I thought about my life in Utah and how people make it matter to them despite the fact it really is none of their concern. Utah is certainly not alone in this. I would never have dreamed of introducing Ammon to any of my bosses. Up until recently, had I lived in Utah (or other states), it would have been legal to fire me for it.

To all the straight people who read this, do you worry about introducing the love of your life to your boss? In most cases, I would assume not. Do you worry about being told you can have no family, biological or adopted? Probably not. Do you worry every day that one day your loved one might have an accident and they would have to die alone in the hospital because people in your state voted that's how things should be? I'm going to venture a guess and again say no.

The next time you step into a voting booth or even discuss rights of LGBT people, if just for one second, think of these things. Realize that you are not just voting to say that I DON'T DESERVE marriage, you are voting that I DO DESERVE to die alone, that I DO DESERVE to lose everything Ammon and I spent a lifetime building, and that I DO DESERVE to live without a family for the rest of my life. I have nothing against conservatism or religion, I think both can be beautiful things. I understand your problem with it, because I myself struggled. But when you use your political or religious leanings to tell 10% of the world that they DESERVE a more stressful, sad, and lonely bereft life than you because of it, I wonder how you dare call yourself a Christian with a straight face.

I want the same things you want. When I was about to choose death in order to escape my sexuality I turned back because something told me "you get one life. Even if this is bad, what lives inside you, you can spend the rest of your life putting good into this world." I want to be a good husband, father, and person. I want to leave the world a better place than what I found it. If ever you're in a situation where you're in a job you love, and your wife/husband is meeting your boss for the first time and you can practically feel the joy bursting from you, please think of all the other good people in the world who can't experience the same thing. Think of how you possibly brought that upon them just because you didn't understand what it was like to be them and either voted or showed that they didn't deserve it.

God forbid, things could change and one day whatever genetics were handed to you might make people think you deserve less than them and now you're the one who DESERVES a more difficult, in some cases tragic, life. I hope you don't experience that ever and when your spouse meets your boss that the moment is as pleasant as mine was. All I'm asking (and those who stand with me) is that right now you can hope the same for a group of people you may not entirely understand.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, darling MAN! What you have so eloquently posited is that if another were to act from a place of empathy, they may find an acceptance and tolerance of others that is (dare I say it?) Christ-like in it's purity and capacity for love. I stand with you Jeremiah - now and always.