Ellen talks about it, Anderson Cooper talks about it, Fort Worth City Council Member Joel Burns talks about it, and it's only fair that we start listening: no one chooses to be different, no one wants to be an outsider, and no one under any circumstances should be made to feel like an other or unloved in any stage of their life, ever.
In light of the teen bullying crisis across our country my dear friend Jaci, and a true GLBT Ally, has created an online community found here: http://weareallies.tumblr.com/ All members of the GLBT community and their supporters are invited to share their story and their support.
Here is my story and my pledge of support.
I grew up in the suburbs of South Florida; at the cross section of Cowboy Country and Rodeos and the designer boutiques and synagogues. I fell into the latter camp. Growing up I did not know GLBT teens, and the adults that I did know were all by association; the former rabbi at our synagogue, the Cantor, a hebrew school educator, a music teacher -- come to think of it our Temple was a pretty balanced experience.
Not until college was I fully immersed in an environment of young adults who were actively engaged in finding and being themselves; gay, straight, still deciding, it didn't really matter at American University.
At AU, I truly believe that students were able to answer the question "Who are you?" and not "What are you?" We are all human beings and that will always be the answer to the second question, nothing more, nothing less.
In my four years as an Eagle, I was very lucky to make friends with some of the most unique, spirited, passionate, creative, dedicated to whatever their cause, kinds people I could ever hope to exist. That family of friends is all kinds of different; artists, actors, politicos, writers, friends, lovers, marrieds, singles, and we are all better for having each other in our lives.
I don't see this as a political issue, this is a human issue. We are better people when we love each other, and don't waste our time with the folly of hatred, bigotry, racism, sexism, and narrow mindedness. I am better because of the people in my life who have broadened my horizons and shown me the very beautiful and colorful ways of living, and loving.
I will never forget the day that Mark and I got married; we were surrounded by all of our friends. I was so lucky to be able to get married, and publicly make that commitment to the man I love. Towards the end of that night, after a swing on the dance floor with my very talented friend I whispered in his ear, "I can't wait to dance at your wedding."
And I'll hold onto that promise until we can all dance and celebrate each other.
If you are so inclined, please share your support at http://weareallies.tumblr.com/ and share with your friends and family.