Okay, it may seem odd to some, but being gay is something I am truly grateful for. It is just one interesting element of my personae which gives me different perspective and varied life experience, and I wouldn't change it for anything. Unfortunately, not everyone who is LGBT can say that they are grateful for this particular frame of reference, and the conflict they've felt has led to lifetimes of unhappiness.
For far too many, they associate being gay with negative qualities, whether from their own religious beliefs, or those of others, or by animosity directed towards them based on their orientation.
But this has got to change.
Even if you accept the view that being gay is a sin or abnormal, what then? Have you really thought this all through? Do you harass those who are LGBT, simply because you equate it as a negative? Do you challenge them to "convert", as if such were possible? Or do you wish LGBT people would simply disappear?
I believe that many of those with strong anti-gay views do hope that LGBT people will simply up and disappear, exterminated. What else could they be hoping for, by denying equality? They want us to either be treated as sub-humans, or to go away--neither of which will happen, if I have anything to say about it.
The faulty part of their logic comes when you ask them what they truly envision. Few will admit to advocating for the erradication of LGBT people, but isn't that what they seem to be working toward? They are creating an environment where gay youth feel that suicide is preferable to life.
But I believe if they truly followed their logic to its conclusion, we might actually change some minds.
Show them what a world without gay people would be like. Imagine the world without the Sistine Chapel, painted by a gay man. Imagine the world without Michelangelo and his "David." Imagine the world without the music of Janis Joplin, Elton John, or the Village People. Imagine the world without the plays of Edward Albee, or Tennessee Williams, or Stephen Sondheim. Imagine the world without the writings of Virginia Woolf, Truman Capote, or Augusten Burroughs. Imagine the world of sports without Martina Navratilova or Greg Louganis. Imagine "Glee" without Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer. Oh, wait--there wouldn't even BE a "Glee" without creator Ryan Murphy!
Without LGBT people, the world would continue to turn, but it would be a far grayer place.
To help change minds and expand horizons, I've launched a twitter campaign, hoping to combat LGBT stereotypes. Using the hashtags #rethinkgay and #imaginetheworldwithout, I hope to create dialogue and remind the world community at large just how bleak our world would be with the enormous contributions of the gay and lesbian community.
Of course, right now, my campaign is really a monologue. It takes more than just one person, screaming in the wilderness, to make a difference. Join the conversation. Follow me on twitter.com/edwardsstout. Retweet my #rethinkgay and #imaginetheworldwithout messages.
Together, we can create a world in which each and every LGBT person can wake up and say, truly, that they are thankful for being gay.
Causes Kergan Edwards-Stout Supports
AIDS Services Foundation/Orange County, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Literary