Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Adults Bullying Adults

Because I'm involved with a few different LGBT ally groups, I've heard lots of heartbreaking stories in the last year. Here's a list of just some of insensitive remarks adults have said to other adults. In some cases I've changed the scene somewhat to protect the identity, but I've matched the intent.

Said to a mother of a gay son by one of her friends. "How does it feel to lose your child to sin?"

Said to a gay man at a store by a three adult LDS men. "Ew, don't get too close you might get HIV."

As a married gay couple ate at a fast food restaurant, the family next to them mocked, discussed, and made fun of them.

A server at a restaurant in Utah refused to wait on a gay couple.

A mother was told by a relative that she shouldn't allow her Lesbian daughter to be on the temple grounds to greet the bride, who was her sister, when she emerged from the temple.

Another faithful LDS mother was criticized by a sister she served with in a primary presidency for supporting her gay son's engagement party.

A fully active woman was released from her church calling for posting positive things about the LGBT community on facebook.

Another mother of a gay child overheard sisters in her ward talking about her in unkind ways because of her support of her child.

Bullying isn't just a kids problem. Bullies can be the co-worker at the office, the stranger on a bus, the church leader, the sister in the gospel, the neighbor, or even the couple with young children in the booth next to you. Sometimes bullying isn't as overt as the above scenes. Sometimes it comes in the form of well-meaning but ignorant remarks. It might be from a leader who calls the young person into his church office because he loves him only to scold him for not getting his mission papers in. Maybe its the parent who tells another parent that they are praying for their "lost child." Maybe it's someone encouraging another to "avoid their sinful lifestyle," without realizing the irony of judging another's path. I can't imagine what it would be like if people thought they had the right to discuss the morality of my marriage to my husband. I take it for granted when I walk into a public place with my husband that no one will tell me we don't have the right to love each other. I'm amazed at the strength of the gay couples I know. I'm inspired by mothers of gay kids who don't lose hope, who remain faithful to their convictions with never-ending and unconditional support to their children. It is my privilege to share in a small way the journey of some of the best people I know.