Tuesday, July 27, 2010

He May Not Be There When You Want Him

There’s a church hymn that says, “He may not be there when you want him, but he’s always there on time,” referring to my God’s undying mercy and faithful presence in my life. You’ll notice that I never refer to him as THE GOD or make general statements to force him into your life? That’s right folks, I am at that stage in my relationship with God where I trust him to do what’s right in my life without feeling the need to impose him on yours. My belief in God doesn’t require you to buy into my faith. The remarkable thing about living with God in your life without feeling the need to jam him down people’s throat is that if he’s real to you and he is blessing you, the result (the outcome) will be testimony enough to all those around you. Recently there was an issue in my family that we put to God…’do something soon and we accept that what you do will be your will’, we said. Well, at what seemed the final hour and I’m sure at the right time, the Lord came through. Not only was his blessing good, it was better than we had asked. I have to admit that there was that very dark period before the blessing when I thought to myself, ‘what is really going on Lord?’ The truth is we don’t know what is in the works for our lives. We have a hard time accepting that some hardships come to reinforce our faith AND to help us grow. I think I’ve always believed that, but the Lord deemed it necessary to teach me and my loved ones that we can do all thing in HIS time. Not all prayers are answered the way we have begged to have them answered and there are things in our future that must happen a certain way to make room or way for something else. It’s hard having blind faith…the kind of faith that says, “Lord I want you here now…” only to hear silence. Just know that he may not be there when YOU want him, but he’s ALWAYS there on time.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Rare Benefits of Homophobia

Some would argue that being denied the right to give life-saving blood donations to their local chapter of the Red Cross or marrying anywhere in the U.S. are infringing on their ability to live normal lives. To those gay men and women, I am very sorry that you feel this way. Personally, I have embraced some of the homophobia and can now recognize the benefits offered by it.

Blood Donation: Any man who has had sex with other men since 1977 cannot donate blood. This FDA regulation was set forth in response to the AIDS crisis. Gay men are in a high risk group for HIV and hepatitis. Now, when someone in my office asks me to donate blood – regardless how diligent the campaign – I simply refer to the homophobic regulation still in place, “The FDA doesn’t accept blood donation from gay men, so I’m exempt.”

Gays in the Military: The restriction that prohibits gay men and lesbians from serving in the U.S. military says that “it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.” I don’t really get it, but I get that I don’t have to serve in the U.S. military and that’s great with me. If our country can be one of the last Western civilizations to ignorantly ban homosexuals from military service, then I say gay men and women should appreciate our men and women who keep us safe everyday and just keep it moving. You can’t imagine how many would allege to be homosexual if we institute a draft.

Marriage Equality: I am a supporter of marriage equality and cannot understand how someone who is NOT gay would care if gay men and women were married. I believe, as comedian Wanda Sykes mentioned in her act, that the greatest threat to marriage is DIVORCE. That said, I don’t require the approval of mainstream America to validate my long-term relationship and don’t need Middle America to give my partner, my son and I permission to be a family. No piece of paper will bring us together, tear us apart or keep us together should we want to bounce. As ignorant an opposition as there was to marriages between individuals of different races in our nation’s past, we will look back and see how ignorant this issue is. If you’re NOT gay, why do you care if two consenting adults tie the knot?

Get Educated or Shut Up: Sherri Shepherd, a co-anchor on the popular daytime show The View highlighted the need for real education regarding the spread of HIV. She ignorantly declared that the rise of HIV infection in black women could be attributed to the large number of down low black men. Black women are NOT disproportionately affected and infected by the high number of down low gay and bisexual men of color. The Centers for Disease Control have dispelled that rumor, but it is ignorance like Sherri’s – who also believe (d) that the world is flat – that is remembered and shared. Let’s share the truth. First, you should treat EVERYONE you have sex with as though they are HIV positive. Second, get tested at least every other physical examination. Stop looking for a group to blame and educate on how to protect everyone.

Look, I don’t care for being discriminated against and I absolutely detest homophobia, but I accept that neither will go away in my lifetime, so while these issues are toggled back-and-forth I’ll look to turn lemons into lemonade. Hey, I don’t like either, but at least I can stomach the latter.

Keep passin’ the open windows…