I recently wrote to a childhood piano teacher, who had expressed a hard stance against gay marriage. I felt compelled to do so because she was truly one of my favorite people as a child. I think it’s important that we all take the time and patience to truly explain to people in our lives, past and present, how we feel without getting irrational or angry. Here is what I wrote:
Dear Mrs. X,
I hope you are doing well. I have thought long and hard about whether or not I would like to write to you, and finally decided that I would.
Gathering from your posts on Facebook, I can see that you are very anti-gay marriage, as many people in our country are. In 2008, after much personal struggle, I came out as a gay man. This was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, in a world filled with such polarizing views on gay people, but it was the best decision I ever made.
The decision though was not to BE gay. I did not choose to be this way, I am just choosing to live my life with honesty. I know at the core, I am a (fairly) good person, with a moral standard and the same aspirations as a straight person. I am no different. Nor should I be considered “less equal” under the law.
I respect your right to disagree with opposing views of gay people and gay marriage on religious grounds; however, I do not think anyone should be treated as a second-class citizen under the law. I am sure you do not see the sanctity in marriages or unions on religious grounds of Hindus, Jews and Muslims; yet, under the law, you accept these marriages as legitimate. As you should.
Did you know that in our lovely home state of Florida (aside from not being able to marry, file joint tax benefits that all straight couples get and adopt), I would not even be able to visit a dying
partner/spouse in the hospital or collect necessary death benefits to pick my life back up? God forbid something like this happens, but could you imagine not being able to see the person you love the most in their last hours? I certainly cannot. The thought alone brings tears to my eyes.
I am not writing this to you out of anger or rage. I just want you to know there is a human being behind the “gay agenda” and “gay marriage” you so despise. And that person is me.
I have so many wonderful memories growing up and taking piano lessons with you. I still to this day remember many of the songs you taught me by heart! I think you are a wonderful person at the core, but I wish you could see that the message you are sending is one of exclusion and hate. It hurts me to see such a caring person, whom I used to respect greatly as a child, take such a virile stance on something that does not promote equal rights for all citizens.
I wish you all the best, and hope that one day (if not today), you will understand where I am coming from.