In response to the Supreme Court’s decision that same-sex marriage is now legal in the United States, I read an article written by Dr. John Duffy, which was published by The Huffington Post. It hit a chord with me, and I wanted to share it with you.
Dr. Duffy points out that although the Court’s ruling overcomes a huge hurdle toward equal rights for everyone, there is still much to do to gain society’s understanding of what being gay is all about. To move toward eliminating the shame that many gay people feel by being different, and not accepted, many times by their own families. The following excerpt from his article is very powerful:
For I have sat across from the young man fighting against his truth, his gay-ness, with every fiber of his being. Because it will disappoint his parents. Because he won’t be accepted or loved, but rejected. Because he has been taught that who he knows himself to be is wrong. So he fights. He fights against his very nature. The resulting anxiety and depression run so very deep.
I have sat across from the teenage girl who recognizes who she is, but loathes the fact of it, and loathes herself as a result. Because it makes her life so hard, so odd, so weird. It estranges from people she once considered safe. Thoughts of suicide hover in the shadows all around her. And yet in every conceivable way, she is better-than-fine: bright, driven, beautiful, athletic, funny. And gay.
And I have sat across from the man who has lived a lie his entire life, hiding beneath the trappings of ‘normalcy’: wife, children, house, couple of dogs. Family man. But he is tortured nonetheless. For he is gay as well, and he and those around him, he projects, would find this to be unacceptable. And now an entire family is drawn into the dark.
Dr. Duffy’s point is that everyone should be able to be true to themselves, to not live a lie, and to not feel ashamed of who they are. As a society, we still have a long way to go to ensure everyone can feel the joy of being themselves. He also asks anyone who is bitter about marriage equality to reconsider their position; to consider the fact that LOVE IS LOVE. Period. They can be part of the emotional anguish, or part of the happiness. They can make people feel good about who they are. And isn’t that something all of us should have?