I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other night. She told me that her teenage son “came out.”
“My son told me that he’s gay” were her precise words.
My exterior reaction followed the principles by which I often write in my blog and I said, “Good for him!”
My interior question was: “How did you react?”
I didn’t have to ask, however, because my friend immediately followed with: “His friends, some gay, most straight, all surrounded him and gave him a big hug. I am so proud of him.”
Then, the inevitable question arose in the back of my brain and quickly moved forward. “I have two young sons. How would I feel if my son told me that he’s gay?”
My own answer was as swift and I was confident that the answer I quietly gave to myself was honest.
I wouldn’t care. Not one bit.
My only concern would be that my son is happy and that the persecution from those who don’t understand will not interfere with his happiness and his life goals. That’s a big concern, of course, but happiness does not necessarily follow the fairytales we were indoctrinated with as children. Sometimes we are challenged, and our lives can be fulfilled by the fight for freedoms our hearts should enjoy.
Then another, perhaps, more interesting question arose. “What if my son told me that he was a right wing conservative who opposes gay rights? How would I react?”
I’m going to continue with this threadbare honesty….I would be disappointed.
Sexuality is what you are; the chemistry of your corporeal self, given to you by nature, but your politics are your ideology; they are part of who you choose to be. It is how you perceive and process justice, fairness, equality; it is your compassion and your generosity.
I cannot say that the political “left” or the Democratic Party hold an exclusive lease here or that conservatism does not share any of those values, but there is a core platform to each side and it is from that perspective that I align with one side over the other.
I align to the left because of a core value that fights for everyone, not just the privileged or those with the wherewithal or gifts to compete.
I align to the left because there is a history to correct the imbalance of power that deprives too many from America’s resources that should be shared.
I move away from the right because I don’t believe that economics should be a measure for justice.
I move away from the right because I don’t see the world in black and white ideological platitudes rather I see the shades of gray that can lead us closer to the truth.
My sons are sovereign souls, however, and can be whomever they wish to be and I will respect the choices they make. But I don’t have to like every choice.
The “who” in the equation is where I played a role as a moral influence, and if my son (or sons) were to one day choose a political platform that would deny equal rights to others, that would pander to wealth while creating challenges for the physically, mentally, socially or economically afflicted….well, I would have a problem with that.