But if you don’t follow me on Twitter – let me give you a summary of my day yesterday.
I went to work, but had to leave early to tend to my children. I was in that haze of having one kid who doesn’t feel well and another who will NOT STOP TALKING. Until after lunch, when I was finally able to get them either to sleep, or in the room for quiet time. I sat at the computer to see what was going on in the world and was greeted with tons of local coverage of all of the insane lines at Chick-Fil-A. I then basically spent the next 8 hours in various levels of emotional distress ranging from anxious hopelessness to tear-filled sadness.
At one point last night – as I looked at my Facebook feed and saw people I know proudly eating their Chick-Fil-A sandwiches – I started literally sobbing uncontrollably.
Let me explain something to you in case you haven’t figured it out yet. This is my “deal breaker” issue. This is the one political issue that I will not ever understand the other side of. This is the issue that would keep me from ever getting too close to you as a friend if you disagreed with me.
Let me tell you why:
Because I have close friends and family who are gay. People who I love enough that their happiness effects my happiness. That’s the defining line to me – we probably all know a lot of gay people, right? I mean, surely we do. But in my life they are people who I love so much that their pain over not being able to marry the people they love, causes me pain. This is why it’s such an emotional issue to me. I want you to understand that so that if you disagree with me, you’ll see why I’ll always have to hold you at arm’s length because I can’t get too close to you, let myself love you too much, without hurting the gay friends and family in my life.
This Chicken Is About Freedom Of Speech! Not Gay Rights!
There are many who are insisting these lines of people were just there to support Freedom of Speech. My first argument is: If an outspoken White Supremacist was the CEO of McDonald’s and your city wanted to keep McDonald’s out – would you have shown up in support of his freedom of speech? NO. Because you would be too worried someone would misinterpret that as you agreeing with him.
Secondly – would the exact same crowd be there if the story was reversed? If Dan Cathy gave gobs of money to the Human Rights Campaign and some conservative Mayor said, “Not in my city!” Would the same people show up in solidarity? NO. They would not. There would only be a fraction of those “Free Speech” defenders there.
So – for those of you who support gay marriage but ate at Chick-Fil-A to show your support for the First Amendment? I can’t see your point of view. Because most of those people would NOT be there if Dan Cathy was either a White Supremacist or a Gay Rights Supporter. Most of those people were actually there as a discreet way of showing their support for Dan Cathy’s view on what he calls “Traditional Marriage.” In my city? Seeing those lines first hand? I’d say at least 90% of the people would NOT show up if Dan Cathy had spoken out as being a racist or a gay man. Because in those situations that 90% of people would not want to risk anyone thinking they agreed with him.
I saw those lines yesterday and just saw tons of people who were okay with outsiders assuming they agreed with Dan Cathy. And I find his statements on “Traditional Marriage” so hurtful and against what I believe – that I saw those lines as hundreds of people standing in the way of people I love marrying the people they love.
And I cried. I cried so hard. I actually had to take sleep aids and drink beer last night just to help me sleep because my heart was in so much pain and I felt so hopeless seeing those long lines of people in my community blocking my way. Maybe 10% would also stand with me in my battle for equal rights, but at least 90% of those people would stand IN MY WAY. They would block me from trying get create a world where my kids can marry whomever they want. Where my family could proudly call the person they love their wife; and have it mean the same as when Donnie calls me his Wife. All of those people would not protect the right that I believe is a basic civil liberty – the right to marry the person you love. Regardless of gender or color.
So, maybe you were in the 10% who would stand with me, but that’s not what the other side saw. The other side saw those lines of people and thought, “WE STILL HAVE A CHANCE.” Because some of us fighting for Gay Rights feel like the tide is finally turning in our direction. Courts are declaring DOMA unconstitutional. Gay people can marry in some states. DADT was repealed. We feel like support grows for us every day, but yesterday? The other side started feeling strong too. They are using YOU as ammunition to keep fighting because they are posting pictures of those lines on their Facebook walls and declaring that Americans still believe in “Traditional Values” and have not been swayed.
So, no. That chicken biscuit doesn’t mean you wouldn’t vote to give my gay friends and family their rights. Maybe you would still vote with me, and for that I would be grateful. But your face in that line yesterday is being used to fight against me. And all of those faces in all of those lines yesterday simply broke my heart. I drove by the Chick-Fil-A and I just cried. And I cried off and on again for hours. I sobbed. My heart was broken. My hope was lost.
And if you don’t mind your face being used in the fight against Gay Rights because you don’t believe Gay people should be allowed to marry; or if you proudly bought those chicken tenders to support Dan Cathy’s political views – then please know I will always keep you at arm’s length. Because you are actively fighting against the people I love. The people who I will go to battle for in every way possible until they are allowed to marry who they love because their happiness effects my happiness. And until they can be truly happy being married to their soulmate, and until they have that right to marry protected as much as the freedom of speech – then I will continue to fight. And if you’re not standing next to me, you’re in my way.
I am still very fragile about this, guys. Seriously. Please don’t panic if I disappear for a few days until this all boils over. While people are still talking about it my heart is still breaking and I need to back away from social media before I completely lose my mind.