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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gay isn't always...

I didn’t grow up in a gay world. My first experience with the word was when I was about 8 and spent a week with relatives, including an older cousin who my mother pointed a finger at as gay. Although I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant I did understand that he was different than his brother and from that day on I also looked at him as different. Was that fair? Probably not, but I was just following my mother’s prejudice.

My next experience didn’t come until I was in my 20’s and was working in an office as a file clerk. Two female employees were thought by co-workers to be gay simply because they spent a lot of time in each others company, often holding hands when they were seen together. It didn’t really bother me because it had nothing to do with my job or my life.

When my daughter was in school she had many female and male friends. Because I was a room mother for most of the years she was in elementary school I was in a position to observe her classmates. It wasn’t until years after she graduated from high school that I was told one of the boys who had been the most polite and respectful to me as a parent is gay. Did that change my opinion of him? No it did not.

My daughter’s 6th grade female teacher was also gay. A fact I learned from another teacher. For some reason this did cause me to have some uneasy feelings. It caused me to be very careful how I talked to and related to the woman. I do recall asking myself, “should this person be teaching my child?” I can’t explain the exact reason I felt uncomfortable, but I did.

After my last divorce I had a woman living with me for a few months to bring in a little extra money. Although there was nothing of a sexual nature going on, except that she had a boy friend, I was glad when she decided to move out. Silly as it sounds today the situation made me wonder what other people were thinking about the arrangement. It seems it is always the thoughts of other people that screw us up.

Also to bring in extra money I did product demos at Wal-Mart. One of the products was giving away samples of a new line of greeting cards. This particular job was a lesson in disguise. To this day I cannot believe the reaction of some of the customers when they found out the cards were created by Ellen Degeneres. In particular, the pharmacist shoved the card back in my hand with, “Oh my God, she’s gay!” Under my breath I said, “It isn’t catching!”

Speaking of Ellen, I have a great deal of respect for this talented woman. Her gay marriage to Portia in 2008 and their lives together has been kept pretty much private. When you are as famous as she is it is I am sure it is impossible to keep everything from the press. I have never seen her flaunt her gayness. She is in my opinion a very loving, kind, generous being.

There is one star who is not gay, but has flaunted her sexuality all over the world for 26 years and been applauded for her choices. Yes, I am speaking of Oprah Winfrey and her live in boy friend Stedman. Isn’t there something in the Bible about this kind of relationship too? To me the most appalling thing she did was to drag Stedman to Africa when she opened her school for girls, as if to teach them by example how to live.

I guess what this boils down to is, if you aren’t interfering with my life, you are quite welcome to do your own thing. Whether you are gay or straight simply give a little thought to how you sexually express yourself in public.

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