I often tell my children, “Nothing worth doing is easy.”
I believe this to be true. I believe it’s imperative to stand up for what you believe in, and to stand up for what is right. Today I did not do that.
Today I sat across the table from a woman and listened to her complain about the gays. I nodded in understanding while she prattled on about how America is teaching kids to be gay, and I smiled at her while she spewed hate and talked about the righteousness of her church and her family’s devotion to her church.
I needed her to be an ally for my child so I didn’t tell her that she was hiding behind religion while teaching her children to be intolerant. I needed her assistance so I didn’t tell her that I don’t respect her and that I think that she’s narrow minded and ugly on the inside. Instead I smiled.
In the very short term it was the right thing to do. In the long term it was wrong.
When she said to me, “School wasn’t like this when we were kids, there were no gay teachers.” I did say to her, “It was like this for me.” Because even though I don’t recall a teacher having a partner I also don’t recall teachers talking much about their spouses. I don’t know who my teachers slept with or who they loved. It didn’t matter to me then and it doesn’t matter to me now.
What I did today was allow a woman to not feel shame when she should have. It ruined the rest of my day and I’ve spent the hours since then replaying the scene in my head, only in my head I smile at her and say, “You’re wrong. Your church is full of gay people, your priests have a disproportionately high number of gay people, and I pray that neither of your children are gay, because you’re going to make them want to kill themselves.”
And in my rewindable world she stutters and stammers and sees the error of her ways.
And then she is nice to my child.
My world doesn’t rewind. It pretty much sucks.