I was still euphoric over the SCOTUS pronouncement. A few weeks ago, Time Magazine discussed this. At that time, it still didn't seem clear how the justices would vote, even Justice Kennedy (who later penned that moving statement). My timeline was filling up with rainbows all over.
It's not even the first country to declare same-sex marriage legal. But somehow, decisions in the US will always carry that much weight, by sheer economic power at the very least. Anyway, it carried much weight in my mind. I could just imagine how joyous every LGBT must been feeling!
Not too fast. Not everyone. Soon enough, I would read dissenting opinion. Reading these from outright gay-hating fanatics was of no surprise, of course. But eventually, reading a friend, a friend like me, gay, and his post of negativity started to put some dark clouds in my rainbow-filled sky. Eventually, as much as people were celebrating the decision, others felt that they needed to be just as loud about their feelings of disgust, of outrage.
Looking at my other, alter-ego 'professional' FB profile, I read more negative feelings and reactions, many of them from my friends. I could feel some vomit rising from my gut.
The feeling of hate and disgust over the negative, bigoted statements is real. That is part of my humanity. But I didn't want to stoke further anger so I chose to post something more benign - a sadness over the negativity I have been reading, in between the rainbows. Some were quick to tell me to 'unfriend'. I was tempted.
But I felt there was something inherently unsettling if I just immediately 'unfriend' them. Have they really become 'unfriends' because they chose to believe otherwise? Have they suddenly become mean to me because of that negative post or that hateful comment? Where have all the years of friendship, of genuine, reciprocal concern gone? Has that changed because they felt differently, even if strongly, from mine?
No, I cannot reduce their humanity into one negative post or comment. I cannot erase the friendship because of that difference. Now, if they choose to change their attitude and behavior towards me because we belong on opposite sides of a fence, then I cannot do anything about that. But until they do, I will not allow myself to hate these friends of mine just because their opinion differs.
It is a choice I have to make. I will fight the seemingly overwhelming anger I have started to feel towards them as I read their comments. I will choose to react differently and just let that pass. I make this choice because ultimately, it will build my character. Not letting my emotions 'click' for me will always be better for me.
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