Dear Kira

Last night my niece sent me a chat message on Facebook, asking how she should respond to a schoolmate who is opposed to gay marriage based on..get this..the belief that allowing gay people to get married poses a threat to the world’s population.  I’m currently on painkillers for a kidney stone the size of a buick, so my response was less than coherent. This is the letter I’m sending her today – before I take my Norco – to expand upon my sad efforts last night: 

a and p equalityDear Kira,

I want to take some time to respond properly to your question, now that I’m wide awake.  But before I do, I just want to let you know that you are one of the brightest, sweetest, prettiest – and even more importantly – compassionate human beings I’ve ever known.

It saddens me that your incredibly evolved spiritual and humanistic views put you in direct conflict with many of your schoolmates who have been taught by their parents that being gay is either a sin, an illness or some form of depravity.  When you listen to these other kids blathering on with their incredibly stupid viewpoints (like the one you asked me about, regarding the threat to ‘future population’ if gays are allowed to marry), I need you to remember this:

Do you see those signs with the words “nigger” and “God demands Segregation?”  Those signs were created by the past’s equivalent of your misguided friends.  Do you see those white people standing up for the civil rights of the black people? That’s the past’s equivalent of YOU.   What your ignorant friends are doing is called “taking a stand on the wrong side of history.”   You, on the other hand, are firmly planted on the right side.  And the reason it’s the right side is not just because you’re on MY side, it’s because you have facts, research, empathy and compassion to back your position up.

What your friend said was so completely devoid of critical thought that I’m almost embarrassed at having to respond to it, but I will.  Allowing gay people to marry will have no impact on the future population of the world.  Allowing gays to marry does not make more gay people. It just allows those of us who are gay and in committed relationships – like your Uncle Patrick and me – to celebrate our commitment to each other (it will also allow us a whole bunch of rights and financial benefits gay couples have long been denied, but we’ll save that for another message.) People who are not gay won’t suddenly TURN gay just so they can get gay-married. The idea itself is, well, idiotic.  The very fact that your friend is concerned with population dwindling in a world that’s already severely overcrowded shows that she either has no grasp on reality, or perhaps was dropped on her head by her (straight) parents when she was but a wee homophobe.

Arguing with these kinds of people serves no purpose. It certainly feels good at times, for me anyway, to call neanderthals on their idiocy. It rarely changes their minds, however. It just makes them take a firmer stand and cling even more tightly to their antiquated and indefensible beliefs.  You can point out facts all day long, quote study after study that shows that children of gay parents are just as well-adjusted – sometimes even more so – than those with straight parents (though let’s be clear, ANYONE can be a terrible parent or enter into an ill-advised union…being an idiot or an a-hole is not the exclusive bailiwick of the heterosexual, I’ve known MANY gay people I wouldn’t trust to care for a chia pet).  You can go on and on and on with facts, and while some might be receptive to them, many will just ignore them. Because they’re not dealing with facts, they’re dealing with feelings. And feelings, fortunately, are not even distantly related to facts.

It can be frustrating to know that you are on the side of right when you are surrounded by ignorance and bigotry. But take some satisfaction that you stand not only on the right side of history, but with some amazing people who were persecuted for beliefs that challenged the status quo:  Martin Luther King, JFK and perhaps the most radical progressive liberal of all time, Jesus Christ.  To name just a few.

Do me a favor: write about the experiences you’re having right now. Write about the stupid things people are saying, and how you feel about it. I want you to be able to look back in, say, twenty years and see how absolutely right you are, and how absolutely disgusting the viewpoints of your contemporaries are.  When I was very little, black people could not marry white people.  And that was just fine with a whole lot of the US population. Now, however, only the most rabid of racists still espouse that view.  I guarantee you that in 20  years, very little will have changed: the fabric of society will not have been torn apart by gay marriage, Heterosexual marriage will still exist, and the world will not have been destroyed by some cataclysmic hellfire act of God (well, those things might happen, but not because of gay marriage. I think global warming would be a more likely culprit. Which is semi-ironic because that’s another thing many stupid people don’t believe in.) The one thing that will be different is that two men or two women getting married will just seem, well, normal. In twenty years, mark my word, the country will be looking back at today and saying, “I can’t believe gay people weren’t allowed to get married!”

I guess that’s all I have to say, except hang tight and just try to surf right over the stupidity, because wading through it can get EXHAUSTING. Trust me.  Stay on the right side of history – with this issue and ANY other civil rights issue – and you’ll be just fine. It’s not always the safest place to be, but it’s where most of the good people hang out. And the good people always prevail..though it can take a lot of work, a lot of fighting, and a lot of sticking to your guns even when it seems hopeless. So glad you’re fighting alongside us. To quote your sign-off last night on our FB chat, “I’ve got your back, Jack.”


Uncle Andy

PS:  Oh, and the next time one of your schoolmates tells you something as (I’m trying really hard not to use the ‘R’ word) dumb as “gay marriage will destroy the population,” I want you to recite…word for word…the following:

About andy nicastro

I'm a producer, writer, graphic designer, former overachiever, current procrastinator and occasional catastrophic fuckupper living in Los Angeles.

Posted on March 27, 2013, in bigotry, gay, gay marriage, homophobia, marriage equality, prop 8, spirituality, support, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in reality
    was a leisure account it. Glance complicated to far delivered agreeable from
    you! However, how could we keep in touch?

  2. Your niece is lucky to have you for an uncle. And kudos to her for being smart enough to ask you rather than unquestioningly accepting the faux wisdom of her peers. Good job!

  3. So very well stated Andy – everyone should read & think about this!

  4. Another excellent post, thanks Andy!
    On a humorous note, you could suggest to your niece that her friend should watch the episode of South Park in which beings from an impoverished future come to the present and take everyone’s jobs. It’s a biting satire of anti-immigration attitudes, but the point here is that the South Park residents come up with a solution: if they can stop people being born then there won’t be anyone in the future to come back in time to take their jobs. The way to do this? All the men become gay. And start having lots of sex. Because the men of one town in Colorado doing that will stop the furthering of the human race. Clearly it’s a preposterous idea but it might help to drive the point home that the argument about gay marriage adversely affecting the human population is also bobbins (as we say in England when politely avoiding al less pleasant but more emphatic word for “codswallop” that rhymes with, er, “swollocks”).

    Loving your blog, mate. I’ll be coming back again!

    • thanks mister! that’s HILARIOUS. Love that show. As for those strange words you use, “Codswallop” sounds absolutely FILTHY, and “Bobbins” sounds like some Hobbit no one cares about. Thanks for making me laugh. See you around! cheers

      • You’d love the word I *didn’t* use then! 😉 Perhaps another time – you’d be able to add it to your arsenal. Old English expletives are rich. Anyway, don’t want to detract too much from your original post – as elegant, sincere and moving as ever. Good stuff!

  5. I think the key word you used (for anyone and everyone, gay or not) is the word “compassion”. (And on a personal note, I wrote a post several weeks ago titled, “On Christianity and Gay People”- perhaps you might invite Kira to read it. It just needed to be said.) I am a Christian (not by other peoples’ standards!) but because the word Christian actually means “Christ-like”, and Christ was full of compassion. (Sigh..don’t even get me started..heheh..) My point: hatred is hatred, just as love is love. So many people try to use God to blast people and justify their hatred, but they are so off the mark. Hatred is a choice! Love is a choice. Unfortunately, ignorance is taught and passed down from generation to generation. I’m a weird duck, because I’m in a family of Pentecostals (and I say that lovingly) but my own Mom and Dad sat me down almost 20 years ago (when I was 15) and told me that they had both experimented with the same sex many years before. Um, you can imagine my surprise..heheh..and my mouth hit the floor but I’m SO glad they did share that with me! It caused me to expand my viewpoints and utterly cast out my own harsh self-righteous judgements on others that had been placed on me growing up- choosing then, to love ALL people. Now, I’m 43 and will stand firm and say yes, I do call myself a “Christian” (and I say that with a healthy tremble), based on the belief that Christ was full of compassion (and I like to think I’m a compassionate gal)- not what I think other people need to measure up to. (God forbid if any of us “human beings” are the measuring stick for another. Wow. Aren’t we special?)

    p.s. the majority of my friends are gay artists, and another hefty percentage are athiests- I love every one of them. They don’t condemn me and I don’t them either. We just all love each other! I know that every person has their right to his or her own belief, but hating somebody because he or she believes something “different” voids the contract of reason. (The key word being “hating”.) That person is proving to be ignorant, a hypocrite, and has absolutely no right at all to throw a stone, much less speak. Sorry to be so long-winded, Andy, but there is definitely a lot of hypocrisy surrounding these issues- guh! I get why a lot of gay people have just had it with us Christians! (Again, I say that with love and respect for “both sides”.)

    I’ll never forget the day that my pastor (who happens to be a woman) brought one of her best friends to church (several years ago).He’s an artist and head honcho at Disney. Naturally, I won’t mention his name. He is gay, (very), and you could hear a pin drop in the congregation when he spoke at the podium. I could practically feel people around me judging him, mocking- etc. I know why she did that- she wanted to open eyes and hearts and tell the whole congregation that we need to stop “as a people” judging gay people, thinking we’re better, and we need to stop “sending them to hell” – tossing them out of the churches of our hearts.

    p.s. You are right about Jesus- He was so radical that there was always “drama” around Him- there was a perpetual dust storm surrounding Him and He didn’t go around tossing daisies! He told people that they were hypocrites and vipers- and those were the “Godly people” He was talking to! If people REALLY knew Who and HOW He was, truly, they would be forced to shut their hateful mouths and stop condemning gay people (among others). Jesus has personally taught me to get off my spiritual high horse and quit thinking that I’m better than ANYBODY in this world. He showed me true love, and when you know what true love feels like- there’s no room for hate.

    Please tell Kira that no matter what- she can choose to choose love- always- no matter how “big” or “ugly” the monster is.

    I wish you all the best.

  6. So well put. Thanks, Andy. I’m going to pass this on.

  7. LOVE YOU! This is awesome. LOVE YOU!

  8. Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful. xo

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