Yeah, I have those sometimes. This morning I was having a pretty stimulating conversation, about gay people of all people, with my girlfriend. She asked me why people are so hateful toward LGBT people. We also discussed living somewhere besides Arkansas where we will not have to ‘hide’ who we are to be happy in a community. We discussed places like Washington D.C. which she believes to be a pretty tolerant place. While I personally think that it is a little more liberal than where we are from, I’m still cautious of saying anywhere in the United States is going to be the best place for us. And that brought us back to discussing why some people are so hateful toward LGBT people, we aren’t trying to hurt anyone, we just want to love who we love and be accepted as people in society that supports our decisions like it does every other heteronormative family.
For now I am ‘stationed’ here in Fort Collins, where diversity of a good sized town, and a pretty diverse college, in a pretty liberal state, offers me more of a feeling of safety. Not necessarily that I’m safe, the world is still a dangerous place for all people, but I feel that its a lot less likely that I will be threatened physically, or targeted, because I’m a pretty out lesbian. It’s pretty cool to live in two different states sometimes. Taxes and voting are a little weird, and there’s the whole lifestyle difference, but its cool. But, what’s not cool, is that along with that lifestyle difference, there is a difference in tolerance in each state. Of course there are more people in Arkansas that are starting to be more open and accepting of LGBT people, there is still the vast majority, that don’t. It’s the Bible Belt, the South, and a state rooted deeply in tradition. The cows come home faster than Christmas, and Christmas comes before anything too drastic changes. Even if that change isn’t really drastic. If you keep up with my blog posts I told you how my father reacted to the gay marriage legislation, sadly, a lot of the state is like that But I believe like my father, things are slowly changing for the better. But recently there has been legislation up for debate, and I think some of it passed, making it harder for same-sex couples to adopt children. That whole notion is preposterous to me. There are so many children in the Arkansas system that need to be adopted. It sickens me that they would make it harder for same-sex couples to adopt. It’s hard enough to adopt in Arkansas as it is. Yet, it is all too easy for awful people to adopt and foster children. Just this month a very well known family in my home town were busted after years of abusing foster children. I read the story and I could not believe it. These people had been members of our community. Went to our churches, were seemingly ‘good’ christian people. But they weren’t. And sadly, I know that there are so many other foster homes like that that I don’t know about, that no one knows about.
In my home town I know one gay couple. They are married men, and they have several children that they have adopted from our area. They are the best thing that has ever happened for those kids. Two of them were on pretty rough paths and are doing better now, one still is struggling, but she’s a little older than me. She still has time to turn her life around. and the younger children are so much better off with their two dads than they ever were with their mothers. Most of them come from drug addicts. And all of those kids will tell you that their dads are the best dads in the world, and that they wouldn’t trade anything or want them to be anything less than themselves. Sure they live in our community, and they are open, they do things together, and they are two great people and everyone knows this, but they are still looked at in our community as this weird group of people that live together. People know that they are gay, but they don’t recognize them as husbands. And that is just ridiculous to me.
Anyway, if you have any thoughts about this, or any recommendations for places that are pretty accepting of LGBT people, I’d love to hear it. But don’t be mean. That’s my only request.
Signing off, Jaile.