Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Speechless

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Last night something happened that rendered me completely speechless.  For those of you that know me (Jaime) at all, you know that that's sayin' something.

A few months ago, I wrote a post that included a letter I wrote to a local family about why their "Yes on Prop 8" (anti-gay marriage initiative) sticker was so hurtful.

I got a response. 

Careful, you'll catch flies with that open mouth.

The response wasn't from the family I sent it to. It was from the mother of one of the teens at Camp Taylor, the cardiac camp we went to with Simon. She sent me an email last night. I'll let her words speak for themselves:

Jaime:

You may not remember me but I was a counselor at Family Camp last weekend. My daughter is a mentor [an older kid with heart disease who is a Camp Taylor veteran and essentially a counselor] . She got me hooked to your blog about your family. I wanted to write to you about your blog titled "A Letter to my local homophobe"
 Your letter was written to me. Now I don't have the mini van or Catholic sticker but I am a Christian who had the Yes Prop 8 sign in my yard. I believe some people are born gay and I never had a problem with gay families adopting children. For some reason I didn't want you to have the legal rights to marriage. I always felt that marriage was an agreement between a husband, wife and God. After meeting you two and reading your blogs I'm so sorry for my stupidity. I saw the love you and Laura shared with each other and Simon. As a fellow heart mother I know whats it's like to have a child fighting for their life. Why would I or should I deny you or Simon the same rights as me.

So please accept my apology for creating fear to others and thank you for your postings. Sometimes as Christians we think we deserve more then others. You deserve everything that I have. Please keep up blogging.

Oh, tell Laura I'm voting for her as the new Camp Fire Director. Not that we have one but we should. She was awesome leading songs at camp.

God Bless your family
 
When the tears cleared, I wrote her a VERY heartfelt thank you. 

Wow.
 
Okay, on a lighter note...
Simon can now say about a zillion words, including "bumblebee" and can ride unicorns.
 
Video of Simon singing "Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuY0hNqAqgw
 
Riding the mythical unicorn at Mamaw and Grandpa Eddie's house

35 comments:

hillary said...

Just awesome. Thanks for sharing.

sage said...

wow. thanks. this gives me so much hope. i guess i have to keep my mind open too.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Friend of Hillary's here! That is an amazing story. It reinforces my belief that if we get to know each other, we are less likely to judge each other. By the way, I was born with a heart condition and am a happy healthy adult with a babe of my own. You gals are doing an amazing job.

Siana said...

Jaime, what an incredible letter. Major changes in attitude so often happen unseen or unheard, but the rare chance to hear from someone during that transformation...what a gift. You and Laura and Simon are touching people on so many levels. So good to know of some of that love coming back to you. :) Love, Siana

Digger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Digger said...

Thanks for sharing your post with me on my blog.

Just beautiful. How wonderful that you have changed hearts just by being who you are. And what a beautiful family you have!

Momastery said...

absolutely perfect.
that's all we have to do to change the world. just introduce ourselves to each other. one at a time, right? one person at a time.
a million blessings to your very special family,
glennon

Momastery said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Whinespecialist said...

Just read this post (found it from momastery) and I absolutely love it. I love that seeing your love opened this woman's eyes. Love is love! And you have some very special love in your family!
Andie

The Raqasa said...

When I read on the reproductive rights blog that you'd received a response I feared the worst, but this really gave me some hope for humanity. It took real courage for that woman to write to you and even more to admit she was wrong. Thank you so much for sharing.

una said...

hi ~ i'm an old rugby pal of laura's from smith and was recently forward this ... and, moved, wanted to 'drop by' and wish her my best. i myself just gave birth to a little boy, luca, so am relating in a way i wouldn't have 2 months ago.... wishing you my best and sending love & congratulations on a beautiful family ~
una pett (smith '94)

Laura said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I have a lesbian daughter whom I adore and want more than anything, for people to see her for who she is, a whitty, kind, smart, amazing person. She should have the same rights as everyone else. "Judge not lest ye be judged". I believe in God but I believe that Jesus was here to give us the message to love and care for one another. Too bad so many people don't get it.

Tagan Engel said...

I am an old friend of Laura's from F&W. I just saw the post about the letter to a homophobe on Facebook. amazing. I am so grateful that you all found each other and have a beautiful family!! I hope that Simon is doing well,and I really commend you for writing such a nice heartfelt letter. wonderful! love to you all!-Tagan

Little Kiwi said...

YAYYY! This is how we change hearts and minds: by being direct, emotional, logical and rational.

I commend you, my sisters!

And hugs to your wee ones!

Little Kiwi

rextrek said...

very nice letter(s) - yours and hers.....as a gay man, who's married as of last Aug in vermont to my partner of 11yrs....your letter lifted me up. Im not religious at all...and reading your letter/ or hers won't make me religious either..but, it made me feel better....Im tired of being angry..but at 50yrs old...Im not taking any crap from anyone (except at wrk where I have too)Thanks for the Uplift... Rex

Anonymous said...

I AM a religious, Catholic person and I have never had a problem with gay marriage and especially never had a problem with gay adoption. I don't think Jesus would be half as mean-spirited as the people supposedly called by his name, and I pray each day that these people with hate in their hearts learn to temper themselves because they don't speak for me and they certainly don't speak for Jesus. I will keep your son in my prayers and if you ever need anything...reach out through your blog.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

I am a Catholic who supports gay marriage, gay adoption, and loves all families--regardless of how they brought themselves together.

These people don't speak for me, and they certainly don't speak for Jesus who was all about loving people, forgiveness, and compassion. He was against the very condemnation and separatism that they preach.

God bless your son, and I will keep him in my prayers. Take care,

love Rin

Matt said...

I just read your article on RH Reality Check and the response you did receive on your blog and I got all teary. I'm fighting to keep back the tears. What a wonderful article and response. Love really does conquer. I just wish it had come fom your neighbor as well. maybe in time.
I hope the best for your son and family and hope he can read your letter and response to his grandchildren.

sandra said...

I read your letter on Alternet and followed it here. Thank-you for sharing your story. Love is love and a child is always love. I wish you lived in Canada so that medical care for your son could never be denied.
I hope you and your family continue to share love, wisdom and health always.

Claude said...

"You deserve everything that I have." Such a powerful sentiment that could change the world. In education, economics, access to resources and equality of all types, internalizing that sentiment is at the heart of so much potential change.

Thanks for your voices and sharing your lives.

normadesmond said...

nice, but will the bumper
sticker come off the car?

Lisa said...

awesome! thanks for the post. :)

Jonathan Elliot said...

I read the article/letter and came here to see the response.

As a straight, former evangelical, I was so happy to see your letter and the spirit in which it was written. I think your point about people not knowing any LGBT people is the crucial one. It was meeting, knowing and loving such people that helped me change my opinions. I'm so grateful for the gay friends I have now.

Thankyou!

Jonathan from Spritzophrenia

Anonymous said...

Our neighborhood had many McCain signs in 2008, but the only Yes on 8 sign went up at the fundamentalist Catholic family's house about 2 weeks before the election and the Mormon family living next door to where our two girls go after school never put up a sign, which is huge. It meant a lot to me that these folks resisted because of our family.

After years of doing political action the most important political work I've ever done is be Mama to our two girls. Every time I volunteer at their school or with their Girl Scout troops I am doing political action. Wears me out sometimes! Loved the letter you wrote.

By the way, suddenly our 7-yr-old has been hanging out with the 7-yr-old of the Catholic family up the street. . .

James Stoicheff said...

Your letter was beautifully written.

Darlene said...

I am a Christian mother, raised Catholic however my family and I attend Episcopal services. This only means something to people who know theology but those of you who do understand.

I have always believed in marriage equality. It is ridiculous to me that a country founded on personal freedom and freedom of religion would deny personal rights to anyone for something that is just that; personal.

Jesus himself never addressed homosexuality, although the bible does have other references, these words would not spoken by Jesus. And the bible also says many other things we no longer practice as a Christian community, eating kosher being the example that is coming to mind.

In other words, you are preaching to the choir here. In wasn't that long ago that my marriage was considered illegal (I am white, my husband is black).

My heart goes out to you and your wife. I get tearing when my son has the sniffles and isn't feeling well. I can't even image the pain of seeing him with tubes. He will be in my prayers, as will both of you.

Huddy's Journal of Life said...

Incredibly touching story. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I guess as a Gay, Jewish man who was recently married in MA (though I live in GA), I still need to work to open my mind.

When I see bumper stickers and signs that indicate hate, my heart closes. A closed heart, and a closed mind, are not part of solution.

Thank you for reminding me that I can be part of the problem if I don't remain loving.

Stephen Bell
Atlanta, GA

Jill Sizemore said...

That's the answer: keeping our hearts open and our hope alive. Thank you for your display of faith and courage.

drudolph said...

Thank you so much for such a beautiful story. I've written about it at my own blog. What an amazing example of the power of personal connections.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for you inspiring post, lives and wisdom. I too am a lesbian mother with a beautiful wife, and two exceptional children. We've been married for 16 years. Our children are biologically mine, however we've been a family since our son was 2 and our daughter was 4 months old. We live in Kansas, a fact I find amazing since I was raised in SoCal and never thought I could live without a beach! Surprisingly, we have experienced mostly caring and acceptance, especially since we live in an extremely conservative area of the Midwest. My son has a life threatening aortic defect as well, so I can relate to your story and family on every level of my soul. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family. Thank you for teaching. Thank you for sharing with everyone, regardless of race, religion, status or gender, that our world CAN be a place of acceptance, rather than simple tolerance. I, of all people, know that humans are flawed and imperfect. Sexual orientatation, however, is not an imperfection or flaw. I look forward to the day when we are simply the loving, caring, and whole people that we are capable of being. Thank you for sharing your story. Open, honest, trusting and love-filled dialogue is the answer. I wish you and your family health and love. Lauren E. Overland Park, Kansas.

Sandy Stier said...

Hi. I loved reading your story, your letter to your neighbor and the camp friend's reflection. What a wonderful way to reach out to someone in your neighborhood in a positive way. I believe that most homophobia is based in lack of information and knowledge. I certainly want to believe that!

My partner and I have four kids in our blended family and as middle-aged moms feel the weight of supporting the young and the old in our lives now. We both work to support our family, yet don't have the same legal rights to marriage as our peers. So unfair!!

Your letter/blog brings something really good to the conversation - a reminder that there is a loving way to address homophobia right in your backyard. Good job!

Suzanne said...

This gives me hope and Lord knows I needed some hope today. I am tired of fighting the good fight sometimes and get discouraged (we all do) and this makes me feel like, yeah, things can change in a positive way. Bless you all.

Akasha said...

This is incredible! As a lesbian (and Gay marriage supporter) and a survivor of a fundamentalist, Christian high school upbringing, I have was privy to many hurtful and homophobic comments in my youth. I almost didn't come out because of the horrendous, very un-Christian things I heard aimed at the LGBTQ community. To hear that you writing such a personal letter, opening your home and your selves to a stranger could create such change in another whom it wasn't even addressed to is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your letter, your story and your conviction with those whose hearts and minds are willing to be changed! We should all be so positively open :) And I am sending Simon lots of love and warmth towards growing strong and healthy. He is a beautiful boy.

Light and love on your journey!
Akasha

Anonymous said...

I was so touched by the article, letter and response. I think that many people who oppose same sex equality do not consider the very real consequences of their prejudice. I like to think that people are more often ignorant, rather than hateful. Ignorance can be overcome more easily, as your blog demonstrates.

I'd like to point out that statistically it is pretty much impossible for anyone to not know any LGBT persons. Rather, there are people who LGBT persons do not feel safe coming out to. Everyone should remember that they do know and have contact with LGBT persons all the time, so people of prejudice should stop and think that the people they are hurting with their prejudice and small mindedness are their neighbours, coworkers, friends and relatives.