The holidays are approaching and, for many of us, that means getting together with our extended family. For LGBTQ people it also means bracing ourselves for what may come at us. Jordan and I are no different.
At a family dinner a few years ago, we found ourselves alienated when a relative declared that a baker should not be forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding. During this casual conversation, the relative seemed to be speaking about a civil rights issue as nonchalantly as if he were discussing people’s preferences for chocolate over vanilla, but to me it felt as though he was diminishing our personhood. A member of our own family was attempting to explain to us that who we are means that we are not entitled to all the rights that everyone else around that table has. As if that was perfectly logical.
And just recently another family member of ours had the audacity to tell me he thinks it’s sad I make everything about being gay. Let me translate what he really meant: I should make my gayness smaller, smaller, smaller, smaller…until he is comfortable with how gay I am.
This Thanksgiving we will go around the table, as is our custom, and each give thanks for something. When it is my turn, I intend to give thanks for being gay. I won’t scrub off, diminish, or demean my gayness for anyone. If I had, I would not have my husband, our two sons or anything to be grateful for.