Changing more than geography

As humans in the modern world we are constantly being told ‘truths’ about all kinds of things.  Without ever thinking about it we seem to almost instantly analyze and rank these ‘truths’.  My mom or teacher told me such and such I will rank it as a “real truth”.  I heard a stranger on the street say something about the same topic.  I will instantly rank that as a questionable ‘truth’.  My friend said something about this I will rank that somewhere in-between.  Then there are those things that we question.  But our modern life is so busy we don’t tend to question things unless they are very important.  Because of this most things that we receive from trusted sources we just take on face value.  At least that is the way my brain works.  And then there are those rare situations where you are forced to reconsider a long held belief.  Today is such a day.

I am sitting at the steps of the Utah state capital taking part in my very first Pride event.  Had you told me 10 years ago that I would be here, I would have said you are crazy.  I had very set opinions on everything LGBTQ+ and they were not very nice.  But that was a world ago.  That was before various people, by just being themselves, challenged everything I thought I knew about LGBTQ+.  That was before I started researching and learning the facts and going beyond the dogma I was taught.  

I examined the issues from every angle I could think of.  I considered it from multiple religious perspectives.  I looked at the scientific and medical evidence.  I looked at it from a social and an individual perspective.  I considered what history and literature had to say on the topic.  In all of these places and others the overwhelming conclusion was positive.  After learning the facts and the reality of these people I have made a 180 degree turn in my understanding and attitude on LGBTQ+.   

Yesterday, marching down the street lending my little bit of support to their solidarity was wonderful.  The thing I found really amazing was the love and acceptance everyone seemed to have.  If this was at a church or a synagogue or other religious place such an attitude would be expected.  But in a place where everyone believes the same thing, acts the same way, and follows all of the same social obligations, is such an attitude so grand a gesture.  But here where diversity rules, and where everyone is doing their own things, here where one would expect conflict there is a wonderful atmosphere of acceptance.  

Today was the Pride Parade.  That was equally wonderful.  Like any parade there were great bands and floats etc.  But the message from a lot of different groups, told in many different ways was always the same. “Love is love”, “LOVE”, “All you need is love” and many more.  

The one sad thing at the event was the haters.  A very small group of people with a couple banners saying  things about ‘sin’ and ‘hell’.  There was no acceptance their.  There was no love their.  Theirs was just biter hatred of something they don’t care to take the time to understand.  But the really sad part was that the haters were doing all that they did in the name of religion.  I have always been told God is Love, I guess they didn’t get the memo.  

But their sad bitterness didn’t tarnish the event, it was wonderful.  It was one of those times where you think even with all of the frailties of humanity there is still hope that we can learn to be the kind of loving and accepting people God has always meant for us to be.

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