Friday, November 13, 2009

Gay Rights Activists Need to Show Love and Patience for Foes says LZ Granderson

LZ Granderson (pictured) is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and He is the 2009 Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation award winner for online journalism and the 2008 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association winner for column writing. He was named one of the top 25 public speakers of 2009 by Campus Pride, a national nonprofit organization seeking a "safer college environment" for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

LZ Granderson writes:
I'm a single father of a 12-year-old boy who every five minutes seem to switch personalities on me. One moment he's a starving student athlete hungry enough to eat a cow, the next he's a picky vegan.

I'm told by people much smarter than me that this is normal for a child going through puberty. And so, while I am not an overly religious man, I have found myself meditating on I Corinthians 13:4 to help me get through. Love is patient, love is kind.

I believe there is something each of us can pull from that Bible verse. We may not agree on spirituality or the existence of God, but we can agree that love is one of the most beautiful and mysterious forces. When I'm frustrated with my son, or a friend or even myself, I try to think about the characteristics of love described in I Corinthians before reacting. Be patient. Be kind.

I felt the need to lean on that verse last week after yet another ballot defeat for marriage equality -- when voters in Maine repealed a state law allowing same-sex couples to marry.

A visceral wave of anger swept over me as once again I was reminded of my second-class citizenship. I wanted to smash something. I wanted to punch somebody out. I wanted revenge. The last thing on my mind was I Corinthians. But at the very core of the debate over marriage equality is that scripture's concept of love.

It's easy to love someone when there is no turmoil, no conflict. And it's no accident that "patient" is the first word Corinthians uses to describe love -- it's first because it is most important. No matter how strongly we may feel about each other, we will not always agree, and it is in those moments that we must tap into the mystery of love even more to find a way to first be patient, and then be kind. READ MORE