It's a month of new beginnings and big plans. People re-assess their lives and make goals based on what they're missing or what they have too much of, and what they want to see in their lives in the coming year.
It's a new year, which for some, means that it's a new chance. It's a chance for hope. It's a chance to heal the past and provide a glimmer of hope for the future. Instead of a resolution, my hope comes as a recommendation to the public at large: treat me differently.
The media will give voices to people with strong opinions. They will tell you that I'm a threat to America and especially to marriage. They will tell you that I have an agenda. They will you that it is a terrible thing to be me and you should hope and pray with all your might that you will never have to know the pain that comes from being me, or being related to me. Prominent leaders in our communities and of our nation will tell you that people like me will weaken and destroy our once proud military, and bring shame and embarrassment upon our nation. Their first reaction is to judge. Their reaction inspires fear, mistreatment, and hatred. So instead of taking their word for it, treat me differently than they do.
Get to know me. Hear my story and really listen to what I've experienced. Know my name. Remember my face. Recognize that we are really more alike than we are different. Know that I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a friend. I have plans for my life and I want to be happy. Treat me like I deserve to be happy. Treat me like I'm your daughter, or your sister, or your friend.
When the world tells you that I am evil, treat me differently than that. When you hear that I had a choice and I strayed, and I insult God by living this way, treat me differently than that. When you hear that I am somehow less important as a human being, that I am without value, morals, or feelings, treat me differently than that.
There are some people with big and loud voices who will tell you I don't deserve to have the same rights and privileges that you do. In doing so, they are telling you that my life is not as important as yours. And they are sending that message to our children and our teenagers, the future of our nation and families.
Will you believe them?
Or will you treat me differently?