Saturday, June 16, 2007

I bring people together.

The other day I logged into MySpace, not something I do very often, and found a message from someone I don't know. He said I could post it on here, so here it is (names changed):
My younger brother has recently announced to us he is gay. I was devastated at first. I have been secretly studying the gay life and trying to make sense of it. Totally coincidentally and at random I have looked at your page. For what ever reason when I read your description it all clicked with me. There is nothing wrong with Gabe, he's normal for him like I'm normal for me. This is probably the craziest message you have and will ever receive, but I thought you should know that the great description you gave of yourself and your overall presentation had an important influence on someone. And how ironic the situation.
take care
We exchanged a couple messages, but really, that's the meat of it. I was kind of floored. First of all, I looked at my MySpace profile and don't really understand how I managed to do that, but I was really flattered. How awesome, to know that I somehow caused this to happen!

I went and looked at Pete's page and I have to admit, a bunch of the things about him (he's from the Bible Belt, he refers to Jesus Christ a lot, talks about the Bible, lives in the suburbs) are things that often trigger a kind of condescension in me. To be very frank, I look down on that demographic. I stereotype them as closed-minded and intolerant.

How ironic to get a message from someone who fits that bill so perfectly but who was so open-minded, and then to realize I'm the closed-minded one. Pete's behavior is exactly the right thing. He didn't deny his devastation, but instead explored it, out of love for his brother, and sounds well on his way to acceptance.

It was a good wake-up call for me: I need to approach people like Pete with the same level of compassion, even if it means dealing with my rather unflattering arrogance.

P.S. How hilariously adorable is it how he says he's "secretly studying the gay life and trying to make sense of it"? I chuckled all day at that.



Darius Kazemi said...

That... is awesome.

June 18, 2007 10:10 AM  

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