Another Gay Dad Reacts to the Election: Finding Strength to Lead by Example
I will admit, it is an unsettling time right now for a lot of people in America. We have come a very long way in the past eight years and that progress should not be overshadowed by anger and fear. But as a gay man with a husband and daughter, it is impossible for me to turn a blind eye to what's happening.
It is a scary thing to know that some people in our country do not want us to be classified as a "family" along with their own. It is also frightening to know that our future growth could be hindered because some people refuse to even try to get to know us.
I pray that my precious family, and the path for our next baby, will not be obstructed because of our new President, Vice President or the Supreme Court that he will likely shape.
I also pray that we can all come together as people of the free world and embrace everyone in this country for who they are, as diverse as we all are. It is so important to be compassionate and to not lose sight that everyone wants to be loved. We need to practice kindness in the face of the unusual without disrespect because of our fear of the unknown.
Some of the most beautiful things about our country is how diverse we are. Although different, everyone longs to be respected.
My family and I live in a suburb of New Orleans where people often fly American flags on the back of their pick-up trucks. It isn't uncommon to see Trump flags as well. The amount of support that went in Trump's favor around here even leads me to wonder, "What if he is a good president?"
No good will come from hurting or disrespecting another because of this outcome. Someone dear to me taught me the saying, "It is what it is." So I will search my heart and accept what has happened because everything happens for a reason. The good, the bad, and the ugly all help me grow as a husband, father and friend.
"Lead by example" is another term I have learned to live by as well. If we want good to happen, then we must look deep inside ourselves and reach for that goodness even in the darkest of times. Once we have found it then we must share that goodness as often we can.
Some people react in anger because that is all they know...but if we react in compassion in the face of rage, the love we show could teach the angry to be empathetic, the ill-tempered to be patient and help the immature to grow. Sometimes this will not work and the mean will still rear its ugly head. When that happens, walk away.The best thing you can do is just turn around, knowing in your heart that you tried. The worst thing you can do is to give up. Tomorrow is a new day.
Remember that one single smile can travel thousands of miles. When words do not help, a smile will.
I have faith and I feel in my heart that our LGBTQ family will be just fine. We have allies now helping to make sure we will be.
Much love to everyone out there. Keep your head up and your cheeks higher.