When the heart needs love

Photo from PsychCentral

It’s been a rough week for a lot of folks in the LGBT community. The flap with Chik-Fil-A was more or less standard fare for us when CEO Dan Cathy first claimed that he unapologetically gave tons of cash to groups that want us back in the closet, outlawed & even murdered. *yawn* The real hurt came on Wednesday when all the good folks who watch Mike Huckster on Fox “News” turned out to show their support for this poor, embattled CEO who wanted only to voice his Christian views. That outpouring might have been just another yawn as well, were it not for the social media explosion of chest-beating to remind us that some of our friends, neighbors and family don’t really accept us as much as they say they do.

Yeah, I know a lot of them say it’s about standing up for free speech. I looked back through years of their Tweets and Facebook posts to see if any of them had spoken up for Starbucks, Amazon or JC Penney when they were getting bashed by the Million [sic] Moms. Turns out this 1st Amendment interest is quite new.

Where that left me was genuinely heartbroken, particularly to see some of my relatives jumping on the CFA bandwagon so zealously. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to go to a family gathering with my partner again without feeling their distaste. More important, will I be able to see past this hurt to offer a genuine hug and warm wishes to their family, knowing how they feel about mine? I sincerely hope so, and maybe even some day we’ll be able to have a conversation about it.

Fortunately, I have The World’s Greatest Backup Family in the lesbian community. I always appreciate them, but never more than times like this when my heart needs to feel love. Time after time, my lesbian family delivers.

Kara Leonardo lost her partner last winter in a horrible accident, and has struggled through months of therapy to regain her independence. When she leaves rehab, Kara desperately wants to return to her lesbian family in Delaware — the home & family she made for herself. She needed help to do that, and the lesbian community stepped up to make it possible.

The Caring for Kara Auction closed last night. I don’t have any final figures, but I watched along as a couple of readers (JJ & Diana) duked it out for an autographed copy of Worth Every Step. I broke the auction rules by stepping in to tell them if they matched each other’s bid at $160, I’d send out two copies. Next thing I know, Patti jumps in and bids $160 too! Then RJ, who dropped out of the bidding last week, comes back and raises all of them to $175!! And they said yes!!!

Then it started with the other book, The House on Sandstone. JJ first, then Ann, then Rev, then Ramona! All bidding top dollar in the auction’s final hours!!

Here’s the thing: I’d be willing to bet most of them already own those books, or at least have read the stories. But they weren’t bidding on the books, or on my illegible scribblings inside. They were caring for Kara. So at the end of a week when my heart is in knots over one family, my other family comes through and fills it with love.

7 Responses to “When the heart needs love”

  1. Thanks for all these great comments. In Photographs of Claudia, I wrote about a scene that was familiar to me — a large family of lesbians gathered around the Thanksgiving table. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy many holidays like that, and it’s strengthened my feelings of family with my lesbian & gay friends.

    I’m afraid to speculate about what the high court will do with so many LGBT rights cases falling on it at once. Having the power to squash the rising acceptance of gays like a bug must feel pretty juicy for the court’s right wing. Interestingly, Scalia himself (who dissented in the ruling that ruled the Texas anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional) warned of the slippery slope, writing that overturning those laws would pave the way for gay marriage. Let’s hope he’s right, and that the Texas precedent boxes the right wing into an unanimous decision in our favor. Otherwise, it may take a constitutional amendment to add sexual orientation & gender identity to the list of protected classes, and it could take 30 years for rights activists to muster support from 38 state legislatures.

    • A constitutional amendment to add LGBT rights? Good God! That sounds more pessimistic then me! lol! Actually, I believe that they know the Constitution protects us. Otherwise, there would not have been talk of an amendment defining marriage. I agree with Jon Stewart (I am paraphrasing) when he says in 10 years we will have gay marriage in America and the people who celebrated Chick-fil-A appreciation day will have type 2 diabetes! 😉

  2. In the big picture, it doesn’t matter what Dan Cathy thinks or says. Or Mike Huckabee. Or our relatives. Even my own opinion doesn’t matter. The opinions that matter are 9 Supreme Court Justices. Now that Prop 8 is going there. I am very pessimistic and cynical about this. It will be a very bad day if the majority of the justices decided that corporations are people with rights and we are not.

  3. That experience of betrayal by people I thought cared is familiar to me. During the Oregon ballot measure wars I learned that the women I’d come to trust in my 12-step group were supporting me in our meetings and voting to deny me rights in the voting booths. It changed me; it changed my gay family, our gay families, in a way that makes it possible, today, to be here for one another in small and great ways. Supporting Kara made this family of readers and writers stronger. May that strength help buoy Kara in her recovery.

  4. You are my family and always will be! The CFA thing hurt us, too, but it’ll all come back around one day. I refuse to believe the world is represented by people lining up to eat waffle fries. We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary this September – you’ll be getting an invitation this week! Just a big party to celebrate all of the happiness. If you (& Xena – ha!) hadn’t dragged my butt out of the closet 12 years a go, I wouldn’t have found all of this joy and be able to just shake my head at the dumb people last week.

  5. I love how you termed the Lesbian Community as ‘The World’s Greatest Backup Family’. Acceptance, love and support is something we need from our families and if the family we’re born into cannot or will not provide those things we are lucky to part of a community that will.

  6. Outstanding, KG. Thank you for saying just the right thing. This recent spate of hate has hurt my heart as well. You’re right, we’re lucky to have such warm generous sisters.

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