Friday, May 11, 2012

I wear my heart on my sleeve

It is sure as you are Roderigo,
Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago:
In following him, I follow but myself;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so, for my peculiar end:
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern,
'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at.
~Shakespeare's Othelo.


I no longer apologize for who I am. I have always been accused of wearing my heart upon my sleeve, but as it is the only thing I know, it is who I am, and I am loved and accepted.  

Having said that, I regret some of the ways I dealt with my being gay, in regards to lashing out in anger angainst anyone who wouldn't accept me as I was, then rejecting them.  Given the history of my disability, while I find it understandable, I find it reprehensible.

Regardless,  I am so proud of my country, so proud, even be it political and calculating, yet still from his firm convictions, President Obama.  I don't know many gay people my age that could have ever even imagine a standing president defending our civil rights.  It is called a civil right, justly so, it is not up to the popular vote of the people.  Jim Crow was the "popular" vote of Mississippi, so should we still enforce that law?  There will come a day soon in history, where all of the "haters" and bigots will fade into history, into the background on this issue.  Thank God.   

I also acknowledge the pain of those, that are now standing on the wrong side of history...the pain of not wanting to let go to old ways of thinking, assuming some sense of "permanency" in an otherwise intangible thing we call the mind, me, I, and quite a few other appellations.  One day, when you realize that God is the God of Love, just as the Rabbi said, the scales will fall off of your eyes and you will look with the eyes of Love.  I don't hope this will happen for you, I know that one day it will, just not yet.

Let us be wary though...I recall hearing one media calling this the last civil rights movement.  I am very uncomfortable with this.  Let us not fool ourselves into thinking this is the only situation in which a minority is being biased against.  Of course, the first thing that comes to my mind is the disabled.  In a country that promises life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, only 40 years ago, the disabled were routinely "warehoused", not permitted to work at an average American job, was not allowed to choose there own living situation or medical treatment, was denied equal access to public facilities.  Even today there is a bias deep in society.  After all, "that human is broken, I can't look at it or acknowledge it, I might realize I am just like him."

And yet, in a free society, I'm unsure if there will ever exist a moment in history where some minority is not persecuted.  The nature and texture of society changes throughout history,  yet the fabric remains the same.

When you look into the eyes of a stranger today, deep inside of you in your silence recognize "he or she is just like me", and treat that person as you would yourself want to be treated, as the Rabbi said.

Let all beings be happy and free,
~Just Joe

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~joseph