Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 324 (One by One)

Sorry, no pictures today. My mom and I decided to sleep in today because we've been so exhausted from all of the stuff we've been doing. My mom is apparently a little better at it than I am because she didn't get up until one o'clock! I had to get up a little earlier because I had to practice for my puppet performance thing at eleven.

After that, Mary Katheryn, Kate, Matt and I went to the One by One luncheon. One by One is an organization that helps people with "unwanted same-sex attraction." Every time I hear that, I want to ask what if a person's same-sex attraction isn't unwanted, but it sounds too flippant, even inside of my own head, so I'm sure it won't be received well.

The thing that I noticed the most between the One by One luncheon and the More Light dinner (More Light is a designation taken on my Presbyterian congregations that want people to know that they are welcoming and affirming of all people, regardless of their sexuality) was the atmosphere. The More Light dinner was fun and energetic and happy and hopeful and everything that a convention dinner should be. The One by One luncheon was cautious, reserved, somber and kind of defensive. There were a few laughs, but they always seemed forced.

I didn't have a ticket, so I ended up sitting in the back with a woman who didn't have a ticket either. I tried to by a ticket earlier, but they wouldn't sell one to me because they didn't know if there were any more available seats.

That was another big difference. There were probably over 200 people at the More Light dinner. The One by One luncheon had only about 40.

Eventually, one of the organizers said I could sit at a table, but I refused to go unless there was a seat for the woman I was sitting next to as well. We had been talking and were actually having a pretty good time and there was no way I could have left her there by herself. We were both eventually seated next to each other at a table, but the speakers started shortly after that, so we couldn't really talk anymore. I wanted to talk to her afterwards, but she seemed preoccupied and I had to get to a meeting with the former moderator of the General Assembly, Bruce Reyes Chow.

I understand that these people think that they're doing God's work, and I think that they do, in their misguided way, a lot of good for people in the world. But, it just seems like they refuse to acknowledge that all of the people they work with are really damaged people. These people have been abandoned, abused and ignored. Is it any wonder that they have an unhealthy view of themselves.

Like I said before, I can't even be mad at these people, only sorry for them. They are so broken, so hurt, so filled with self-hatred that the only thing they can do is bury their feelings under a mountain of rhetoric and try to convince themselves that they are doing the right thing by trying to force that decision on the people around them. It's a tragedy. These people are going out there and getting married to people of the opposite sex and having children, denying who they really are. We all know what happens at the end of this story. They eventually decide that they can no longer live the lie and they eventually end up destroying this family that they put together as a facade because they were too scared to live authentically.

I honestly don't know what to do other than pray. Like with many things, that is often the best thing to do. Hopefully someday, we will live in a society where these things are no longer an issue, but until that day comes, I will pray.

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