Growing up, I didn’t think much about the LGBTQIA+ community. Why would I? I had a younger male cousin who was more feminine than I was. It was my norm. I went to high school with a guy who transitioned into a girl right after graduation. She was mean as a guy, she was meaner as a girl. My friends were all mixed with different ethnicities, backgrounds, financial status, etc. A girl I knew had a Filipino cotillion for her 18th birthday. I could not be a part of it because I had to buy my own dress and I didn’t have the money for it. But I enjoyed the party thoroughly as I’ve never seen anything like it before. I was amazed and it wasn’t even an over-the-top party. Her family was middle-class, which was rich in my poor eyes.
My high school dance partner was gay. My dance choreographers were gay. I had friends who had to move to San Jose to stay out of gangs in So Cal. I also had friends who were super smart and athletic. My girlfriend actually got a scholarship in volleyball from a local university. She also modeled. Guys were drooling over her. She was admiring anything that's beautiful: anything or anyone. She was adventurous.
As I got older, my college groups of friends were very similar to my high school groups. I didn’t care who you are as long as you were smart. I didn’t like hanging out with intellectually-challenged people. Unlike some of my friends, I didn’t care for esthetics. I just wanted to talk to someone who was goal-oriented like me. I love the nerds. I love the poor nerds even more. They were my people. A good nerdy friend of mine was Asian and gay. He kept his secret the same way Apple kept their secret of the “Apple Car”. Everyone knew.
While attending a Jesuit dental school, my friends and I visited a gay club quite often. Let's just I greet the guy in leather straps at the door to let me through. That place was one of my favorite places to go clubbing. There were multiple rooms and each had its own beats. Because it was in Omaha, the clubgoers thought I was a novelty: short, little Asian girl dancing with the young gay men in the spotlight. I was with my medical friends and we didn’t care. We were all enjoying ourselves, both boys and girls. After graduation, one of my clubbing friends went onto become an orthopedic surgeon. He also came out. Unlike Apple, he kept his secret well. We were all surprised, including his wife.
As an adult, I hear some really dumb comments from smart people supporting the “Don’t Say Gay” policy in Florida. When did we as a society, think it was a great idea to go backwards with civility? Why fight to save unborn babies if you’re going to treat them “less than” because they love differently? How is your love more authentic than another? It drives me crazy to hear adults telling a child s/he is not true in form of God’s eyes. Really? Because you know for sure God wrote the bible Himself? It wasn’t modified by humans? Victors write taught history, not victims. Yet these same people claim to speak the truth? Maybe they’re using Kellyanne Conway's version of alternative truth. The same alternative truth that her husband rebutted in public.
I get mad when my families and friends don’t like the guy I’m dating. I can’t begin to imagine strangers chiming in. What is it to you to dislike my choices so much? I pay my taxes, rent, education, etc. with the same green money you do. I’m actually smarter than a lot of people. I’m also a lot cuter, sexier, funnier, nicer, etc. But these are all my opinions. I don’t care if you disagree. You have your opinions. You want me to chastise you because you don’t agree with me? Or advocate to change the laws to make you conform to me?
So for just 1 out of 12 months, let’s celebrate the bravery of the LGBTQIA+ community to own their feelings and expressions. Let’s thank everyone for their contribution to our own society and apologize for some of our community members’ stubborn stance in righteousness. Here’s to loving any way you can and doing it with joy. Please be kind to the next person, especially if you witness them needing a tender moment. If you can’t be kind, then please don’t be unkind. We need more compassion in today’s world so let’s start now. Happy Pride Month.