Stonewall Democrats.

Rockwall is about to have a chapter of Stonewall Democrats. We should be accredited in a few days. This is a post I wrote for the Rockwall Herald-Banner, published June 21.

The word “pride” is a thorny one. Pride is one of the 7 deadly sins, yet we take pride in our work, in our children, in being an American. When we are made aware that June is Pride month, what do we hear? Are members of the LGBT+ community affirming that they are better than “straight” men and women?

Context is important. The Pride movement started after the Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York, when patrons of the Stonewall bar refused to be yet again humiliated and beaten by police. Pride month is more than the parades – it is an affirmation that members of the LGBT+ community will no longer be condescended to and marginalized. It is a message worth repeating every year. In the last few months, several transgender women of color have been assaulted or murdered in Dallas County.

I had it easy. I was born a girl. I wake up in the morning and see a woman in the mirror. I met a nice guy, got married and had kids. No complications. That does not make me any better or worse than anyone else. Some of my friends walked a more difficult path, feeling attracted to the “wrong” gender, or feeling that their essence, who they really were, did not match the gender they were born to. Most tried to fit in at first, but never felt quite right. Some paid a heavy price, being rejected by their families. Some had suicidal feelings. Some took their own life.

A certain man from the Middle East said: “Judge not lest ye be judged”. I think he meant that to apply to everyone. Sometimes we focus on our differences to our own detriment. Obsessing over the “sex” in homosexuality, for instance, might prevent us from meeting people who, like us, love their family, their country. People who laugh like us and cry like us. People who have pollen allergies. People who like Tex-Mex food. People who don’t – now that would be a sin.

If you think I am too preachy, you are probably right. I grew up Catholic in a small European town. My favorite story was that of the Good Samaritan who, despised by main Jewry, put prejudice and resentment aside to help the victim of a robbery. My favorite saint was Martin of Tours, who split his coat with a sword to share it with a beggar. Saint Martin offered not just tolerance, but love. As a child I fancied myself Saint Martin on a horse, generously sharing his cloak. But what if I was one of the beggars? And can I stretch my imagination further? What if the Good Samaritan was a trans woman?

If you see rainbow flags over town, please show tolerance. Better yet, show love. It is in short supply these days.

Marie-Anne wrote this post. She is solely responsible for content.

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