Gay woman wins Houston mayoral race
Opponent concedes; campaign marked by anti-homosexual rhetoric
David J. Phillip / AP
Parker’s sexual orientation became the focus of the race in recent weeks after anti-gay activists and conservative religious groups endorsed the 61-year-old Locke and sent out mailers condemning Parker’s “homosexual behavior.”
I’m probably sticking my neck way out today, but I can’t keep quiet about “conservative religious groups” and their stand on gays.
Perhaps I should preface this blog with the fact that I have never been nor never plan to be a lesbian. I’m not hard-wired that way. But I have had to lead my life very carefully because I’m a hetero.
Out of all the years of my life, I was married ten years of that life. The rest of the time I have been single. I grew up across the street from a girl I had known since first grade. When I started teaching, I needed a roommate to share an apartment. She asked if she could move in with me. As a result, we shared accommodations for five years. Neither of us could afford to live alone. I had no home to return to and she certainly was more than ready to move out of her parents’ home.
Because we were basically compatible as roommates, neither of us sought other arrangements until I became engaged to be married. We didn’t think anything about it. However, for whatever reason, because we had lived together for several years, a former friend started the rumor that we were gay. It was soon spread all over our small town. Why this “friend” thought she had to say something like that I never knew. We just ignored the rumors and eventually I guess they died down. At that time, had that rumor reached our employers, it may just have cost us our jobs. That was especially true for me since I was working with children.
Lillian Hellman wrote a smash Broadway play in the 1930’s called The Children’s Hour which dealt with the topic of lesbianism between two teachers. When it was made into a movie the first time around, the lesbian theme could not be used. It would not pass the censors. It had to be a love triangle called These Three. By 1961, the original theme was at least somewhat addressed once again in the remake release of The Children’s Hour. That movie came out only eight years before I started teaching. The town where I was teaching was bigger than the small village where we grew up, but it was small enough that if the administration had heard the rumor, it might have made a difference in my career.
The rest of my adult life after of my marriage, I have lived alone with my son until ten years ago when he graduated from college. I had plenty of room in my house for a roommate. If I had chosen a male roommate, there would have been rumors of a lover. If I had chosen a female roommate, there may have been rumors of a lesbian relationship. For twenty years of my life, until I retired from teaching, I chose for those reasons not to share my house. It was a lonely decision.
I live in one of the most conservative hotboxes in the U.S. Granted it is now a very large city and private lives are easier to conceal, but that was not always the case after my divorce. In addition, my son attended the same school where I taught, so I was in frequent contact on a social level with the parents of his friends. I felt I could not afford rumors of either kind.
It has always confused me how “conservative religious groups” can express so much love for each other and yet be so completely intolerant of “others”. The word hypocritical comes to mind. Houston is not that far from here. You know if they can mount a major campaign to use hate to try to keep a lesbian woman out of office down there, there are as many “conservative religious groups” in all parts of Texas willing to fight the same battle.
I will never understand how so much intolerance and bigotry can exist in religious groups that call themselves Christian. It has only been twelve years since the torture and murder of Matthew Shepard and the picketing of his funeral by anti-gay Christian groups who held up signs saying “God Hates Fags” and “Matthew Shephard rots in hell”.
I neither condone or condemn those who choose to live with same sex partners in a loving relationship. It is not my place to do so, as others seem to think it is their right and obligation. I have had a couple of readers suggest I study the Bible when I have written on other topics. They believe in the literal interpretation of this Holy Book. I choose to look at the Bible in a different light.
It is my prayer that what happens in a loving relationship between two adults will become an issue only between the two of them. It is my prayer that “conservative religious groups” will begin to pay more attention to the loving Christ in the New Testament and concern themselves more with their own lives than with the lives of others. I feel that too much belief of the message of the Bible is a pick and choose mentality. It will soon be the celebrated birth of Jesus for another year. It is time to love and accept each other as a whole regardless of race, ethnic group, religion, creed, political affiliation, or gender preference. That is what I pray so that headlines like the above will eventually disappear. It’s not like homosexuality will spread. It’s not catching. It’s about time that we accept that thought. If you don’t approve, then don’t seek out their company, but be aware, they are not as afraid to hide their sexual orientation as they once were. They are teachers, football players, ministers, priests, doctors, nurses, judges, TV stars, movie stars, politicians, you name it. They are out there. It’s about time to accept it or choose to live a hate-filled life that is hurting no one but the hater. Namaste. Attic Annie