Monday, June 1, 2015
Why do people think they have rights over other people's lives?
What makes me say what I say? This one should be obvious to everyone who knows me and my family. We have been facing gay rights for a very long time and trying to come to grips with all the errors we made as our daughter grew up.
She was born in 1968, the dark ages when it came to understanding mental health and gay issues. She was the second of three children, born 15 months after her older brother and three years before her younger sister. When she taught herself to read before entering pre-school and taught herself to count backwards from 100 before that, we didn’t really think anything was amiss.
Her poor older brother’s intellect sat on the back burner until he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, when one of his friends remarked, “It’s about time he figured out how smart we all knew he was.” That was what it was like to grow up in her house.
She hid from all of us the eating disorder she struggled with throughout her childhood--that’s how clever she was. It finally came to a head when she was a freshman in college, and one of her high school friends, at his wits end, dropped her at a hospital known for their eating disorder program. The hospital alerted us.
In and out of treatment programs, in and out of therapeutic centers, and we were stymied. The most intelligent line I heard through all the years came from a friend whose answer, when faced with my question: “Could she be gay?” was “So what if she is.”
That was so many years ago. I mourn the wasted years but celebrate the good years. It could have been as much her fault as mine: She should have sought the help she needed to open the closet door. But opening that door was her right, her choice, to be done on her terms.
The principal of the school didn’t have the right to open the door. It wasn’t his closet. It wasn’t his family. It wasn’t his door to open.