Tuesday, March 13, 2012

From the Mouths of Babes

This is why I love Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook so much!  You don't get this kind of story just anywhere.  One of their 360,000+ members sent in a letter that was written as a speech.  The writer?  Her 11-year old daughter, Leehem.  Leyla Hillman Farrell sent them this letter:
Hi Everyone,

My 11 year old daughter was asked by her teacher to write a speech on a particular topic that she feels very strongly about. As a straight ally, I am very proud to say that she chose gay rights, as her topic. Here is her speech. I hope this serves as a comfort in knowing that the upcoming generation (as young as 11) understand!!
 It's the letter from her 11-year-old daughter that steals the show.

Now, I know there are people, like myself, who may have a hard time reading the original letter.  For you, here's the letter in plain text:
Gay Rights by Leehem Farrell

Our family has many gay friends. We even have a close gay friend who lives right next door. I think it's so unfair that gay people cant get married. Its because gay people don't have as many rights as straight people. If two people love each other then it shouldn't matter if they are a boy and a girl, or two boys, or two girls, they should still be allowed to get married!!!

Some kids get bullied in school because they were born gay. If my friend was bullied for being gay, I would stand up for them and tell the bully that they were being ignorant.

We are all people......they were "born this way ".
Keep in mind that she's 11-years-old.  SHE GETS IT!!!  She proves the point that hatred and intolerance are learned behaviors.  We may be "born this way", as far as our sexual orientation is concerned; however, no one is born to hate or to be intolerant.

Hatred, and its evil twin intolerance, are behaviors that are taught to young people from other adults.  Sadly, in a lot of cases, those adults are right there in the same household and go by the names of "Mom" and "Dad".  Or, maybe they're learning it from listening to some of the politicians.  There's no shortage of narrow-minded, hate-filled people calling themselves politicians these days.  OR, perhaps they even learned from Rev. Hatealot during their Sunday church services.  There's a lot of that going on these days.  They confuse me.  I was always taught that God is love. (says so right in that same Bible)  However, the "God" they talk about is mean and hateful.  Or, is it just them...using "God" as a smoke screen for their own hatred.  As I see it, teaching hate and intolerance takes effort; however, being loving, caring, understanding, and accepting is natural.  We're born that way.

The bright side of it is that Leehem is showing us something that I've been alluding to a lot:  the future is bright and in good hands.  The young ones know, as we all did at one point in our lives, that love is love.  Everybody has the equal right to love whomever he or she happens to fall in love with.  No laws to regulate it.  No Bible verse to condemn it.  No backwards, hillbilly, myopic-minded "pastor" bringing his protesting "congregation" around with handmade signs of ignorance.(sorry, Fred.  Couldn't resist.)  Just the freedom, the God-given freedom, to love whomever we love.  It's really just that simple.  We were born that way.

Great job, Leehem!  You're going to be a great leader someday.  And, AWESOME job raising your daughter, Leyla.  You are obviously a wonderful person full of love and compassion, yourself.  You were obviously born that way.