When I was 25 years old, I needed to get my driver’s license renewed. I had just had my son and didn’t want to have to take him with me so I went on a Saturday when my husband was off work. I just so happened to pick a Saturday that a flock of teens were testing to get their drivers licenses. The lobby was filled with parents anxiously awaiting their son or daughter to turn the corner. Did they pass the test? As I was waiting for my turn to get my picture taken and such, I would hear loud cheers coming from the lobby area. Another teen passed and got their coveted license. As I finished up and headed out to the lobby, I opened the door and was also greeted with loud cheers and congratulations. It took me a minute to realize that the parents assumed that I was a teen that just got their license. Pretty cool considering I was 25 and a new mother. Really I chalk it up to being short…people tend to think you are younger when you’re short…but hey…I’ll take it. Felt pretty good.
There was a down side to looking younger though. As a way to help senior citizens get their exercise, the malls in my area open their doors early so that the seniors can walk the mall before the stores open. This is especially great when it’s inclement weather. Moms take advantage of it too and strap their young ones in strollers to share the halls with the seniors. I would frequent the mall in those early days when my son was a baby to get some exercise when it was too cold or rainy outside to do so. Well it didn’t take long to hear the comments. There were lots of little old ladies in that mall and they weren’t shy about sharing their opinion. In what they thought was a whisper, they would talk to one another as they walked by me. “That is just awful. Look at her. She is just a baby herself. I don’t know what it is with this generation…babies having babies…it’s just dreadful.” They assumed I was a teen mom. I just wanted to yell back at them. “I’m 25…and I’m married thank you very much!” It used to make me feel bad. How could they just assume that about me?
Has anyone ever assumed something about you that wasn’t true? Are you a quite person? Do people automatically assume you are stuck up? Are you overweight because of a medical reason like a thyroid problem and people automatically assume that you just eat too much or are lazy? It hurts. You just want to shout…”You’re wrong! You don’t know my story!” Assuming that you know something about someone that isn’t correct can cause them great distress.
Here are some untruths that some people assume about gay people:
* They will try to change you. There are people who think that hanging around someone who is gay will somehow make them gay. This can’t happen. You are born gay. Period. Just like gay people hanging around straight people won’t make them straight.
*All gay people think about is sex. Not true. They are just like straight people. They don’t think about sex any more or less than a straight person. We have to stop treating them like they are a sexual act. If you meet a straight person, you aren’t thinking about who they are having sex with…it should be the same with someone who is gay. Gay/Straight…it comes down to wanting to be loved. Sex isn’t what defines any of us.
*Gay people aren’t Christians. There are a lot of gay Christians. I have more to say about this, but I will save that for another time. (smile)
*Gay people are attracted to every person of the same-sex. As a straight person, are you attracted to every person of the opposite sex? No. Neither are gay people.
*Gay people are pedophiles. I want you to let this one sink in a little. Imagine if people thought this about your child. Not because of anything they did…just because of how they were born. Sickening. Imagine walking around with that burden as a gay person. I can’t say anything else about this while still being loving so I’m going to let it go. Let’s just say people need to stop thinking this.
People wonder sometimes why some gay people are so angry. Well…as a parent of a gay child it’s hard sometimes for me to not walk around angry all the time. If something has ever been falsely assumed about you, I think you may understand somewhat. I can’t even begin to tell you the horrors that some gay people have faced. And as a Christian it pains me deeply that some of these things have been done by fellow Christians. Before you assume something about anyone, get to know them. Learn their story. You may find that you had it all wrong.
Love each other…because love matters.