I’m at the beach this week and oh what a difference a year makes. This time last year we were still in the beginning stages of the pandemic. Of course, at the time we didn’t know it would take so long for life to start to get back to normal. We still aren’t there yet, but we are slowly getting there.
So far we have not been able to get take out at any of the restaurants here. Last year that was a breeze. In fact, some restaurants that normally don’t offer take out did last year due to restaurants not being able to be at full capacity. We like to take a break from cooking while on vacation, but this year we aren’t getting that luxury.
Reminds me of some other things that we took for granted over the last 15 months…
Like having an adequate amount of toilet paper.
Being able to buy chicken, beef, or pork at the grocery store.
Finding hand sanitizer or any kind of cleaning products.
Being able to spend time with friends and family.
The list goes on and on…
But there are other things that we as cisgender straight people take for granted every day even when there isn’t a pandemic.
I’ve mentioned these before…things like…
Getting served at a restaurant.
Having a bakery bake a wedding cake for your wedding.
Walking hand in hand with the person you love.
Maintaining your job.
This list, unfortunately, also goes on and on.
Did you know that 2021 has officially surpassed 2015 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ legislation? So far 17 anti-LGBTQ bills have been enacted into law. More than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year. Let that sink in for a minute. Imagine 250 bills being introduced to try to discriminate against you for just simply being you. Imagine the stress and anxiety that would produce and how hard it would be to live knowing that day in and day out.
This is why the Equality Act is so important. The Equality Act would provide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people with things like employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and service, federally funded programs and jury service. There is a TON of misinformation out there in order to scare people to fight against it.
When having discussions with people about this, they say to me that doctors will have to perform surgeries that they don’t agree with on transgender people and that isn’t fair. And I ask them if they would go to an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in knees to have their brain tumor removed. They of course say, “NO WAY!” Well it is the same for transgender people. They search out doctors that are well versed in hormone therapy, surgeries, etc. so there is no need to worry about doctors.
Then they will go on to say that pastors will be forced to perform weddings for same sex couples. I ask them about their wedding. Did they want everything to be perfect (well at least as perfect as possible)? I ask them if they invited people that were supportive and excited about their wedding. They of course say, “Yes!” Well the same goes for a same sex couple. If they contact a pastor, and they are against same sex weddings, they don’t say to themselves, “This is the pastor for us! We are so excited to get married by someone who thinks we are an abomination in God’s eyes!” No…instead they search out someone that is going to be supportive of their love and be willing to celebrate that with them.
It is easy to gloss by these things when they don’t involve you. People’s lives are impacted in serious ways if bills like these 250 are passed.
When I’m at the beach, I always search for heart shells (the picture is what I’ve collected so far this year). I’m just drawn to them. I guess because hearts remind me of love…and well…love matters. As you can see, each of these hearts is different with none of them being completely perfect. Kind of like our human hearts. They get battered and bruised by living life. Loving and losing people that are important to us. Hurt feelings. Mistreatment. And just every day life of living with imperfect people. We should remember that each person has been through tough things. We should strive to be a person that doesn’t further mar the hearts of those we come into contact.
A very tangible way to do that would be to help fight for the Equality Act. Let’s show the LGBTQ community that they are worthy of our time. Let’s not take for granted the liberties that we enjoy and make sure that they are available for ALL. Let’s show the LGBTQ community that they are loved.
Because love matters….