Love is Love
While sitting in the subway today, I noticed two couples. One lesbian and one gay couple. It feels my heart with joy when I see homosexual couples living their lives like ordinary people and not afraid to show their love for one another. In New York it is a social norm for homosexuals to be open but in my small town of Lawton, Oklahoma homosexuals are social outcast hiding in their confused feelings of love.
The “Bible Belt” is a coined term for south eastern and south central states of the US in which socially conservative protestantism is a significant part of the culture and church attendance is usually higher than the nation’s average. Oklahoma is not only apart of the belt but the buckle or heart of the belt. Growing up in Oklahoma I can attest to this idea of church being the social norm. Even in school, teachers were not allowed to give homework to students on Wednesdays because that night was for bible study and there should be no reasons as to why youth could not attend church. In a since, all youth knew was church. So when you are taught in church that homosexuality is wrong, thats all you know. But what if you have those feelings for the opposite sex and you can’t control them, then who do you go to. No one in Oklahoma and in the case of my friend Bryant.
I knew Bryant throughout middle and high school. He was a great friend. But I raised a few eyebrows with him when it came to some of his actions. They seemed a bit girly but that was probably why we got a long so well. Throughout out high school he attended church regularly, dated a few girls here and there but the relationships did not last. I later asked Bryant why the relationships did not work and he said he had uncontrollable feelings for males but he could not express them. The feeling of being rejected because of who he loved kept him hidden and afraid. In Lawton, if you are a homosexual no one knows that because well its just not accepted, you did not tell anyone, and it was just wrong.
When did Bryant finally come out? Three years later after our high school graduation when he moved away from Oklahoma and moved to New York. He felt right at home and did not feel the need to hide. Bryant said in New York, he had a blast and he was at every drag show you could think of. New York embraced his sexuality and treated him as if it was his right to be gay. Later on hard times came through and he had to pack everything up and move back to Lawton. He said he was gonna come back gayer than gay and not be afraid and hide behind his feelings anymore. But one night in a local club in Lawton, guys jumped Bryant because he was gay. He was beaten and had to be taking to the hospital because of his serious injuries.
When I heard the news about it, I thought to myself we really can’t get it right. This man was beaten because of how he loved. And yes Lawton is a predominantly Christian state and they live by the good book but if we really lived by it why are we beating and fighting. Isn’t God love and doesn’t he want all his children to love them as them selves? Why is Lawton Oklahoma, apart of the so called “buckle” of the bible belt and not teaching the lesson of God’s love. Why in New York , do they accept you as you are and fight for all rights for homosexuals? Simple. Because love is love and in New York and other states that accept homosexuality as a social norm know you can’t tell anyone how to love. In some parts of Oklahoma it is drilled it in your heads that homosexuality is a sin and to hate, in my opinion, but as I was told in church no sin is greater than the other. So what makes your sin of fighting and cursing better than homosexuality?
New York continues to show me love is love so when I do go back to Oklahoma I will show love to not just one person but all persons gay or straight. It’s time for homosexuals in Lawton to stop hiding and come out to the world and feel comfortable to embrace their partner. Love is Love no matter your religion, faith or state. Everyone should be free to express their love to anyone no matter who or where it is.