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Let’s talk about love

Athena Hughes | Friday, April 12, 2013

I’ve heard arguments that the logical leaps made in Mr. Boyd’s column (“Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Apr. 10) render it unworthy of a response. But the underlying attitudes are real and corrosive, and should be addressed.
There’s a limit on how much you can deride, demean and insult someone and still claim to love them. When you compare someone’s sexual attraction to and love for people of the same sex to acts of evil that deliberately harm, destroy, or end life (rape, murder, terrorism), you perpetuate hate. When you deny someone’s ability to love fully and deeply because biology prevents them from creating children with the person they love, you deny an intrinsic part of their humanity. When you belittle their love by calling the symbol of their movement proof of their inferiority, you insult them. When you call their desire for truly equal treatment under the law a “fad,” you spit on the memory of our gay and lesbian friends and forebears who have been excluded, maimed, and murdered simply for wanting to be with the wrong person. Is that really love?
Mr. Boyd, I’d like to offer a challenge. Just talk to a gay or lesbian person about it. I guarantee you know at least one person from your classes, in your dorm, heck, in your pew. Approach him or her with an open heart and an open mind, and just listen. Watch a young man’s face light up when he talks about his boyfriend of two years. Hear the longing when a woman talks about her girlfriend who’s studying abroad. Talk to an older couple about the dedication it took to get through the tough times and the joy of the good ones. Listen for the pain engendered by years of being told that they’re incomplete, wrong and disordered.
Of course, I’m not sure how many of our homosexual comrades will really want to talk to you after you’ve degraded and denied them, so I’m not volunteering anyone. But my hope is someone would be willing to take the time to show you what real love means.

Athena Hughes
Ryan Hall
April 10