So, here's the thing. I'll tell you anything you want to know about me, but it's harder for me to share about the people closest to me. I almost feel like it's not my place to tell these things. But when I see stories like this, stories that shock every inch of humanity inside of me, I know it's time for me to speak up. So today, I'll give it a shot.
1. My best friend is one of the most honest, compassionate, and understanding people I know. She is funny. She is brilliant. She loves her family. She works hard for what she has. She is also Muslim-American. She dresses modestly, but she doesn't wear a hijab, so people don't think when they speak to her. They don't realize that when they make Muslim jokes or call an entire religion of people terrorists based upon the extreme actions of a select few, they are insulting her. And her mother. And her little sister. And her husband, who was raised by a Southern Baptist mother and father and recently converted to Islam. And her children. These people don't think. Truth is, they don't want to.
2. My parents work hard. They love me and my little sister. We love them. They made sure that, no matter how hard or how many hours they had to work, our family never went without. My parents are also bigots. I could sugarcoat it more than that, but I'm not going to. They were both raised very Christian, and, although neither leads a particularly religious lifestyle now, both are so set in their ways that you couldn't move them if you tried. And try, I have. Not because I think my way is the right way, but because there is something they don't know. Something they should, but maybe never will.
3. My sister is my other best friend. She is wicked smart. She is funny and beautiful. She psychoanalyzes me when I talk, which totally creeps me out. She texts me weird things in the middle of the night. She reads by candlelight with me when the storms knock out our power. She colors my hair, and I color hers. When I need her, she always answers. My sister is also gay. She gets the butterflies, just like the rest of us. She falls in love, just like the rest of us. She gives her heart to people, just like the rest of us. She breaks into pieces, just like the rest of us. So you tell me: Is she any less of a person just because she doesn't conform to what society deems "normal"?
Say what you will and feel what you want, but it is not okay to legislate your morals. It is not okay to discriminate. It is not okay to judge others. It is not okay to hate.
And that's my 25 cents.