Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

A Change is Gonna Come

Today, on the day following national Coming Out Day, I want to share something that doesn’t bemoan the state of society, but hopefully uplifts you and encourages you to keep fighting the good fight for equality.

This is a tribute to my mother.  A tribute to change.

Those who know me, know I was raised in the Southern Baptist church.  A conglomerate of conservative churches sharing a doctrine that refused to allow women in the ministry, believed (and still does, to my knowledge) that homosexual behaviors was against the will of god and abortion is wrong in most, if not all, instances, the SBC and our home church in particular was the center of our social activity when I was a child.  What most of you don’t know is the love I have of my Southern culture manifested itself in a pretty ugly manner.  I had Confederate flags all over my room and more than a couple of t-shirts.  I was adamant that teacher led prayer be allowed back into school.  When we staged a “protest” advocating such at my middle school, I remember my mom being proud that I had stood up for what I believed in and brushing past the in school suspension sentence I received.

My mother has always been a compassionate woman.  I never remember her being cruel to others, but I do know that my young conservative values came in part due to her.  When I began to talk about the struggles of my gay high school friends to my other, I think she was conflicted about how to respond.  She would never advocate violence, but she is a committed Christian and reconciling doctrine with your heart is often a difficult struggle.

Over the past several years, we have discussed religion, politics and social issues from time to time.  I have witnessed something so amazing…Over time, her heart has changed.  The love for others she has always exhibited personally has begun to be reflected in her vote and her voice.   I watch her stand up to friends and acquaintances she has had for years to spread the message of equality and compassion.

This weekend, her business purchased booth space at Atlanta Pride, at her recommendation.

This weekend, my mother donated to the cause of equality for the first time.

This day, my mother spoke excitedly about the Human Rights Campaign ball cap she received in appreciation for her donation and her plan to give it to one our dear friends, who is gay.

In 1996, the year I turned 16, Gallup found that 68% of the population opposed same-sex marriage, with 27% approving.

In 2010, 53% oppose same-sex marriage, with 44% approving.

My mom is one of those 44%.  In 2010, no matter your age, your race or your religious affiliation, you can be the change you wish to see!

It’s a scary thing to leave behind the values you’ve held your whole life.  Core values are one of the most difficult things to sway in the psyche.

You can do it.  We can all do it.  My mother just showed you how.  You just gotta put one foot in front of the other, look straight ahead and see the appreciation of our brothers and sisters waiting for us to walk tall on their behalf.

Written by thelittlepecan

October 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Posted in equality

8 Responses

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  1. Great post Alana!

    Zeenat

    October 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm

  2. Brought tears to my eyes!!!! This is AWESOME!

    genypher

    October 13, 2010 at 1:23 pm

  3. Holy crap, in 1996 I turned 30.In paragraph 4, you left the m out of mother.Oh, and YAY! Congrats on raising such a great mom! :o)

    Roachiesmom

    October 13, 2010 at 5:14 am

  4. I have said over and over again, the change has to start with yourself. When you change, you have the ability to affect change in everyone you know. One at a time, we make a difference. Thank you for sharing your and your mother's story.

    Teena

    October 13, 2010 at 1:12 am

  5. Mommy, I am ALWAYS proud of you!

    TheLittlePecan

    October 12, 2010 at 6:47 pm

  6. That's wonderful!!

    erin

    October 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm

  7. That was a very nice blog post. The best advice for everybody is exactly what you told them, "Be the change you want to see." Sexual orientation is not a measure of a person's worth and how we treat each other as people is what matters the most in the end.

    Vincent

    October 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

  8. I a so proud that YOU are proud of me. Least we forget, your Aunt Gwen has also moved toward this acceptance and understand as have your grandparents.1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

    Domino

    October 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm


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