Friday, May 18

The Importance of Being Gay

As The Housekeeper's Son will be released on the morrow (May 19, 2012), I'm inspired to write a little about one of the subtle subplots in my book--the importance of being gay. The subject homosexuality is a sensitive one to many, so I shall try to tread lightly on fragile areas, yet clear in my intent.

Last week, President Obama announced his support for gay marriage, which caused an uproar among conservatives and Christian groups alike. (Notice that I don't use the term "religious groups." It's because Christian sects contribute to the majority of the protests against homosexuality.) I don't negate their love for traditional marriage and their need to uphold the standards of morality according to the dictates of their religion. I, too, belong to a conservative religion that does not tolerate the act of homosexuality--I understand where these protestors are coming from--so, of all people, I should know better. (Now, again, I am careful with my words. We don't condemn the sinner. Just the sin, right?) But the looming question remains: Is homosexuality even a sin?

In The Housekeeper's Son, I have created a world of conservatism with conservative, religious players. And then I throw in my main character, who is anything but conservative. After all, she'd killed a couple of little people. But the one character that I want to talk about is Edmund, the only seemingly gay character in my book, although the truth of it is still debatable, because much of the observation comes from Eleanor, the housekeeper and protagonist. And if you know her as well as I do, she can be a little confused upstairs. However, the idea of a gay kid growing up in a Mormon family is interesting to me, which I explore in the book.

Edmund's story is never about being gay at all. Like many gay people I know, being gay is never the issue. But being accepted and treated equally is. Being gay is like being black, white, red, or yellow. It is like having a limp. It is like being a little slow in learning. It is like losing a father, a mother, a sibling. It's like being poor. Or being old. Being gay is no different from being you or being me. It's about being different. And if being different is a sin, then being gay should also be. There should be no exceptions. No double standards. Now, wait a minute. That doesn't seem so right, does it?

In our world today, perception rules our actions. What we see is often what we believe. By writing The Housekeeper's Son, I hope to help people understand that not all ugly things are ugly. Not all beautiful things are beautiful, either. There is good in everything, if only we take the effort to explore, to discover.

So, back to our subject at hand: Why is it important to be gay? Because it reminds us of the battles we fought, collectively and individually, for our worth as humans. We have fought for our children to go to the same school regardless of race and color. We have fought for our daughters to be able to vote and earn a fair salary. We have fought for our right to belong. And now, we are fighting again--this old war--to be able to love and live honestly, without lies and without fear.

And here's the truth, as Edmund painfully learns: the enemy is never out there. It's in us.

The Housekeeper's Son will be released worldwide May 19, 2012. You are all invited to the launch party. For details, click here.

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