Letter to the Editor: Talk to those you oppose
I struggle to know just where to begin as I write this response to William Shifflett’s comments on the Northern Virginia Daily editorial page on Feb. 8, but I feel compelled to counteract his misconceptions about homosexuality and gay pride.
He asks, “Why has sexual preference become the dominant qualifier of human value?” When I first read that, I thought, “Yes. Let’s get beyond that aspect of human activity and see the whole person.” But as I read his article again, I realized that he was saying that any hatred arising around the issue of homosexuality is not coming from those who oppose it, but rather from gays themselves.
Gays are whole people contributing much to our society. They have talents, ambitions, and families. They work in soup kitchens, donate millions to charities, and cure cancer. Like blacks and other minorities, they have been denied employment, been ostracized, beaten… even killed because of this “micro-fraction” of their lives. Like other minorities, they have had to speak up and expose the prejudice they face in order to bring about change. A Gay Pride parade, like a Black Lives Matter protest, is a way to get beyond the shame and humiliation they should never have had to experience simply because others have focused on one “micro-fraction” of their lives.
Mr. Shifflett wrote, “The most volatile issue facing our culture is the increasing demonization of those who oppose – anything… How can we return to civility with these ongoing challenges?”
I say, “By being civil.” Reach out to those you oppose and have a conversation. Do not dismiss any class of people as inferior to you. It isn’t easy, but we must all try.
Janet Brome, Bentonville, VA