Friday, March 12, 2010

The more they know

Yes, as we have been reminded of this week in California, there are gay legislators who push for anti-gay laws, and there are those like Pete Knight, who wrote Proposition 22, banning same-sex marriage, despite having a gay son. However, I do think that it is correct that more people support gay rights, because more people know GLBT people.

I see this all the time when it comes to disability - people tuning into disability issues and rights when they know someone who is disabled or when they become disabled - and it is more often than not dramatic and moving. Take what happened when I was at the Post Office yesterday.

I was buying stamps, and the clerk who helped me was a guy who has been there for years. He has always been nice enough but a bit brusque. Just doing his job. Dealing with people, including people like me.

As he was assisting me with getting out my cash, he asked me if I know what Bell’s Palsy is.

I said I did, wondering what was up. Did he think I have Bell’s Palsy instead of Cerebral Palsy?

"I was out with it for three months last year." He must have seen that I was still looking for a point, because he quickly added, "The point is that I really admire you, John. I got a tiny idea of what you go through every day."

Sure, maybe he was being patronizing, but I think - or like to think - he was too much of a man changed for that. He did say that he had only a "tiny idea."

I’m thinking we might get somewhere if everyone was disabled or gay or something for three months.

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