A friend of mine recently posted a Facebook comment that broke my heart, about the challenges of growing up gay and how he was treated by others because he is different. Another person’s wonderful response was that he is not different – I agree. We have dealt with the concept of being different for years in my family, as our daughters are Chinese-born. I remember when my oldest daughter, about five years old at the time, came home from school upset because a boy on the bus pulled his eyes into a slant. I think she and her sister are lucky to have each other, as they have someone “like them” in the family. We’ve always tried to point out that we are all different, yet also the same. Of the five of us, I am the only with green eyes – the others’ are brown. They are the same; I am different. My daughters and I have abdominal surgical scars. We are the same; their father and brother are different. I hope these discussions shelter them somewhat from the prejudices of the world. Mark Twain has a famous quote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” I have had the great privilege to prove that, traveling to many different countries and working with people from all over the world. I quickly learned the obvious: that in spite of our differences in upbringing, culture, and beliefs, people everywhere generally want the same things–to be loved, to be respected, to raise their families, to have a better life for their children. Yes, we are all different. And we are all the same.
“Bigotry or prejudice in any form is more than a problem; it is a deep-seated evil within our society.” –Judith Light