‘So let's leave it alone, 'cause we can't see eye to eye. There ain't no good guys, there ain't no bad guys. There's only you and me and we just disagree.’
-Lyrics to a song by David Mason
Those of you who have fought for gay civil rights were never just fighting for the right to be ‘gay.’
Of course, you were fighting for the right to have rights equal and commensurate with heterosexuals. But it is now and has always been more than a ‘rights’ issue.
You were fighting for the right to express your individual liberty as an American, and not have decisions about how you use your body controlled by others.
When you smoke pot, or eat ice cream, or jump out of a plane, you are similarly making a decision to do something with your body that you choose to do, and make a decision no other human being alive should have the right to control.
The fundamental premise is that it is your body, your life, and your right to make the call of what to put in your body and when. No one should have a right to tell you as an adult what to do with the life that is yours.
You can listen to what people say, but if you have any right that matters, it ought to be the right to control what happens when it comes to your body, your life, and your choices.
You see, it is not just about being gay. It is about being who you are and doing what you want when you want and where you want. Some of us become bears and others twinks. Some like younger guys and some like it butch. Some like it rough and some gentle. Some like jelly on their belly. It is not for you or me to judge or decide. As long as those choices harm no one and fulfill your dreams, it is your world to carve, create, and conduct.
Please think about these fundamental principles when advocating your ‘gay’ causes. We can’t expect everyone to agree with us. I wanted to tell Anderson Cooper to come out of the closet when I met him at a gay party in New York two years ago, but it was not for me to decide for him how he should live his own life.
Similarly, I have no right to tell people not to vote for Mitt Romney if they like him better than Barack Obama. I have no right to tell gay people they have to be Democratic and liberal if they want to be Republican or Conservatives. Their freedom to believe is not my freedom to control.
Just because I don’t like the homophobic business practices of Chick-fill-A, I also have to remind myself that I don’t have a right to make my friends not eat there because I don’t want to. A very conservative guy also owns Pizza Hut, but have you tried their sausage pies? You can only take principles so far.
I don’t care if the President of the Florida Marlins takes the money he makes and donates it to the National Republican Congressional Committee. It’s none of my business. It’s his money, not mine. It is his first amendment to use, not mine.
One of my favorite songs is by Dave Mason, ‘We Just Disagree.’ I found in life I disagree with lots of people. But that is okay, isn’t it? When we demand diversity, what we are really saying is that others respect our right to be different. But diversity includes their right to be different from me, and me respecting their choice as I demand they respect mine.
Life is short, but the day is long. If you are going to find harmony amidst all this chaos, find a path through all the potholes, worry about your star and not someone else’s moon. Live your own life, not someone else’s.
You know, I had cancer once, and I survived, for now. I have a second chance at a first life, and grateful I am for it. I cherish my friendships, value my relationships, and will never forget being alive is a privilege limited by fate and circumstance. I have been blessed with a renewed opportunity- for how long, I do not know. But then none of us, with or without cancer, ever do.
We have limited time but unlimited boundaries. We create our lives by each and every choice we make every day. That is time consuming enough, without telling other people what to do with their lives. So be not monolithic or mandatory. Live and let live. Love and let go. Be the master of your fate, not someone else’s.
I had cancer. Maybe you have AIDS. Hell, everybody's got something. Strive simply to make the most of each and every precious moment that you have, but let the clock you time be your own. Give the unforgiving minute sixty seconds worth of distance run, but measure not someone else’s race. Measure your own.