Four days ago, America become the 26th country to legally recognise single sex or gay marriage and 26 million people changed their Facebook profile in support of it. A tidal wave of rainbows has flooded through Facebook ever since and rightly so! This is a decision to be celebrated and I sincerely hope the rest of the world follows. EVERY SINGLE PERSON has the right to love and be loved and for that to be legally recognised. In my opinion, it really doesn’t get much simpler than that.
This post is not a rant and I am not going to get up on my soap box about how I feel, however I do want to share a little story with you.
Yesterday a friend of mine received an email from someone who bullied him in high school for being gay. Some 15 years later this incredible apology landed in his inbox. I asked my friend if I could share it and he told me to “Go for it Robs”. So here is is………..
“I am not sure if you remember, but the last time we met since high school was a chance encounter in the streets of Observatory, Cape Town. Ever since that day I have had the fantasy of finding a way to make contact with you and apologise for my shameful behaviour during our school days. I often think back and cringe at my own ignorance.
Although I assume that you know what it is that I am apologising for, this is how I remember it: With the assumption that you might have been gay I would make constant ridiculing, embarrassing and demeaning comments. I can’t remember to what extent I did it but I do remember a few specific incidents. I have no idea if you even remember these incidents or what impact this might have had on you at the time, or if there has been any lasting echo of my immature voice in your life, but I sincerely hope not. If so, this apology does not necessarily make it right, but I hope there is some value for you in me showing accountability for my actions.
Looking back I was acting out of my own fear and stupidity. Fortunately the idiot that I was then managed to learn over time that he had no right to make judgements about other people’s sexual orientation and, believe it or not, is now perfectly comfortable with the idea of same sex relationships. Not that my comfort or discomfort should have any bearing on how you experience your sexuality. I do not even know whether you chose to have same sex relationships or not. Ultimately, I just want to apologise for trying to make myself feel “macho” by making assumptions about your sexuality and then using those assumptions to try and make you feel some sort of “wrongness” about yourself.
Perhaps you will find some value in my apology, perhaps you will choose to ignore it, you might even find it petty and insignificant. Regardless, I would be interested in hearing any thoughts you have about it and in hearing about how your life has panned out in general.”
Isn’t that incredible act of courage and maturity?
In case you’re interested the reply, my friend has also shown huge courage by accepting this apology and offering forgiveness. He has openly said that this apology has helped him more than ten years of therapy.
The world may not apologise as personally this, but by legalising gay marriage, we will be going a long way to help repair some of the damage that past prejudice and ignorance has caused homosexuals.
Come on Australia, as much as I love you, your current stand of gay marriage is shameful.
Were you ever bullied in the past?
Would an apology help you recover?
*This is a positive blog and I do love to hear all your opinions, however, if you have anything nasty or negative to add I will be deleting it.*
It takes a very brave person to admit they were wrong and to do it openly. I hope it has helped your friend overcome any lasting effects they suffered because of the bullying. It does stay with you for a long time.
It sure does. It’s a wonderful example of how you can always still do the right thing and make amends xx
What a fabulous apology. I love that one person took the time to write it and the other had the grace to accept it.
Awesome isn’t it!!
Will share this on my FB page tomorrow. I was bullied terribly in school. I think being bulled for sexual orientation would have been almost too much for me to bare. How incredible that someone took the time to track your friend down. I love this story.
I wrote about my two gay friends this week 🙂 And I hope it helps the Christian community to love more and hate less …
I hope it helps too. It’s such a simple really and I honestly struggle to understand why people are so against it. Thanks for sharing and I hope that you find some peace for your awful experience too x
Wow what an apology, and what a journey of self-discovery he has obviously been on! It probably helped him to write it as much as it helped your friend to receive it.
I think it must have. A very brave and noble thing to do x
It’s never too late to say sorry. I know Australia is on the back foot here, but I really hope we catch up soon in the marriage equality stakes. Love is love and I agree it’s a basic right, no matter the sex of the person you choose to have a relationship with.
I totally agree. I have faith that they will catch up soon. I think they have to x
What an incredibly thoughtful and eloquent apology. It takes a big person to say “Hey, I was massive asshole to you, and I did it out of fear and ignorance. I realise that now and want to apologise”. Kudos to that person for growing up, and owning their shortcomings and acknowledging the pain it caused other people.
Ha, well put Hugz – thats exactly what I thought too x
What a humbling thing to do, and to receive. I am so glad that it brought healing to your friend too. x
Me too. xx
It has been wonderful to see the show of support across facebook. And this is a great example that it is never to late to make a mends.
You’re so right. It’s quite inspirational really. The world is slowly changing x
It takes a special person to apologise like that. Great post and as you know I’m all for equality. x
Me too Em, me too x
This is absolutely brilliant. Going to share it on facebook.
Thanks so much Gill xx
Wow what an amazing letter – and how wonderful that your friend could forgive him. It;s time Australia caught up and gave everyone the equal rights they deserve.
I’m sure they will soon Lucy. Well I hope so anyway x