By Joseph Pratt
About two years ago, my little brother asked to meet with me for a talk. As a general background, I’ll state my brother has always been a bit dramatic, but that is why I love him. Anyways, I picked him up and we parked in my favorite spot, one I will not mention because the less people who go there the better, and we sat in silence for a good twenty minutes before one of us would talk.
Josh, my brother, finally broke the tense silence, asking if he could tell me anything. A five minute dialogue pursed before he told me, with tears choked back, that he was gay.
I caught him off guard by laughing, hysterically, which naturally made him mad. Then, when I refused to stop laughing, he began laughing with me until both of our sides hurt.
Of course he was gay. I’ve always known he was gay. I was only waiting for him to know it and tell me.
We continued to talk, seriously this time, and I began to think a little more, eventually causing reality to finally set in as to why he was crying. I then began to silently worry.
I realized our family might not support him. I realized his friends might not support him. I realized he was living in a world where he was considered a minority because of who he loved, and was given less rights than everyone else.
I became worried for my brother, someone I have always protected. I was mad that I couldn’t protect him from what he would now face, an entire party of people who were entirely against him and who he chose to hold hands with.
Two years later, and I’ve helped my brother through his first serious break-up. I’ve also watched him find someone else to love, even with a large collection of people not agreeing with it. Josh has grown up so much and lives his life without a care of public opinion, which makes me so proud of him. He knows he gets only one life and he is living the hell out of it and people are getting used to it.
As of today, he will now be legally able to marry the man of his dreams, when he finds him that is. Please, don’t rush into anything, Joshua.
I am not a democrat and I am not a republican. I literally get sick to my stomach when I see people use the terms liberal and conservative, because I feel like we are too hung up on a title and a definition. I often find myself joking that I am allergic to politics to avoid discussing my opinion, but here I go.
This country was built on the backbone of hardworking men and women, held together by sweat, blood and tears of millions of people who fought for it. Our country stands as a representative to the rest of the world, like a big brother. Our country was not built on a book or a religion. It was built on freedom, which includes freedom of religion.
If another person disagrees with my political opinions, I simply try not to react, because we are all composed of different walks of life and opinions. Who am I to try to skew anyone else from their thinking, when I don’t want anyone touching mine?
I just hope people look at this as an opportunity to foster goodwill and brotherhood, instead of hate. After all, this new law is all about equality and what is there to hate about that?
I am happy today and I ask everyone to respect that, as well as each other and anyone else with an opinion on the matter.
My brother will eventually find someone who rocks his world the way my wife does mine. He will be able to proudly show off a wedding band on one hand and hold his husband’s in the other. Today is one of the happiest days of my life, because I have hope that people can look past opinion and hate and look at equality and freedom.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.