For Timothy Kurek, a Christian who was once vehemently anti-gay, homosexuals were bad. They were wrong. And they should burn in hell. Amazingly, Kurek decided to open his mind and put himself in someone else's shoes. For one year, he pretended to be gay. The results changed his mind forever.
His sea-change means one thing clearly: being a racist or homophobe is entirely a result of ignorance and blindness. Once people open their minds, it can end.
Kurek's decision to spend a year living as a "gay" man came after a friend came out to him as a lesbian. He even "came out" to his mom, had a friend be his boyfriend, joined a gay softball league, and was called names like "faggot." It changed him.
His book The Cross in the Closet is all about his change of heart when it comes to gays. The fact is, once you know a gay person, you quickly realize, gay or straight, we all basically want the same things. We all want love. We want to be accepted. We want to be close to others and not be bullied or called names.
People who taunt gays or think it's funny to call others "gay" as an insult or, worse, use the word "faggot" as though it were acceptable are missing out. They are missing the full spectrum of love and life and they are doing so because they are ignorant and scared.
There is no shame in admitting ignorance and trying something new. The fact that Kurek could do this opened up a whole world to him. If only everyone were so open.
The reality is that most people who "hate" gays have never met someone is. If they had, they would know all the things the rest of us know about homosexuals. If you want to hate, why not hate the things that SHOULD be hated?
How about hating poverty? Or unemployment? Or crappy maternity leave policies that leave women having to go back to work when their babies are 3 weeks old? There are so many REAL things to hate. Why bother hating people? It's a fruitless waste of time that hurts instead of helps.
Good for Kurek for curing his own ignorance and using his awakening to help others. Let's hope all religious people who use that to cloak hatred and fear do the same.
Have you ever had an awakening about something you feared?