In case you missed this yesterday, it’s stunning. Ruben Diaz, the Democratic Bigot of the Bronx, who has led New York’s fight against gay people and our lives, has mentioned in passing that his granddaughter is a lesbian, in order that he may suggest that he doesn’t Hate Anyone, because after all, how could he? He’s got one in his family! Now? His granddaughter has had it. Erica Diaz took to the pages of the New York Post this weekend and decided to address her grandfather’s disgusting bigotry in public, and bless her for it. Read the whole thing, but here are some of my favorite bits:
But my grandfather should know that as he continues to skewer the marriage-equality bill on the radio, television and in newspapers, I am listening and reading. And I’ve finally conjured the courage to stand up for what is right.
When I was younger, marriage equality was not an issue for me. But now, as my grandfather ceaselessly and callously comments on the issue, each and every word stings, since I live with my girlfriend of 2½ years, Naomi Torres, and our two sons, Jared and Jeremiah Munoz.
This fight is personal.
My family deserves the same benefits as others. Naomi — whom I would like to marry — should be able to do things that straight married people take for granted, like make a decision for me if I’m sick.
You go, girl. She seems to recognize that her grandfather’s words of “love” are meaningless. It’s something that a lot of gay people have to slowly wrap our heads around. That the “unconditional love” that we are supposed to receive from our families is simply nonexistent when family members say things like, “I will never agree with your lifestyle. I pray for you every day. I will always love you, blah blah blah.” No. They do not. People who don’t understand sexuality can get a pass for a year or two while they educate themselves and wrap their heads around the idea. And if the family member doesn’t offer support after that? Well, then it’s time for the LGBT person to learn to accept that the love they got from that family member was always conditional. It’s a sad realization, but a healthy one, because sometimes the greatest lessons come not in what was modeled for us, but in what was not.
Old Ruben has had a chance to learn the meaning of unconditional love. He has decided not to. He has chosen to abandon a key member of his family in his pursuit of state-sanctioned bigotry. Sad. Sometimes it means it’s time to move on, and sometimes it means it’s time to write an op-ed about grandpa in the New York Post. Again, I say: You go, girl.