Written By: Kendall Rae Scott
“Why should Gay Marriage be legalized?” Mrs. Porter, the professor at CSN, asked her small class. The class was supposed to be a study hall, but Mrs. Porter liked to talk and hear her students opinions on hot topics in the news that they could relate to or understand. It’s one of the reasons Mrs. Porter was a favorite professor on campus.
Mrs. Porter has had many gay students in her years of teaching and she likes to hear all the different sides to their thoughts. It’s always nice and never dull, “I want to hear everyone’s opinion on this. So we’ll popcorn around the room.”
“I think it’s just wrong to hold people back from what they want.” A student in the back spoke up.
“You can’t always let people go off to do what they want all the time, though. What if what they want is to go off and kidnap young girls and do something terrible to them, like rape, cannibalize, and yet again rape them?” A boy spoke up on the opposite side of the room. Mrs. Porter smiled at how quickly this conversation started,
“I’m talking about Gay Marriage. Not something sick like that. Plus, for all we know, the cannibal thing happens on a daily basis.”
“Dan just expects you to specify every detail of your statement down to the last speck of information so there is no loop hole in or around it, Karen.” Another girl answered quickly for Dan, the boy.
“You should remember he’s a law student. He’s going to be obnoxious like that.” Another girl smiled playfully.
“Alright you guy’s, we’re getting off topic here. Marissa, what do you think?” Mrs. Porter said above her chattering few students. She searched around the room quickly and picked a quiet young girl doodling on her notes, “Marissa, what is your opinion on this. I’d like to hear this from a Christian’s point of view, if you don’t mind that is.” The girl Mrs. Porter called on lifted her head, looking straight at the girl a few seats ahead of her,
“Marriage is supposed to be between a man and woman. Not woman and woman or man and man. Morally it is wrong and biblically it is a huge sin. The Bible calls gay’s dogs, and I completely agree with it.” The girl Marissa was staring at bit her lip in an agitated manner, knowing Marissa was striking her with the statement. The girl turned around and talked to Marissa directly,
“Why would you believe that?” she asked as humbly as she could manage,
“Because it’s what I was raised to believe.”
“Okay. I understand that, but what I do not understand is why you make it sound so disgusting and disturbing.”
“Girl on girl is real hot.” A guy next to Marissa said with a small smile.
“It’s not about it being hot.” The girl snarled.
“It’s wrong. In society, and in god’s eyes, two gay people will never have a normal life that two people of the opposite sex will have. Two gays can’t have kids together in a natural way. They can’t live normally like a husband and wife can.”
“Are you kidding me?” The girl raised her voice,
“I’m not going to get out of hand Mrs. Porter, but god, are you serious?”
“What do you mean?” the guy asked,
“Being gay isn’t about it just being ‘hot’ or it being ‘morally and biblically wrong.’” Kate did the air quotes as she talked, “It’s not about being anything, actually. All it’s about is caring and loving someone just like anyone else would. Being with someone of the same sex is exactly the same as being with someone of the opposite sex. The only difference is the gender. Sexual orientation is not “hot”. Its not for your entertainment. You’re ignorant and need to go get a life if you think someone being themself is “hot”. As far as your ‘gays are dog’s’ comment, Marissa, how ridiculous does that sound?”
“It’s gross and doesn’t seem ridiculous to me at all.” Marissa said in a hard tone,
“Please, Kate, explain yourself further.” Mrs. Porter asked. Mrs. Porter was sitting at the edge of her desk listening carefully. Kate was one of her more quieter students, especially on a subject like this. The class, Mrs. Porter, and a majority of the school knows that Kate is a Lesbian, but by the expression of her classmates, nobody knew she felt so strongly about it.
“What I do not comprehend about your whole belief thing is this: Your god says he loves all. He accepts all. Am I wrong?” Marissa nodded her head.
“Then why is it that he treats the Gay’s and Lesbians so differently than others that you claim to be ‘normal’? It’s not a sin to follow your heart, your interests, your feelings, and your likes.”
“The Bible says that this ‘interest’ and ‘feeling’ you speak of is wrong and sinful.”
“Who’s all so high and mighty that they can tell everyone and anyone what is right and what is wrong and what we’re supposed to like and dislike?”
“Please. You’re really going to live your life off of morals and reasons written down on paper centuries ago? You’re going to follow some…story that was written and re written over a million times? For all we know, the Bible is fiction. For all we know, it’s real. It all depends on the person and their beliefs. What I don’t understand is why they would dare to live their life based off what some book tells you. That’s like living by the rules that the Cullen’s live by in the book Twilight. All the Bible is, to me at least, a story book; a bestselling book that’s not worth living by.”
A moment of silence swept the room,
“Kate,” Mrs. Porter called to Kate’s attention, “What do you live by then?”
“You imply that Marissa lives by the Bible, the morals and reason’s inside its pages, but you don’t. Am I correct?”
“Well, if that is true about her, then what is it you live by? What morals and reasons do you live off of and why?” Mrs. Proctor stood from her desk and stood in front of Kate’s. Kate looked at her now as she talked,
“I live by…” she paused, contemplating how she would put it out in words and have it make sense all at once, “I don’t know what I live by really. All I do is live life the way I want to. I follow the rules given to me, a majority of the time, to stay out of trouble. I do what I need to do to get what I want. I-” She paused to collect her next thought,
“I live life by my urges, my feelings, my likes, my dislikes, my curiosities. I listen to my heart, body and mind and follow all the curiosities that it urges- No- longs for. Why should you deny what your body is striving to learn about? It’s not right to just deny it and hide what you feel. That’s unhealthy, for one, and two, it’s just simply silly. Later on in life we’ll look back and wonder what if. What if I kissed that girl that night at the park, would we be together now? Would I be with who I am with now? What if I took that shot of tequila with my friends at the party? What if I stayed with my friend the night he committed that crime? Would he have done it to begin with?
“I don’t want to sit there when I’m old and wonder what if. I want to sit there with my best friend on a rickety old porch with cocktails and a sun hat when we’re ninety years old and laugh or brag about our experiences; not wonder what would have happened if we didn’t do them. What is life worth living if you don’t live it the way you and your body want too? You’re denying a natural thing to happen and it’s not right. You only get one chance to live your life. When will you get another chance to go out and do all these amazing things? There is so much that we can do with our lives, so much that we can learn with our lives, so many little things we have the opportunity to try, but don’t because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of the fact of what other people, like Marissa, will think.”
“Not all people are afraid of what others think though, Kate.” Mrs. Porter said softly,
“No, you know what; it actually is what others think. Marissa,” she turned and looked at Marissa who was awe struck with Kate’s passionate outburst, “If Marissa wasn’t so compelled by Jesus and God and her religious based family, then who knows; she probably wouldn’t be so against the whole gay thing.” Kate turned back to Mrs. Porter and lowered her voice so only Mrs. Porter would hear her, “If you weren’t afraid of losing your job due to what the dean of the school thinks of teacher/student relations, you wouldn’t be forced to hold back your feelings for a student last year.” Kate knew going that far was risky, but it would prove some of her point.
“You know what, Kate.” Mrs. Porter said, “I agree with you.” She smiled, “We are too afraid to go against what we believe in strongly or what we were raised with and it holds us back from living the lives that we want to live and that is not right.” Mrs. Porter finished right before the bell rang.
“And it’s nothing we can change anytime soon.” Kate said quietly below all the noise of the hustle of everyone trying to get out. Only Mrs. Porter heard her last words. Mrs. Porter leaned down to Kate’s ear once the last student headed out the door and whispered,
“I am so proud of you for standing up for what you believe in, kiddo. You’ve grown up so much.” and kissed her on the cheek. Kate smiled,