Dominic Sheahan-Stahl’s Open Vletter to the Sacred Heart Academy of Mt Pleasant, MI
Isn’t life funny? Isn’t it filled with synchronicity? Why, just yesterday, when I awoke, I posted a photo to Facebook of Barbra Streisand in NUTS, as a moment of levity for a close friend. Then I looked at the calendar and realized it was the greatest star’s birthday!
Just this morning, I was editing some photos I did of the anniversary concert of the musical INTO THE WOODS and listening to music on my Itunes; and Joanna Gleason started singing a song from that cast album!
Just now I went to look up the word FACTION and the first word that my eye caught when the dictionary opened was FAGGOT.
And then there is this…
I am a gay male. I was bullied and discriminated against growing up. Even today, as I near my 50th birthday, I am discriminated against; but this time it is not a schoolyard bully. It is a huge faction of people in my own home country who want to keep me and my gay brothers and sisters (indeed, anyone not subscribing to heterosexuality) from marrying. It’s 2012 and this is still an issue? How about the teen bullying and subsequent suicides? I mean, really, will we EVER evolve? We’re PEOPLE. What kind of human beings are these who still insist on trying to hold us back and hold us down, just because we are homosexuals?
My friend, Dominic, was discriminated against this week – for the first time in his life. He was told he was not permitted to be the key note speaker at his alma matter’s graduation ceremony this year – a ceremony in which his younger brother is a graduate. They are the third generation to attend this school; and Dominic is being banned from giving the speech because he is gay, because he is engaged to a man and because their engagement photos are featured on Facebook, as well as their engagement status. The Catholic High School has brought down this decision of discrimination and destroyed a would be happy event for the family.
Where is the synchronicity in this? Today is my anniversary. It is my 26th anniversary with the man I love; it is the 3 year anniversary of our first wedding (in Connecticut) – and it is the 1 year anniversary of our wedding in D.C. We love each other so much and wish for equality so much that we have traveled to every jurisdiction where we may, legally, marry and been married there. These weddings were filmed for a documentary called MARRIED AND COUNTING. That film is being screened in North Carolina tomorrow, to raise awareness of a horrible piece of legislature called Amendment One that will ban gays (the LGBT community at large) not only from marrying but from having civil unions or any kind of legalized commitment to one another.
My life these days is about activism. I have become an activist for equality. I am tethered to other activists, like these North Carolinaians who are fighting for what is right – like anyone who fights for their rights.
Like Dominic, who should have the right but who doesn’t.
I suppose a privately funded school can make this kind of decision, this type of moral judgment (which we all know God approves of in humans), this blatant bigotry, prejudice, hatred. After all.. they PRIVATELY funded.
I think Jesus would be so proud.
Here is Dominic’s response to the heartbreaking news he received yesterday– just cut and paste the url. He is a better man than those at Sacred Heart.