In response to the extreme divisiveness that has been growing during this very long campaign season, I thought I would share a speech my daughter made at her University this morning. My youngest daughter is 20 years wise. She is caring, ambitious, tenacious, kind, introverted, intelligent, sensitive, talented, hard-working and thoughtful. She also happens to be a lesbian. She called me yesterday to share that she’s been asked to speak at a peace rally on behalf of her Bridge Builders, a special interest groups that represents the LGBT community at her University. This rally was organized in response to a hate group demonstrating in Nashville near her University, aimed to denounce and degrade the LGBT community. She was feeling anxious about being so public and vulnerable. At the same time, she was committed to speaking from her heart and stepping up in her leadership role. She was ready for this new experience although still a bit worried about how it would go and how she would be received. Tanya sent me her speech this morning. She said it went well and there was a good turnout.
I asked her permission to publish it on my blog. She graciously said yes. So here it is. A message filled with love and wisdom from someone twenty years wise. Maybe her words will inspire you today as you move about your own world. And maybe it signifies the possibility of unity and love for us all.
“My name is Tanya and I am the treasurer of Bridge Builders. As a member of the LGBT community, coming to Belmont felt like a risk. Being a small Christina school in the South, I didn’t know how I would be treated. Luckily, for the vast majority of my time here at Belmont, I have felt nothing but love and acceptance from my community and it is this love that I think truly exemplifies the love that is taught and encouraged in the Christian faith. Nonetheless, Westboro Baptist church is a reminder for me. A reminder that there are people in this world who hate me without even knowing who I am. Who hate me for wanting to love and feel love in the most authentic way I know. There is no easy or proper way to fight hate—especially hate that is fueled by matters of love. All I know how to do is love, and as a Christian institution I invite everyone here to love as well—love yourself, love your students, your friends, family, colleagues—love even the folks who are spewing hate just blocks away. Love for the sake of it and make your love heard. Because the only way I know how to fight hate is with love.”
P.S. I invite you to check out the new website JulieOrlov.com if you have not done so already. And if you or someone you know is experiencing judgment and ridicule in your relationships, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m here to help. I provide personalized counseling and coaching. Take advantage of the opportunity to receive the support and guidance you deserve. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today.