A Child is Listening...
"Because of my own lack of knowledge, I became dependent upon
people in the Clergy. When the Clergy condemns a homosexual
person to Hell and eternal damnation, we, the congregation, echo
'Amen'. I deeply regret my lack of knowledge concerning gay and
lesbian people. Had I allowed myself to investigate what I now see
as Bible bigotry and diabolical dehumanizing slander against our
fellow human beings, I would not be looking back with regret for
having relinquished my ability to think and reason with other
people...people I trust for truth and guidance in my life and in the
life of our gay son.
"God did not heal or cure Bobby as he, our family and Clergy believed
He should. It is obvious to us now why He did not. God has never
been encumbered by His child's genetically-determined sexual
orientation. God is pleased that Bobby has a kind and loving heart.
In God's eyes, kindness and love are what life is about. I did not
know that each time I echoed 'Amen' to the eternal damnation,
referring to Bobby as sick, perverted and a danger to our children
that his spirit was broken until he could no longer rise above the
injustice of it all. Bobby ended his life at age twenty.
"It was not God's will that Bobby jump over the side of a freeway
overpass into the path of an eighteen-wheel truck, killing him
instantly. Bobby's death was the direct result of his parent's
ignorance and fear of the word gay.
"An injustice has been done not only to Bobby but to his family as
well. God knows it isn't right that Bobby is not here with loved ones.
Correct education about homosexuality would have prevented this
tragedy. There are no words to express the pain and emptiness
remaining in the hearts of Bobby's family members, relatives, and
friends. We miss Bobby's kind and gentle ways, his fun-loving spirit,
his laughter. Bobby's hopes and dreams should not have been taken
from him, but they were. We can't have Bobby back; if we could we
would say to him, as I say to all gay and lesbian people around the
world, these benevolent words of Leo Buscaglia:
' Love yourself -- accept yourself -- forgive yourself --
and be good to yourself, because without you the rest
of us are without a source of many wonderful things.'
"There are children like Bobby sitting in our congregations.
Unknown to you, they will be listening to your 'Amens' as they
silently cry out to God in their hearts. Their cries will go unnoticed
for they cannot be heard above your 'Amens'. Your fear and
ignorance of the word gay will soon silence their cries. Before you
echo 'Amen' in your home or place of worship, think and
remember...a child is listening."
Mary A. Griffith
Bobby Griffith lived June 24, 1963 - August 27, 1983
The Lesbian and Gay Public Awareness Project
PO Box 65603
Los Angeles, CA 90065