different is good marcielyons.com

My mom talked to everyone, everywhere. Now I see this as a gift, but I’m sure I looked at my mom like she was crazy when this happened- in line at the grocery store or at a restaurant. Yes- everywhere. She taught me that everyone is special. I really appreciate this now- when someone wasn’t very nice back to her, she would say to me, “I wonder if something sad happened to them? I wonder what their life is like or how they grew up?” It gave them the benefit of the doubt and made me wonder, yes- what circumstances are they in? My dad is a scientist and everything is from a curious place, not judgmental. I never realized how awesome that is until I lived in the world for a few decades and saw the world thinks differently. I hear so many people in the world today quickly judge another and are rude to people they don’t even know and have no idea of their circumstances.

When I was little our neighbors adopted a baby from Korea. Oh, how I loved this precious little china doll and loved being with her. From then on I always wanted to adopt a baby- if I could get one as cute as Molly I would be ecstatic. Many of you know I did adopt a baby who was one day old. Melissa is multi-racial, gorgeous, fun, and yes I adore her! She’s now a teen. I can honestly say that now having 9 kids and blending two households that color doesn’t make a difference. Genes and environment do, but no- color is skin deep. People don’t treat her differently, only if they are taught to. Thank goodness in our area she has never been treated poorly. Thank you, Sandy, Utah for teaching your kids to be kind!

I choose to believe that everyone’s doing the best they can with the tools they have been given. I also believe that everyone comes to earth differently, everyone has their own special soul. When do I see people who are a little different than the norm I think, “What if God sent them here with a very special purpose? What if they are here to see how others treat them?” How are we treating people who are a tiny bit different than ourselves and the culture we are in?

I have quite a few friends and family members who are gay or lesbian. I am so grateful for them because they have taught me a lot. Knowing most of them my entire life, I realized I don’t know much about their world, so I asked and each of them has been very open and honest with me and I really appreciate that. I came to them in a space of learning and wanted to share. Not all of them were born and raised in my state, church, or culture, which made it more interesting, so I asked them if they are treated differently. I’m sad to report that yes they are and what hurts the most are family members. Every one of the people I asked said they felt they were born this way. No, they hadn’t ever been abused or mistreated by the other sex. Just simply born with same-sex attraction.

These are a few statements or feelings that were expressed to me. I think it’s important to share and hopefully, you can take them to heart.

One guy said he doesn’t like it when people say (usually trying to be sympathetic) that being gay is “your cross to bear” or a “trial” because that implies there is something wrong with you or that it needs to be fixed, changed, etc either now or in the next life – so you can be “perfect” or “normal”.

Being gay isn’t a disability.

I feel so disconnected from my family.

I am looked at differently at church. At times I have wanted to be there, but have been asked not to participate. Then there’s shame and exclusion.

People won’t let their kids play at my home.

I’m not sure what I would write to you… I don’t feel like I’m in a place to pass along any words of wisdom or anything. I’m still trying to figure life out day by day.

My children won’t speak to me.

One man was told that it’s so sad he has fallen away and when he realizes how wrong he is and comes back to doing what’s right, then we will love and accept him. I wonder why he also says he finds it “increasingly difficult to spend much time with the family.”!?

Even after all this time, my feelings are still pretty raw with respect to the family.

In the community I live in now- being gay is just viewed as one of the many interesting aspects of who I am and it’s basically a non-issue.

Love doesn’t have a gender.


I have also loved getting to know other cultures. My kids have lived in other countries and taught me a little about those. We have had business partners who have invited us into their homes and showed us their culture and food. I love to travel and see how people live and think differently.

Thanks to my parents who taught me when I was little to be more curious than judgmental I have found some lifelong friends who give me a much-needed different perspective on life and love. So to all my friends… I will sit with you in your pain. Yes, your children are welcome in my home. Yes, I will laugh and cry with you. Yes, I think you are special just the way you are. Yes, you are invited to come and worship with me. Yes, I will stand up for you. Yes, I love your differences and NO you are not alone.


first published 11/27/17