Response to the Testimony of M. Mohlenbrock

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Thank you for sharing the article you wrote. I am not exactly sure what the
road is like for a straight person to accept and understand GLBT issues, so
I am touched to read your story. In some cases, acceptance of GLBT issues
might be easier for a straight person as one is not personally involved and
has so much less to lose than the GLBT person. The GLBT person has so much
to lose by coming out and being the authentic person he or she is. It is a
very tough journey as the GLBT person puts family, friends, jobs, housing,
and general dignity in this world all at jeopardy.

Many times the fear of losing basic needs and loving relationships is so
overpowering that the GLBT person is not able to see the benefits of coming
out and living a fully integrated life. An integrated life is exhibiting God-like
goodness as internal conflicts are reduced. Let’s face it, when you have no
place to sleep, have no food to eat, are beaten up and even imprisoned for
being GLBT, the world is not your oyster.

It is through compassion and a willingness of some to act and react to a
world that desires to strip human dignity from GLBT people that you will find
heroes. These are heroes who in my mind are really doing God-like work as
they are working to bring peace to the inner world of the human psyche and
encouraging people to be all they can even if they are different. There are
so many heroes who sacrificed in years past that afford me the opportunity
to live the open life I live today. I am grateful for their courage
and willingness to take a beating for what they believe is right and just
as felt in their own heart and not necessarily taught by others. It seems
to me, by reading your article, that you have experienced this by living in
a marginalized neighborhood and have found unknown and unforeseen connections
of an unlikely sort. I am sure at times it was more than challenging.

We live in a world where people will create an enemy to rally people around
a cause or a person. In the southwest the enemy is the illegal immigrants,
in the northwest it may be the spotted owl, throughout the world it is always
GLBT people. We unwittingly support people in positions of power who breed
hate and violence against us to further their own power base by being who
we are. This is an easy and effective path to power and there are tons of
examples. It is truly a powerful person who understands this and is not enticed
by the allure of power on the backs of others.

You took time and effort to write to the world about your experiences. It
sounds like it was risky and took years to build courage to do. Congratulations
for facing the fear and doing something to make this world a better place.
You are a hero. I hope you continue to flourish as you too have been an inspiration
to me with your entrepreneurship spirit in life.

Dennis Woods

Related article: How, as a heterosexual, I overcame the “culture” of homophobic thinking