Hello Fresno. I am pretty sure it’s safe to say that I’m the newest volunteer writer to the site. So before I get started serving our community, I’m going to introduce myself by telling you a little about me.
I am a dreamer. When I was five I used to dream of being an astronaut, turning my fort into a rocket ship and blasting off to the moon. When I was ten I dreamt I was a professional football player, turning my bed into an end zone as I dove for the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. When I was sixteen I dreamt of my future family; consisting of a wife, two kids and a dog. At sixteen I realized my dreams were not my own anymore. My dreams had become the dreams of the people around me; I stopped dreaming the dreams of my heart. See by this time I knew I was different, a gay male fighting to survive in a very complex world. Marrying a woman was not truly a dream of my own, only a dream influenced by the fear of rejection. I figured by accepting the life that was considered normal in my families constitution, I would be loved and accepted by society. It took some time to finally realize I had been normal all along, and normality was and is much more than the definition proposed by my family. By the age of seventeen I stopped living a lie that portrayed me as “straight”, coming out to the world. At seventeen, I dreamt of finding my heart’s true desire, a loving man I could dedicate my life too. I began to dream once more.
My whole life, I never thought I would be living the secreted dream of loving another man. Nor, did I ever think the dream of the right to marry the person I loved, would become a reality. This past summer, my dreams were just that, a reality. I found the man of my dreams as the dream of marriage equality, the right to marry my soul mate, had found me. It was a wonderful step forward in our nation’s history and in my life. It wouldn’t be long, however; before proposition 8 would be born and nurtured for the sole purpose of taking my dream, along with the dreams of thousands people, away. We fought endlessly, devoting our time, money, and energy to spread enlightenment to all the uninformed and tried optimistically to change the stubborn minds of the conservative. Despite all of our generous efforts, we failed. When Prop 8 passed my glorious world came to a halt, my rights were stripped from me, and marriage equality became a dream once more.
For months after November 4, I found myself voiceless, hiding behind the silence of my closed door; unable to think, unable to move forward, and at times, doubting the power of our LGBT community. I had become full of disappointment. I was disappointed in my efforts, disappointed by the lies set forth by the “Yes on 8” campaign, disappointed by the insufficient knowledge many voters had over the issue and, most important to me; I was disappointed by the lack of family support. It’s so hard for me to understand how even my own family could vote away my dreams; taking away my rights. The very people that provide my comfort zone, share my dreams, and consume all my trust somehow managed to sneak off into the darkness; leaving me to walk and fight alone. What must one do to feel the comfort that has always been there? I couldn’t help but think of the things I might have done wrong in the eyes of my loved ones:
I’m sorry I don’t call every week Grandpa and Grandma. I’m sorry I used to wait for you to fall asleep then steal from the cookie jar. I must deserve to have my rights stolen from me.
I’m sorry that when it comes to football we favorite different teams, dad. I’m sorry I used to disrupt your dreams while you would nap on the couch, because I thought waking you up was funny. I must deserve to be woken up from my dreams too; I’m not laughing anymore.
Mom, I know I have never been that perfect son that every mother dreams of. You used to be so proud of me, you say you are now, but that gets harder and harder to believe. I’m sorry for the unhappiness I caused you while getting into mischief when I was five, refusing to do the dishes when I was ten, and lying about the first time I had a shot of alcohol when I was fifteen. I guess I don’t deserve to be happy either.
Seriously, what does one do to deserve such a horrible reality? I cannot imagine such a crime. I dream of the day my family will look past who I am and accept me for me.
Along with a state of disappointment Prop 8 left me trembling over the very thought of plurality and the power of the majority. Like the rest of our LGBT community, I was ashamed of our state and the step it took in the opposite direction. As a result, my strength, my ideologies, and my voice became bottled up inside of me, unable to show their full potential to the world.
Then as if I was rejuvenated by hope while I slept, I found my voice and woke up one morning ready to fight again as I joined the chorus of our gay-straight alliance as we stand as one singing for change.
Who am I? I am a twenty-one year old activist, who knows the importance of tolerance and our unwritten obligation to spread tolerance and enlightenment to our heterosexual counterparts. I am a person who recognizes that a single voice can go the distance to move a mountain and a single voice unheard can be the leading element in the construction of defeat. I am someone who believes I can become an agent in the war on gay marriage and tolerance in general. I am a person who envisions that glorious day ALL citizens are recognized as equal in the life of our nation. I am a person who recognizes that marriage equality is just the beginning to our problems. I am the little boy who is being called “faggot” in school. I am the teenage girl who is afraid of the impact reality will have on her life. I am that middle aged man and woman who are still being rejected by their families. I am you and you are me, because we understand where each other are coming from. I am just a regular guy urging you to stand next to me in battle, because the stronger we are the more we can achieve. My name is Christopher Lynn and I am a dreamer.