To thine own self be true…

There has been a lot of discussion–sometimes civil, often heated–since the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in the United States this week.

Much of that discussion has focused on religious reactions to the decision…and what happens if one’s religious beliefs are in violent opposition. There has also been a lot of discussion about whether the Supreme Court judges were making law…interpreting the Constitution…forcing businesses to do things they don’t want to…etc., etc., etc.

But I came across this article in the Huffington post today and I had an “aha” moment reading it.

I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about the issues that are raised in this article before. I’ve seen the impacts of them on members of my own family who felt for years that they had to live as someone they weren’t. And I’ve seen the relief and joy when they finally decided they could no longer live those lies and came out to family and friends.

I cannot imagine having to suppress “the real me” in order to be accepted. It has to be incredibly exhausting…and soul-killing.

If one cannot be true to themselves, what does that do to their relationships with other people? Constantly having to watch the words that one uses…if one has a same-sex partner/spouse but is not “out” to others, not being able to talk about special dates or being able to put pictures of the loved one on one’s desk or to share on Facebook or other social media…to be concerned about whether one’s job or home can be yanked out from underneath if the “real” person is shown…hearing about God’s love but “knowing” they are not worthy of it because of what they have heard at church for most of their lives…

It’s terrible.

Shakespeare’s quote (from Hamlet) that I used as the title of this blog is something many of us are familiar with, but the next line is also germane to this discussion. Polonius, the character saying this, goes ahead to say “And it must follow, as the night the day, // Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

I know there’s a long road still ahead of us, but I am grateful that we have at least begun the process of allowing people to be true to themselves.

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