Imagine sitting on the quiet shore of a lake as the sun rises. Take a pebble and toss it into the lake. The lake ripples when the rock strikes the surface. The circles radiate off the spot where the rock landed and disturbed the water. The circles go on and on spreading from the center and continue into the lake. There is no telling where the end of the ripples will be.
My thoughts turned to questions like do the ripples I make in the world cause others to think about the LGBT community differently? Or, have I helped change the mind of someone about what it means to be same-sex parent? Does my writing and blogs change the opinion of at least one person in the world to think differently about the what it means to have two dads?
During this week full of meetings upon meetings, I had the opportunity to impact the LGBT community three times. Two of the events were around what it meant to be an inclusive and welcoming community for an LGBT individual. I shared my experiences that I used to hold tight and keep to myself. I spoke about Justin and I having a relationship of 10 years. I spoke about what it meant to be go to a church that welcomed and valued me. I spoke about our hopes and dreams to be gay dads.
In the third event, I was able to work with a local organization to set up a partnership with the company I work for and an agency that arranges mentoring for LGBT youth. The chance to connect youth with someone who has “been there” and share his or her experiences. To show these youth that things do get better. That world can be a scary place, but they can be what they hope and dream for in life. To be the stone that sends ripples of hope into the world.
Each of these events may not seem like it changed the world. But my voice and actions I hope have influenced at least one person to believe something differently about the LGBT community. That one person may talk to another person and then yet another to spread the ripple of change.
We need the ripples of support as we fight for change and equality across the country as well in our backyard. Justin and I know of bills in our legislature in Nebraska to allow foster parenting by LGBT couples. There are other bills stuck in committee that allow for same-sex couples to adopt. When I flash-forward from today when Justin and I are waiting to adopt a child to when our child is older, could I look them in the eye and tell them I was afraid to take a stand and fight for equal rights. That I was afraid to be the rock that stood for something and created the ripples of change for them and others.
Justin and I want our child to be the change in the world we hoped for. A world that is inclusive of all. A world where their dads don’t have to worry about being “out” at work. A world where same-sex parents do not have to fight for equal treatment and both can be legally recognized as parents of our child. A world where we do not have to have special legal paperwork so both parents can take our adopted child to get medical care.
So the next time you have the opportunity to speak to others on LGBT inclusion, same-sex parenting, or gay marriage — take it. Take the opportunity to change one persons mind and be a ripple that radiates farther than one can imagine. Be the ripple that creates change for same-sex parents.
We are an approved family with Independent Adoption Center. Visit our profile and Dear Birthmother Letter at http://www.jasonandjustin.com.