Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Common Humanity

Today I had two very poignant experiences that really highlighted the common humanity that we all share. The first was viewing the play Borderlands by Eric Samuelson at Plan B theater with my boyfriend Frey and my friend Brandon. It was a play that addressed many issues within mormonism, especially "coming out" to others whether it be homosexual or otherwise. It was a very good play and I highly recommend it. There's a copy of the script available in the most recent issue of Sunstone Magazine, and I believe there's going to be a published version available in the next little while.
What impressed me most about the story was how much it emphasized the humanity of each of the characters. While this doesn't seem like all that impressive of a feet, its something that I feel like is seldom achieved in modern storytelling. What I mean is, that there was something about each of the characters that made it so I was able to deeply connect with them no matter how profoundly different they were from myself. This was most evident, I felt, in the character Phyllis. Even though she did some horrible things at the end of the play that I don't know that I would normally be able to forgive, she was presented in a way that made me understand, sympathize with, and even love her. The play reminded me that we are all human, and we all make mistakes and we all have problems, but we are all still beautiful creatures, in spite and because of our faults.
My second experience occured when I was randomly browzing the internet. Somehow I'd ended up on the blog of a friend from highschool, which led me to a blog of a man who I think must have been her brother-in-law or someone else related to her husband. Anyway, despite the distant relation to my kind-of-friend from several years ago, I was reading the blog because it talked about same-sex marriage and how it was an abomination. Being a gay man who wants to get married someday, this concerned me greatly, and quite honestly made me pretty pissed-off. His entire argument claimed to not be hateful and not intolerant, but obviously came from a place of hatred and ignorance. He hadn't sought to understand the lives of homosexuals but was only regurgitating indoctrinated words of hate disguised as love. By the end of the blog post, I hated him, and when I hate someone, I've conditioned myself to look further into their lives. So I kept reading. The next blog addressed abortion, I honestly didn't get through much of it, cause it was somewhat strangely organized, and like me, he seemed to have a lot of mixed opinions on the issue that he didn't really express very well. So, I still hated him. Then I got to the next post. It was a youtube video of a guy doing a one-man cover of a song from one of my favorite video games, and it was beautiful. Despite strongly disagreeing with his views on same-sex marriage, something which directly affects my life and happiness, I now loved this man. It didn't matter anymore that we had conflicting political views, we had something beautiful in common that trancends hatred and lives past the anger caused by one blog rant. Even though he doesn't know I exist, I felt connected to him through the little piece of art that he'd shared online.

5/1/13 Update: I actually have very clear and strong opinions about abortion now.