Submitted by Charlotte Hobbs
Fifteen months ago, we moved from a city in the southern United States to Coronado. Our three children, now all in their mid-20s were born in Arkansas like their Dad. I was born in Canada. When I moved from Canada at 35 years old, I was in for a cultural shock. There are some wonderful Southern cultural traditions mixed in with some very challenging mindsets often among very hospitable and kind folk. Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of Southern culture was raising one of our two sons amidst homophobic sentiments, policies, and laws. So I was delighted when we moved to California. In many ways, it was easier to find others who celebrated the wonderful diversity of creed, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity. This week our eldest son came home for a few days to celebrate his 25th birthday. He lives in LA and is a health care provider. He has gone to work and interacted with patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. [On Wednesday] he was walking down Orange Avenue with his boyfriend who is also a health care provider. Someone in a car yelled at them; he called them the “F” word – a term of hate for men who are not straight.
A letter to the editor in The Coronado Times on 04/10/2020 reminded us that words have incredible power. Words hurt. Words can divide. Words can convey hatred. As a mother of a son who is gay, I have watched him be bullied, teased, and physically beaten because of his sexual orientation since he was in second grade. I am torn about what to do when I witness homophobic actions and deeds. Then, I remember Michelle Obama’s celebrated words, “When they go low, we go high.” Silence in the face of hatred may not be enough to “go high.” Yelling back in a very public setting may equate to “going low.” Hence, my letter to the editor. As Bishop Michael Curry (presiding Bishop of Episcopal Church) has said over and over again, “Love is the Way.” Please love my son. He has experienced way too much hatred for anyone his age.
– Charlotte Hobbs