One of my daughter’s best friends is a girl who is constantly spouting homophobic comments.
I do not know if she realizes that Chloe identifies as bi-sexual.
Chloe is only 12 and when she came out to me I told her that it doesn’t matter to me, that she was simply Chloe, an amazing person, that she was 12 and perhaps her sexual identity may change several times over the next several years, that I stood firm on her being chased until at least 16 and that I will always love her, no matter what her sexual identity.
Ironically the girl who is always making the bigoted comments has a closeted gay brother (my opinion from being around the kid a lot. He has NOT come out).
With the exception of the brother, the entire family uses words like nigger and faggot regularly.
It is no wonder to me that the little girl has become hostile towards minorities considering the rough hand she has been dealt and the example that has been set for her.
Chloe and I have often discussed how scared the brother must be, to have these feelings inside of him and knowing that his own family would hate him if he ever came out.
I told Chloe that all we could do was to maintain our friendships with this family and hopefully, over time, their minds would be pried open and a little light would shine in.
I was wrong.
There was actually much more that could be done.
Chloe petitioned the school to start an LBGT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) group and was successful.
She has since expanded the group to what she calls a Diversity Group.
Chloe says “It is a safe place for people of all types to come and be accepted no matter what their beliefs or skin color.”
It has been going for a few months now and kids who were hiding things have come forward and been supported by their classmates.
It has been completely magical.
Last week a girl with a skin disease got up and rolled up her sleeves and found love and support for something she had been hiding her entire life.
There have been so many amazing victories in the group she started, but the one that moves me the most happened recently.
Her formerly-homophobic friend joined.
I am so proud of this little girl.
There are no small victories.
Years from now, if her brother decides to be brave enough to face his family, he will have an ally within the walls of his home..
..and will not be completely alone.
I am so grateful for the amazing, strong young woman Chloe is becoming.
I am so often in awe of her.
I am in awe of her presence sometimes.