July 15, 2005
By Jerrie Dippery, Leesburg
As the parent of a gay son, I am writing to provide a counter viewpoint to those who wrote to complain about the participation of gay marchers in the Leesburg Fourth of July Parade.
Rather than seeing gay marchers as a problem, I saw them as a positive sign. To me, this was a sign that Leesburg was finally beginning to appreciate the diverse and varied community in which we now live. I saw this as a sign that Leesburg had finally arrived as a community that was not polarized toward any particular race, color, creed, or sexual orientation.
I was saddened to see that there is still a base of self-absorbed people who are unable to accept the diversity that now exists in this community. Gay is easy to explain; it is pure, human love. The decision to love someone of the same gender is obviously not done to win a popularity contest.
I have learned that a gay relationship can be just as valid and committed as any heterosexual relationship, and can probably offer a better family framework than most. Rather than trying to push these people out of our community, I think we need to make a renewed effort to see them in a positive light, and see their participation in the parade as a sign of the maturity of our town.