25 February 2010

The Mensch Award

TTLS has rarely ventured into the political realm - a decision made when life was breathed into this wee blog. A few times, however, there have been posts that were somewhat political in nature - but, those were posted because as a follower of Jesus, I felt compelled to address an issue. Today's post could be seen as political. However, I do not intend it to be so construed.

I am giving the Mensch award to Hudson Taylor, a 23-year old wrestler for the University of Maryland.

The young man is one of a handful of heterosexual athletes to speak up for GLBT rights and frequently wears the HRC symbol on his headgear during matches.
For me and my generation, [LGBT rights] is a pressing issue," said Taylor, 23, a native of New Jersey. "I believe that whatever history I'm a part of, I'm responsible for. If I feel something is unjust or unequal, I feel a responsibility to do something about it."

Taylor puts his money where his views are, donating each month to HRC, a leading gay rights organization. But his greatest impact is trying to counteract the aura of homophobia that pervades sports. He does this by bringing up gay rights in media interviews and discussing the issue with teammates, despite the discomfort it might bring.
So, too, is it a pressing issue for the younger generation of the church. They see the institutional homophobia as an anachronistic vestige of a patriarchal society in the last spasms of life. As the 1960s song put it, The times, they are a changing. And thank God and the young people for that!

Although we are increasingly in a culture with decreased cultural homophobia, we have a long way to go in terms of heterosexism. That straight flaunting (a heterosexual couple holding hands or kissing in public) goes unnoticed only highlights the power of our culture to relegate homosexuality as acceptable, but something considered private and thus unspoken. The church must choose to lead or become completely irrelevant to the younger generation.

You will find the entire article about Taylor at Outsports. Take a few minutes and read about this remarkable young man and his equally remarkable girlfriend (they will be married next year).

I apologize for the second photo with this post, but it's just too cute not to use.

My thanks to GW for cleaning up the shadow on the top photo.