Equality Run

We spent Mother's Day at the church Jake works at before heading down to his hometown for some birthday celebrations. One of the pastors is the Executive Director for Cimarron Alliance, and as he greeted me at the door, he said he'd heard I was running in the Equality Run (all of the proceeds go toward the Cimarron Alliance). I was caught off guard because I hadn't heard of the race, let alone signed up for it (Jake later said that he told Scott we'd put it on the calendar). I was glad it was now on my radar, and I registered for it when we got home later that evening.

I am so happy to get to participate in this run. Here's why:

Dear LGBT Brothers and Sisters,

When I spent one fall afternoon talking with Avery in front of the library at OCU, something really big inside me flipped around. I was on the fence about same-sex relationships. I didn't know that I cared much one way or the other.

Admittedly, I didn't shop at Walmart for months when I found out they were giving money to an organization for marriage equality. It's not a highlight, and the issue of marriage equality wasn't really the big deal, it was when I learned about how lobbyists and corporations work together, and I wanted to make sure I was spending money at a place that supported things I supported. When I was talking about this with the people I worked with in Financial Aid, one person stopped me in my tracks. It was Kerry Horst. She said, "Their relationships don't affect my marriage." She was right. And I love her for it.

Back to Avery. Her girlfriend, Carol, had just graduated from college in another state, and they'd moved in with one another. It was so nice talking to someone who knew exactly what I was feeling because being a newlywed wasn't very common in undergrad. I realized that her relationship was no different from mine. Everything we were experiencing about getting used to having someone around all the time, and not being able to concentrate on anything else because we were finally able to be with the person we loved more than any other was all the same. To me, Avery and Carol were "married."

When I got all of the super awesome forward emails before prop 8 passed, I was just so puzzled by them. The biggest argument was that teachers would be able to read stories that talk about families with gay and lesbian parents, and that was just "outrageous." My thoughts back were always, "What if one of your child's best friends happens to have two moms or two dads?" Feeling like it's outrageous to learn about all kinds of families is like pretending some kinds of families don't exist, but they do, and they are important. This year, one of Cora's best friends at school has two moms. They are incredible, and do an amazing job with their children. And as far as children being "damaged" by same gender parents, the thing that is most damaging is when their family isn't validated - when they feel that they are less than - when they are told their family is wrong. Our society is damaging. The most important thing for children, whether they're raised by a mom and dad, same gender parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, their neighbors, is that they are loved and have a sense of security. I've yet to meet a same gender couple who wasn't providing just that for their children. Their family is not less than my family.

I'm running for my cousin Charlie, who was the first one to come out in our crazy gigantic almost all Mormon family.

For my brother-in-law and the life he wants to build with the one he loves.

For Anthony Livolsi who bravely came out after years of struggling with who he was.

For Pam and Melinda - two Mormon women who both served missions and later found one another. They left several years ago because they knew their relationship and Mormonism wouldn't really work together. They now attend Church of the Open Arms (where Jake works), and I met them on Sunday. They are fantastic, and I can't imagine what they've gone through to protect and nurture one another.

For all of you because who you are is valuable to me. The relationships you work to build are important to me. And the love you share makes the world a better place.


If any of you would like to join me at the equality run, you still have plenty of time to register. It's on June 29th at 8AM at Lake Hefner's Stars and Stripes Park. They have a 5k and 10k. Come and run or walk, and if any of you happen to see some rainbow knee high socks, will you pick them up for me? ;)


  1. BrieAnn, Your post touches my heart and I am pleased that you remember me and our conversations. You and your family are in my thoughts, blessings upon you.

  2. BrieAnn,
    You are truly one of the most interesting people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Reading this post was so uplifting- I couldn't stop smiling and thinking of those near and dear to me that are in the gay and lesbian community. If only more people could open their hearts and change their perspectives as you have. More power to you. I think running for this cause is beautiful. I only wish I were in the area to share this run with you. Thank you for the insightful person you are.


  3. BrieAnn, Matt linked this to me. It's funny because I was thinking about those conversations the other day when Carol and I celebrated our eighth anniversary! I remember how we both talked about how hard it was to do stuff with other people because it was just so nice to finally be with the person you really wanted to be with. Believe me, it helped me a lot too having someone to talk to about all of that as well.



Powered by Blogger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top