Monday, September 26, 2011

You Were Born to Love (Guest Post)

Dear Readers,

A little background.  In July of this year, Donna Smaldone, whom I met when she responded to a post, and I became friends, even though I live in Metro Vancouver, she lives in New York State, and we've never met in person.  You could say our spirits connected across the miles, because we get each other and what each of us is individually trying to do with his and her blog.    

That same month, Donna invited me to guest blog on her website, "Donna Smaldone: Welcome to The You Evolution," which came as a pleasant surprise.  She'd already written Parts One and Two of a series titled "When being gay isn't always so gay," and she entrusted me to complete the third and final part.  I was thrilled and jumped at the opportunity.  If you haven't read what I wrote, and if you'd like to read all of the series, please click here.

Then, in August, Donna prepared a video post on her site called "What exactly IS The You Evolution?"  As I watched her explain, I saw how what she said applied not only to straight people but also to gay and lesbian people.  That got me thinking I should ask Donna to guest blog for me, to share with you details about how The You Evolution applies to you, but I didn't get the courage to ask her until recently.  (To see the video post, please click here.)

Donna is a vivacious, positive, and uplifting human being, and it gives me great pleasure to share her guest post with you.  I hope you agree that what she has to say is both powerful and empowering.  At the end of the post, you'll find a direct link to Donna's website.  I invite you to be a part of what she has to say about being the best you you can be, both as an individual and in your relationships.    

You Were Born to Love

You were born to love and to love fully.  So why should it matter who you were born to love?

It shouldn’t.

I do not pretend to understand the trials, wounds, and judgments so many gay people have endured for loving who they love.  As a straight woman, I admit there’s a certain luxury in being a heterosexual – and knowing my friends can’t enjoy that same luxury breaks my heart. 

I’ve known my friend De since we were children.  Although legally blind, she captures the essence of life in the most beautiful photographs.  She’s an artist, a New England Patriots fan, and an unapologetically overindulgent Mama to pup “Juno”.  De has a heart bigger than most and loves wholly and unconditionally.  Oh, and her partner of twelve years is a woman.

De will tell you she’s never fully identified with labels—‘lesbian’ included.  She’s merely succumbed to society’s need to paste it on her forehead.  De once queried, “Why can’t I just be a woman who happened to fall in love with another woman?”

Love is love.  Period.  Unfortunately, people have become masters of condemnation of things they don't struggle or identify with themselves.

God’s not disappointed in us for loving who we love, man or woman.  He’s disappointed in the disdain and disrespect we’ve adopted to pass judgment on how others love.

Friends, your love is not wrong.  Your love matters.  YOU matter.

In the beautiful uniqueness that is YOU, you’ve been given a purpose.  There is NO ONE else on this earth who has been given the same purpose as you.  Being gay does not negate this fact.  If you aren’t embracing the uniqueness that is YOURS, not only are you missing out – but your friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers are also missing out.

Embrace your individuality.

Everything that has happened in your life up to this point has played a role in your You Evolution™. Every smile, every kiss, every argument, every mistake.  Every good, every bad, every one.  Without even one of those things, events, or people – you would not be fully you.

Don’t give up on yourself.  Don’t give up on your self. Gay or straight – it makes no difference – there is NO other like you.  You are special.  You are precious You are beautiful.  And in no way are you a mistake.

Like so many of you, I am honored to have Rick Modien in my life. He and I have yet to meet face-to-face, but our souls are connected across this great continent.  Rick’s mission, to elevate the experience of being gay through understanding, accepting, and loving yourself, parallels my goal in The You Evolution™.

My hope through The You Evolution™ is to challenge YOU to embrace your own unique, personal journey so you may contagiously enjoy community and relationship with others. Thank you to Rick and to each of you for allowing me to be part of your journey. 

To access "Donna Smaldone: Welcome to The You Evolution," please click on the logo or here.


  1. Rick and I share the love of love - and together, hope to reach the hearts of those hurting, so they may understand their immense value; the hearts of those judging, so they may recognize the pain they cause; and the hearts of those questioning, so they may embrace their true, beautiful, one-of-a-kind self.

    Love is love - no matter who you were born to love. Let's tell the world.

    My sincerest thanks to Rick for allowing me to Guest Post on his blog. I am honored.

    Welcome to The You Evolution™.

    Love, Donna

  2. No, I'm honored, Donna, to include your guest post on my blog. The pleasure is all mine.

    I love the structure and the sentiments of the first sentence in your comment above. Nicely done. I couldn't agree more.

    Thanks again for taking me up on my invitation to write something for my blog. I know it won't be the last time.

  3. The following comment was received from Alison:

    Thanks for sharing that with us, Rick. The road to finding our self-worth can sure be a long one. And to Donna...that was beautifully written. Thank you for that.

    As unique as we all are, humankind is pretty much the same (is that an oxymoron, or am I the moron?! lol). That emotion of love is sure the same no matter who you are.

    In my 50 yrs I've met some people who were obviously gay and others who I was surprised to learn they were gay. A friend's son passed away about 3 years ago and after his death she mentioned that he was a gay man. I had to wonder why she would even tell me that. I already figured as much years before and it didn't matter to me. I thought the world of her son and he was one of the nicest people ever.

    I am so sad every time I hear of a young person committing suicide because of being bullied for being gay or different in any other way. It is just a tragic loss of a life so full of potential. I often wonder what is the matter with people who think they have the right to bully someone, ultimately to their death. Then I hear Rodney King, in my head, saying "can't we all just get along?" I wish.

    Alison in Victoria

  4. Hi, Alison. Great to hear you arrived back home safely from your road trip.

    I appreciate the way Donna writes so simply and effectively. The love she feels strongly for everyone, straight and gay alike, comes through loud and clear. It truly is a thrill including a piece of her writing here. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    As I see it, among the biggest hurdles gay people have to overcome is the impression many of our critics have that all we're about is sex. Unfortunately, even some gay people have that impression.

    But, as I've written many times before, just like everyone else, we're about love. In the case of relationships, love of people of the same sex. We all need to get that in our heads.

    The irony is, when those who criticize us see us as no different from them, and when meeting and settling down with those we love is no different from that of straight people, the focus will be off sex and on love instead.

    I think we have a hell of a long way to get there. But one baby step at a time, right?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, for sharing your understanding and compassion, and for taking the time to leave a comment.