Being at peace with themselves
By KEVIN TENGESDAL Bismarck Sep 17, 2012
In response to the article,“Gay North Dakota football player says kiss got him booted”:
Yes, Jamie Kuntz lied. Why did he lie? Who knows his personal reasons. But how can young kids be comfortable with themselves in this state?
Could it be that it is 2012, and here in North Dakota a kid still feels it is necessary to hide who he is, out of fear? Then, to have something like this go on, to be outed and ousted, why would he not be in fear and stay in the closet?
When will we get to the day when being out simply means taking your desired to the junior/senior prom? When will North Dakota wake up and realize it does not need to shame people because of whom they love?
When will the oppression of isolation be overridden by equal acceptance and celebration?
When can lies be replaced with authentic truth about ones identity — in a state where you can be fired from a job because you are gay, a state where you can be denied housing because you are gay, and a state where you cannot legally marry the love of your life because you are gay.
Yes, there are other places where you can be legally killed for being gay. But here in North Dakota, shouldn’t the North Dakota way be about allowing people to be at peace with themselves?
Yes, it takes strong courage for kids to come out.
Here in North Dakota, where conservative religion and values appear dominant, it takes even more courage for progressive, straight people to live in open, visible support and celebration.