I’ve always been intrigued by the element of chaos theory known as the butterfly effect. It is the idea that everything is connected, and a small change in one place can result in large changes later. For example, a hurricane’s formation can be contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks earlier. I like to believe it’s true, at least as it relates to social change.
In Utah in December, we witnessed the unthinkable: marriage equality. The chances of that happening in a deeply religious state like Utah seemed zero to none. Seeing same-sex marriage legalized in Utah made me wonder whether change like that would ever come to my home state of Texas. Growing up in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas as an immigrant, living in poverty, and with a budding sense of my queer identity, I made the difficult choice to leave at age 18. It was either that or be crushed, because in the 1980s there was no place for people like me there. No place I wanted to be anyway. I saw many of my schoolmates succumb to drugs. Many others got pregnant at a young age and dropped out of school. I distinctly remember my neighbor, Roddy, who was murdered by his own brother in a drug-induced frenzy, supposedly for being flamboyantly gay.
Read more by HS News Staff →