Us vs. Them when Them is Us

I’m having a hard time processing a conversation I had tonight. I work during the Fall and Winter judging for the school marching band and colorguard association that covers our area of the state. There’s a particular judge who is very well respected, who has been involved a long time, and coaches a successful program in the area. I have a high level of respect for her. She is also very friendly and personable and has managed to judge, coach, teach, and be a mom to 4 young kids. I don’t know how she does it.

Today we judged together with a first-time judge. The experience gave us fodder to start a conversation that moved to talking a bit about our personal lives. I know I’m the only lesbian colorguard judge in the association, although there are more than a few gay guys. We talked about our families and I was as honest with her as I am with everyone. Later, after the competition was over, we walked out together and ended up talking – eventually landing back on the subject of kids. Somehow she ended up saying, “I’ll be honest, we’re Mormon.” We ended up talking about how we can agree to disagree and still respect each other, still work together, still be advocates for our activity. She mentioned a well known band director in the area and how he wouldn’t speak to her or her family anymore because of Proposition 8.

She said, “We’re really pretty normal people.” I said, “Us too!”

We talked about everything we had in common, our respect for one another, and how we knew that we weren’t likely to change each other’s minds on some key issues. But what we had in common, for the purpose it serves in how we interact regularly, far outweighed our differences.

I wrote most of this post on Saturday after I got home. I’m still struggling with this conversation, but I think rather than try and make sense of it…I’m just going to post this and let it sit out in the universe. Maybe the wisdom will come to me later.

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