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Sign of the Times?

While Orange County, CA, is slowly moving away from its ultra-conservative roots, our area has been slower to move than most.  We live in the foothills of Orange, next to very affluent Orange Park Acres and Villa Park.  According to Wikipedia, “Villa Park is a Republican stronghold, as 66.0% of its registered voters (are Republican),” with less than 18% registered Democrats.  During the Prop 8 battle, we were engulfed by pro-8 bumper stickers and yard signs, and it literally felt dangerous to step outside. Further compounding this extremism, our local paper, the Foothills Sentry, has a long history of being a virulent defender of all-things-conservative, making Fox News look like NPR.

Just after moving into the area, I saw a commentary in the Sentry about the teaching of transgendered children in public schools which greatly disturbed me.  I wrote a letter to the journalist, and was pleasantly surprised when she invited me to meet to discuss it.  Over coffee, we shared our differing views and opinions, but what could have easily been a contentious battle, instead, turned into a tentative friendship between conservative and progressive.

Still, given the history of the paper, which — to my knowledge — has never championed any gay cause, you can imagine my surprise as I opened up the paper today to find this article on us.  Just the fact that this conservative paper printed a positive article on two white gay dads with two African American kids tells me that, slowly but surely, our community is moving in the right direction.  And it all happened because not only did I take the time to write the reporter noting my dissent over an issue, but she then took that as an opportunity for dialogue, instead of operating on the defensive.

Good things can happen even when good, respectful people disagree.

3 Responses

  1. Never stop stirring the pot, Kergan! Nice!

    July 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

  2. Heidi

    Kergan, we are all so proud of who you are and what you stand for! You’ve got a great partner, and two super kids. Congrats on all that you have done!

    July 13, 2011 at 5:01 pm

  3. Rebeccca Reynolds-Johnson

    Kergan: Awesome! You truly deserve it and it was a wonderful thing for Russ to nominate you! Congrats, my friend…I am so glad to call you my friend. Taking a stand is never easy and living your life to promote change is a daily challenge. You have met them well. And the editor saw a good thing. xo Bex

    July 13, 2011 at 8:31 am

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