Pride (and prejudice)

Dated: June 6 2021

Views: 114

A Joyous Pride!

I've ALWAYS been tentative in discussing the aspect of my life I never wanted to define me - being gay - but I have to tell you that as the years start to pile up, I stopped worrying about the negative feedback I'd get. Life's too short: I'm gay, and in my book, if that's a deal-breaker for someone, I'd rather not do business with that someone in the first place. 

 

I don't take that attitude with just homophobia, either, mind you; if someone proves themselves to be sexist, xenophobic or racist, I've no room for them in my life - personal or professional - either. Having been born (1974) and raised and having lived ALL of my life in the South, it's unfortunate, but I've seen my fill of that mindset and avoid it like the plague. Thankfully it's less evident than in years past. 

My husband, Ethan, and I spent the first day of June hiking to the top of Indian Seats at Sawnee Mountain in Forsyth County. For those not well-versed on Forsyth County, there WAS a time when "diversity" wasn't welcome there. Oprah Winfrey famously hosted an episode of her nationwide talk show from there, highlighting - in 1987 - the county's complete lack of diversity and unwillingness to welcome it, either. 

 

I was 13 then, and began having a sense of what made me "different," but what was going on in Forsyth County wouldn't ever affect me, I thought, because I'm not an African American. I can opt to keep what makes me 'different" to myself. Flash forward 34 years later, and there I was hiking in a Forsyth County park up a Forsyth County mountain wearing a "pride" t-shirt. Spoiler alert: no one icy glare or cross word was said to me.

 

Forsyth County is now a vastly more diverse county, by the way; with a 22.6% non-white population. I feel that's important to point out because I certainly don't want this to be a negative entry about the metro's (and state's) fastest growing county. No, there's a LOT to love now about Forsyth County. Dare I say, there's plenty to show PRIDE in, for Forsyth residents, and very little evidence of the prejudice Oprah Winfrey gave a national spotlight to more than three decades ago. 

 

With Georgia 400 connecting the diverse population of metro Atlanta to the county, a population shift has been happening since the 1990s. With it soon followed the embrace of "lake living" along Lake Lanier, and the breathtaking views from atop the Sawnee Mountain Preserve.

I snapped this atop Sawnee Mountain Tuesday, June 1st.

So here I am now, the more mature (my husband might disagree) man, not ashamed to tell people I'm gay and in fact quick to cut ties with anyone who has a problem with that, and it's Pride month; so from my family to yours - we wish you a Joyous LGBTQIA Pride Month! 

 

Now if you said "okay, but no one in my family is gay, bisexual or transgender, so ..." Ive two thoughts: 

 

1. You don't know that for certain, and 

2. Pride month is for allies to celebrate, too!

 

Without our allies, I shudder to think where we'd be. It was JUST six years ago marriage equality became the law of the land, after all. That, in and of itself, fueled a spike in home sales for married gay and lesbian couples.

 

It was just EIGHT years ago that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a study detailing housing biases for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples looking to BUY still faced impediments, according to a 2019 study by the Iowa State University's College of Business. 

 

"Lenders are less likely to approve same-sex couples ... In fact, the same-sex couples that were approved paid more in interest and fees," according to this study detailed in this Bank Rate article

 

"Same-sex partners were 73 percent more likely to be denied a loan than heterosexual couples with the same financial profile, according to the Iowa State study. The research found no evidence that same-sex couples had a higher default risk."

 

There's more to read there, too, such as how to recognize housing discrimination and how to protect yourself against it. 

 

TRUST that this LGBTQIA REALTOR works for an affirming brokerage and real estate company and has nearly a dozen lending allies I know I can call on to get the job done - regardless of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or national origin. 

Alright; the kid from the 80s and 90s who worried so much if anyone were ever to find out he's gay is going to wrap up his big Gay Pride email and head off to practice with his Hotlanta (LGBTQIA) League softball squad before our games tomorrow. I'll also be attending the Braves' 2021 Pride Night game Tuesday with my teammates. Go Braves - and thanks for embracing our community! 

 

Oh, and it goes without saying, GO HAWKS! 86 the 76ers!

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Ron Roberts

Hi! I’m Ron, a Georgia-born Atlanta resident and real estate agent ready to put my education, personal and professional experience and work ethic into helping you embittered your new home, sell your....

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