Maya Keyes' girlfriend Bria posted their interview
in Metro Weekly. Maya explains her situation:
MW: At what point did you come to the realization that "I may be one of those people?"
MARCEL-KEYES: In middle school. Everybody else would be sitting around talking about actors and I was more interested in Angelina Jolie than Leonardo DiCaprio.
MW: What kind of conflict did that produce within you?
MARCEL-KEYES: Obviously, when you're young your parents sort of shape your whole world. When all I'd heard through my entire growing up years was how it was wrong and bad and evil and sinful, it didn't make me very happy when I began to realize that I was queer. But part of growing up is distancing yourself from only thinking what your parents have told you to think, shaping your own views of things. I started learning to accept that maybe being queer really wasn't all evil and immoral and wrong.
MW: So you lived with your feelings for a while, but kept it quiet.
MARCEL-KEYES: Yes. It really didn't make much sense to me to say anything about it when I knew exactly what my parents thought. I didn't think it would make life very pleasant.
MW: Did you at any point think that your being gay could change their minds about homosexuality?
MARCEL-KEYES: No. My parents believe what they believe because of their religion. My mom, if possible, is even more conservative than my dad. I didn't think it would change anything. If you think that something is morally wrong, just because somebody you know is doing it doesn't mean that you start accepting it. So if people like my parents really believe it is a sin, then because I'm sinning isn't suddenly going to make them stop and think, "Oh, well, it's okay now."
MW: You admire their dedication to their principles?
MARCEL-KEYES: Yes. They have a lot of integrity. I think they're wrong on this issue and I wish they would change, but I don't think they're going to.
MW: Roughly how long has your father known you are gay?
MARCEL-KEYES: He's known since the end of high school. I graduated in 2003, so a couple of years now.
MW: The story we're hearing is that he disowned you, kicked you out.
MARCEL-KEYES: He cut off all financial support, but that's something that I can totally understand. I am working for things that he's directly opposed to. It doesn't make much sense for him to be [financially] supporting someone who is working against what he believes in.
On a personal level, I'm not sure what's going to happen. It's been crazy.
MW: Why was there no conflict while you were working on your father's campaign if he knew you were gay?
MARCEL-KEYES: Well, basically, I think my parents have never really accepted that I was queer. They thought it was a phase. As long as I was quiet about it and it was just them who knew, they could kind of try and push me back toward heterosexuality. But when I actually acknowledged it publicly, then it was sort of like "Oh, gosh, we can't be having that around here."
Bria share's her story and has something good to say about Focus on the Family (all things considered):
MW: Bria, what's your story?
MURRAY: I was raised with the same beliefs as Maya, that being gay was wrong, it was a sin. My parents were separated. My dad left when I was 7. He was abusive to my mom, and my mom was abusive to me. She would beat me and quote Bible verses at me. She was pretty ultra religious.
She read my journal where I wrote down "I think I might be bi." She called her therapist, all upset. I'm sure you're aware of "Focus on the Family." Are you aware of their [ex-gay program] "Love Won Out?" Well, she took me to one of those.
MW: Did you resent her for trying to change you?
MURRAY: No, because it was fascinating to me to hear all this "psychology." It was not what I expected, you know, "gays bad, going to hell." It was definitely not coming from a condemning point of view. So I don't necessarily resent her for that. I don't resent a lot of people for a lot of things. It's not worth my time nor my energy.
I've become a regular reader of Maya, Bria and some of their friends' blogs. I always find different points of view interesting and they come from an angle I've never seen; gay, Christian, anarchist, pro-life -- they defy stereotypes. That makes them interesting. Recently one of Maya's best friends started his his own blog
. This guy (I don't know his name) seems to be the only atheist in the group, but he furthers the cause of defying stereotypes by being in the air force and currently deployed in Iraq. Fascinating people, all of them. And they all seem like good people, too.