To the young man in the red dress
at Kenwood Theater in Cincinnati last night:
I noticed you at the candy counter as I left the theater. I noted your dress right away. And that you're a guy. Admittedly, I don’t understand why you were wearing a dress…but it’s really none of my business, is it? What is my business is how I treat people, and I can’t stop thinking that I let you down.
This morning I was thinking about you, so I prayed.
…that you are grounded in who you are and know that your individuality is a gift.
…that you have people in your life that love you and embrace you.
…that you not edit yourself because of unsolicited, outside noise.
…that you know you are enough, exactly as you are.
…that you understand that peoples’ misunderstanding of you is more about them than it is of you.
…that you know you are a child of God and every last detail about you is intentional.
To the two middle-aged, conservative looking women who were blatantly rude to you, I prayed for you this morning, too.
…that you remember the young man in the red dress is someone’s son, someone’s grandchild, and isn’t deserving of your public or private ridicule.
…that you stop and really think about your impact on the life of the young man you casually cut down in front of others.
…that you recognize your behavior was that of a bully, and going forward you practice kindness and compassion.
…that last night was a turning point in the way you see and treat people who are different than you.
I’m sorry I didn’t say anything last night.
I regret that.
I was focused on leaving. The lobby was loud and bustling, and the situation didn’t quite register until I reached my car. Did someone speak up on your behalf? I hope so. I wish it would have been me. Next time, it will.
Hang in there.
Remember that you count just as much as the next person, regardless what they wear or how they look. Stand tall in your different-ness; it takes courage to be unique and the world desperately needs people brave enough to be different. Just. Like. You.
an understanding lady that doesn’t exactly understand, but wants to do better and be better