What I learned from my mother about tolerance…and appreciation

Growing up in Marcy Housing in Brooklyn, one of my neighbors was gay. Everyone in the building knew this. Everyone accepted this, because this is who he was. I won’t say that everyone in the projects accepted this, but most if not all the families in my building did. My mother was a friend of Charlie’s mother, and I recall going over to her apartment to borrow a cup of sugar. I recall Charlie sometimes being at our place. I can’t recall anyone ever voicing the word, but we all knew. Charlie had his ways, but he was essentially a good person. Parents would allow him to babysit because they knew that Charlie wouldn’t hurt a fly. They also intuitively knew the difference between a gay man and a pedophile. Because of this upbringing, later in life I didn’t understand the hatred and homophobia. This is yet one other thing I am grateful for that my mother taught me, not just tolerance, but appreciation for others and what we might call their differences.

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About ezwaters

Award-winning poet, playwright and writer. Author of three books of poetry, "Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass: Remembrance of Things Past and Present"; "Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats"; "The Black Feminine Mystique," and a novel, "Streets of Rage." All four books are available on Amazon.com.
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One Response to What I learned from my mother about tolerance…and appreciation

  1. Jenny Cecilia says:

    “not just tolerance, but appreciation for others and what we might call their differences” – big like!

    Like

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