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Minding Your Own Life

Author Aaron Anson shares his experience of growing up gay

interview with aaron anson about his book mind your own life

Interview with Aaron Anson about his book Mind Your Own Life — Courtesy of Oliver Anson

How have you balanced your religion and being gay?
This is my favorite question. I have come to accept that religion, self-hate and the hating of others were all introduced to me by other people subjected to their own bigotries and prejudices. I learned those beliefs and habits from others who had basically hijacked my life for 35 years because I had accepted their beliefs as my own.

I know now, that in the beginning of our life, we totally submit to God, who teaches us to love and not hate. That's how I've found the balance between religion and love.

What is the overall message that you would like your readers to gain from your book?
My book is about engaging our own minds to seek and reconcile our own truths with God, or the source that created us all. It is not as important as we've been taught to give names to the unnamable, but more important to recognize that we came into existence instinctively knowing only love, and our beliefs and inherited prejudices were taught to us by others who in turn had those beliefs instilled and taught to them as well.

In your lifetime, do you think gay marriage will be legalized nationwide?
Yes, and here is why. The religious right has been fighting to preserve the sanctity of marriage as they view marriage. However the way to preserve something is to strengthen it or be pro marriage. This is not accomplished by disenfranchising or weakening others. Long before gay marriage made the historic strides it has, the divorce rate in this country was nearing 50 percent. The emphasis should have been on improving the divorce numbers or strengthen the institution. Now they have been asking those opposed to marriage equality to basically support and preserve what is a broken institution to begin with and the support has been half-hearted at best. The misguided strategy of disenfranchising gays as inferior to make others appear superior is doomed. We've seen that failed strategy with slavery, women rights, voting rights and interracial marriage. National acceptance of gay marriage is no exception.

What can people 50 and over learn from "Mind Your Own Life"?
This journey back to love is one we can begin at any point in our lives. We cannot be held captive to the truths of others. We should reconcile for ourselves, and when we know a truth is inherently ours and agrees with us we should hold steadfast to our own knowing. We can acknowledge how we have passed down our own taught beliefs to others after us and how our inherited beliefs has affected our relationship with those we profess to love. If we can see where we came from, we can better understand where we are going and perhaps objectively encourage others more positively. More families, marriages and relationships have been destroyed in the name of religion then we care to admit.

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