cn: death and homophobia. I do not recommend reading this if you are one of my relatives. I do not desire, and will not respond to any expressions of condolence, or general concern for my personal wellbeing.
My grandfather grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Very conservative, very religious, and his neighbors were Amish. He left his background behind, moving to California, becoming a professional scientist, and–a point of family pride–an anti-racist activist. Specifically, he spoke at many churches against California’s 1964 proposition 14, which would allow people to discriminate by race when selling housing.
At the time I became an adult, my grandfather was openly nonreligious–the only other nonreligious person in my family that I knew of at the time. He called himself a deist, believing in a god that does not intervene in the world, and which does not require any worship. Perhaps for that reason he was the only relative who took extended interest in my blog, which was more atheism-focused at the time. Despite several disagreements, we had many positive interactions.
But over ten years ago, I came out as ace and gay, and then I learned that my grandfather was homophobic.