How do we move on?

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 | Gay Stuff, Politics

I’ve been thinking about this all morning… I don’t have any answers – actually just more questions… But the puzzle is how do I forgive those who voted in favor of stripping me of my marriage license? Over the past few days, and most recently this morning, i’ve been learning of people I went to school with, work with, and know in other circles that took steps to knowingly hurt me personally. And yes, it is personal, very personal. They claim that they did it ‘for the children’, or because of their religious beliefs, or ‘to protect the will of the people from “activist judges”‘ – but at the end of the day thats crap and many of them know it. They voted yesterday to say that their marriage and their rights are more important and valued than mine are and by doing that they sent a clear message that I’m less valuable and deserving than they are. Civil marriage isn’t about religion or children or voter’s rights. Its about civil rights and dignity and yesterday millions of people in our state, some of which I know, voted to strip me of both.

So what do you do about that? Do you stop speaking to them? do you yell and scream and threaten them? Many believe that there is no changing these people and its not worth your breath even trying. The problem with that is the alternative is carrying that with me each day and with every interaction – because even if you stop talking to ‘friends’ who may have done this you will still come across them throughout your life. And if there is anything i’ve learned over my life is bottled up emotions come out at some point and often in very counter productive ways (believe me – i’m good at this part).

I do know a few things though. I know that my relationship with and love for Kevin is every bit as valuable and worthy of respect and protection as any other couple. We have been together over 9 years and have experienced all the joys and sorrows that other couples have and then some. We have experienced christmases, birthdays, quiet nights infront of a fire, world travels, career troubles, arguments, death, and even cancer. And we have supported each other through every step of it and that will continue for a lifetime to come.

I also know that the same religion and God that was used as a weapon to belittle and discriminate against me is also the one that will help see me through this. I know people see a contradiction here but I don’t. My grandma told me throughout my childhood and to this day that we are all created as the loving reflection of God and if you remember that and turn to Him for help in trying times that He will help you come together with others and heal. I also constantly remember the Golden Rule. So even if others don’t remember this I do and it helps me.

Finally I know that, like so many other times in history, we will move beyond this. We are better than this and as people we learn and grow. Some times it takes years, decades, centuries but we do. Other communities have seen it. Jewish people have moved from a time of demonification, ridicule, and genocide to a day where we live in a society that relishes religious diversity. Women have moved from servitude and marginalization to a day where they are able to rise to their full potential whether that be CEO, College Professor, Mother, or Presidential Candidate. And African Americans have moved from slavery, bigotry, and segregation to a day where a black man can become President. And, if we take a deep breath and a step back we realize that the GLTB community has come a long way as well – I can walk down the street hand in hand with the person I love without fear of voilence, work in a place where they not only tolerate but celebrate who I am, and have family who fully supports me.

This isn’t to say all of these groups don’t have a LONG way to go still. There is still anti semitism, sexism, and racism that is like a cancer on this country. Many people experience all of the same challenges of decades and centuries gone by because of their religion, gender, or the color of their skin. And, as we learn this morning, there is homophobia among some of our longest friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances. They can spin it in whatever ‘loving’ or ‘protective’ yarn that they choose but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then… well.. you know…

So right now I’m angry.. and I’m hurt… and I’m going to have a hard time interacting with and respecting people who think I’m less of a human being and deserve less right and freedoms than they do. But I also know if I don’t learn to deal with these feelings and put them aside then I won’t be able to be a part of helping us grow as a society.

We’ll get there… it will take time… but I haven’t lost hope… and now we have the right role model in the drivers seat…

“YES WE CAN”!!!!

5 Comments to How do we move on?

November 5, 2008

Thank you for that. That’s exactly the perspective I need … Reminding myself that the greater tide for civil rights has already turned in our favor and that my relationship with my partner endures and grows regardless of any vote.

Clem Holloman
November 5, 2008

Well said Pete. I agree, its baffling to see friends and even some family vote against us, and listen to how they claim to be voting “for” something, not “Against us. I think we see soberly and clearly what the motivations and arguments were that convinced them. I am very sad today and angry as well ( I mean, c’mon, chickens??? ) but then I think, Ok, so the path is longer that we had hoped, and we have to go at least one more round here in CA, but we’ll get there. Time and Rightness are on our side.

November 6, 2008

Peter, your compelling and heartfelt words warm my heart. The love you and Kevin have for each other is one of the most beautiful things i’ve seen, and continues to be a guide for my life and pursuit of the same.

We’ll all get through this. With our community finally coming together and acting as one, we will overcome the bigotry and hate of the small-minded and ignorant who are so terrified of validating anything other than what they know in their tiny little lives.

bentguy (rik!)
November 6, 2008

thanks for putting into words some thoughts that have been too tough for me to articulate. I know tomorrow we start again, but today I’m just too exhausted. 🙂

Las Vegas

November 7, 2008

I’ve watched as many of my friends got married these last few months. Most were small, personal ceremonies. Although I could not share the moments with them, I have been struck by the many ways they have shared their love and commitment to each other with their friends and “family”. I get the feeling some were apprehensive about making too much of a big deal about it all (cause it may all go away?), but at the same time screamed their excitement and optimism and love to all. This is what we’re fighting for: DO IT! LOVE IT! SHOUT IT TO THE MOUNTAIN TOPS! REVEL IN JOY! SHARE IT WITH US ALL! TELL US ABOUT IT! Go for it.