For today’s WTFriday, I’m going to change gears a bit, and instead of blogging silliness, I’m going to blog happiness. Blissful, proud, surprising happiness. And hope.
As I’m sure all of you have heard, President Obama recently voiced his support for gay marriage.
Bravo, Mr. President! Bravo!
I don’t talk much about my relationship with my partner on my blog because, for one, she’s not ok with it. She doesn’t like me to make a big fuss. She’s a lot quieter than I am. Heck, I’m lucky she puts up with me at all, truth be told. Another reason I don’t talk much about me and my partner is because that’s not what this blog is about. However, just for today, I’m making an exception.
Joan and I have been together 14 ½ years, and if that’s not marriage, I don’t know what is. We’ve been through good times and bad times. Through sickness and in health. For poorer and even poorer. Well, you get the idea. She’s been stepmom to my kids. She grabs up my grandson and hugs him just as hard as I do. She taught my younger son to drive when I was too nervous to even get in the car with him. She suffered through a massive stroke three years ago, and a long recovery, and never complained about life dealing her lemons. She went back to work and now her paycheck is what is keeping a roof over our heads. Yes, we are married. We just don’t have a piece of paper that has been blessed and sanctioned by the government.
Just because I don’t talk about being a lesbian all the time doesn’t mean I’m not proud of who I am.
Today I talk about being a lesbian and what it means to me.
It has not always been easy for me, let me tell you. I left a marriage when I was 35 because I could no longer run from the truth about who I was. That was one of the hardest times in my life. My children suffered. My husband suffered. None of them deserved to suffer.
But neither did I. And I was suffering most of all.
You may be asking if I knew I was gay before I was 35. Yes, I most certainly did know. In fact, I knew since I was in high school that I was attracted to women. However, I am from the South, and I was in high school in the late 60s/early 70s. I’m sure I don’t have to stress how gays and lesbians were not tolerated much at all back then. Hell, women were just coming into their own at that time. I went in the Air Force in 1971 and dealt with an enormous amount of sexual harassment. There was no recourse back then, either, but thank God things were changing, and within just a few years, women found their voices. I guess in that respect, I can be proud, because I’m an important part of history, the evolving of women’s equality. Pretty astounding when you think about it, how far things have come. Some things, that is.
But back to my story.
When I married my first husband, I loved him. However, I was also attracted to women. I was a mess back then, let me tell you. Confused doesn’t even begin to define it. However, I wanted the American dream. The husband, 2.5 kids and the white picket fence, and I was going to have it, the hell with my sexuality!
I lived in that denial through 17 years and two marriages. I had two sons with two different husbands, and because of my boys, I wouldn’t change that part of my life for anything. My sons kept me sane, and as I did them, they breathed life into me. They still do, even now at 29 and 38. They are my pride…my heart. So, no, I don’t regret marrying twice and having children with men. Both my husbands were and still are, amazing men and we are friends to this day. They both accept my lifestyle and embrace my partner.
Weird huh? I’m lucky, I know. A lot of gays and lesbians don’t have the transition I had. Some of them, especially those in my age demographic, never left their “closets” and never realized the kind of love that I have found. I feel badly for them because I remember it was not easy. In fact, it took a very long time for it to become easier.
Nowadays, things are as normal as they can be for two women living in a committed relationship. We still can’t marry legally, but I’m beginning to believe that we will be able to do that soon. Things are changing for the better. I’m holding on to that.
I don’t want young people to ever have to worry about “coming out of the closet”. I want them to “live out of the closet” as if there was never a closet. I want them to be able to love and not be beaten to death by some hate mongers because of who they love. I want them to NEVER consider suicide because they can’t live in this world that belittles and hates them. I want them to walk proud and be who they are, beautiful, productive human beings.
What if your child were gay? What if your grandchild were gay? Would you embrace them and support them and accept them? He/she is still your child/grandchild. Gay/lesbian doesn’t change that, so why should it change your relationship? It should not!
Remember, it is not our choice to be gay. It’s who we are. The sooner people understand and accept that very real fact, the better off everyone will be. It’s not easy being who we are, so why would we “choose” it?
You may not agree with the comparison, but not so many years ago, the very thought of mixed marriage was taboo and completely frowned upon. Can you even imagine that? I’m from the south, so I can actually remember snide and prejudice remarks made within my own family against mixed marriages. Now? My family has mixed marriages throughout. Now it’s not called “mixed marriage”. It’s just called marriage.
I wonder if there will come a day when no one gives a second thought about gay marriage and it is just considered marriage. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?
So, after our President took his stand on gay marriage, I took a deep, satisfied breath, and thought “I never thought I’d see the day.” But I did. And I have to say, once more:
Thank you Mr. President!
I have always been proud of who I am, but now I’m hopeful. For others like me. For all the generations to come.
OK, I’m going to find the ladder and climb down off my rather tall soap box now.
Happy WTFriday everyone!
Images from Google Images