‘Til Death Do Us Part

I have been thinking a lot about relationships lately. To be honest, it is not unusual for me to be thinking about people, relationships, behavior, and interactions. Perhaps that has become obvious by now? Lately a lot of my life has been focused on whether or not my sweetie and I will be allowed to marry in December. You see, in Washington state the lawmakers decided to make marriage equality a reality. It was awesome. Then we heard that the opposition would be able to file a referendum to overturn the new law via putting it to a popular vote on the November ballot. Crazy right? All of the major players in a state decide to give equal rights to a group of people, only to find out that haters can take those rights away by investing millions in a smear campaign against that group and raising a big stink.

I want to know how human rights, that have to do with federal and state laws, can be decided by a popular vote. I mean, who decided that was a good idea? Back in the days of segregation the issue of civil rights was never put up for a popular vote. Bigots protested, assassinated people, committed hate crimes left and right, but were never able to vote on the rights of African-Americans. Why is it okay now? Why is it okay to say that lgbtq folks are different? Aren’t we all human being sharing this planet? This has made me really examine what is at the core of this movement against us, aka “the haters”. There is one clear answer and it really is pretty obvious – fear.

We, humans, fear the unknown. Because of religion and the shame associated with being an lgbtq person in our society, there is not a realistic view of what lgbtq people are like. There are pictures on the news of scantily clad people in pride parades. There are images created in churches, on the internet, and in homes across America, that paint us as pedophiles, perverts, and disease-laden monsters. We have been vilified to the extent that many people live in constant fear of us, thinking we are going to invade the safety of their little lives and touch them or their children in an inappropriate manner. We are coming to “recruit” for our cause and want to steal their children away. Does this sound familiar? It is the same “fear” propaganda they used to blacklist people suspected of being Communists, and against African-Americans back in the days before the Civil Rights movement.

Unfortunately the common tool is religion. It is easy to just tell everyone you fear that God says they are an abomination and that you are “just doing God’s will” when you hate and want to oppress those people. And guess what? As soon as those folks judge us, they are going against God’s will. How quickly they forget, “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than this.” True Christians love unconditionally and hate no one. It really is that simple. It is sad how many people have been brainwashed to believe the propaganda against us.

The reality is this-

1.We put our pants on one leg at a time, just like the average hetero person.
2. AIDS is more common among heterosexuals than homosexuals.
3. The majority of pedophiles are hetero, white males.
4. Lgbtq people are born, not brainwashed, not recruited.
5. Science is factual and has proven homos are born that way.
6. Jesus never said one thing about sexuality and never condemned lgbtq folks.
7. If we followed everything in Leviticus, in the Bible, heteros would be in BIG trouble for a lot of things. (people need to stop picking and choosing what to follow in the Bible. All or nothing folks!)

Okay, now that I’ve vented a bit and addressed the issue of “the haters”, who don’t want for us to get married, I will get back to some positive stuff. I met my sweetie 2 1/2 years ago when I was getting ready for a gallery show. The gallery owner knew her and introduced us. It was a slow courtship, but after 5 months we were officially a couple. I knew I had found the person I had been waiting for my whole life. I can’t describe it, we just clicked in a way I had never experienced before.

I will admit that it wasn’t immediate fireworks and passion, because we were both nervous and introverted. It built slowly. I wasn’t even consciously looking for someone at the time. I was focused on art work and things in my life had been getting more and more positive, and then…bam! There it was. We were in a relationship.

Very quickly we felt like we had known each other for much longer that we had. Our relationship is comfortable, yet exciting. Sweet and cuddly, yet fun and adventurous. We share everything with each other. After so many years with a jealous ex, it has been a revelation. I can write what I want, create what I want, have friends and do things whenever I want. No judgement. No guilt. And we can talk to each other about anything. Again, no judgement, just support. I cannot tell you what a difference it has made in my life. She loves me for who I really am. All of my body issues, insecurities, etc. that I grew up with, she supports me and loves me unconditionally. A revelation.

I really think one of the reasons the divorce rate is so high is because couples don’t take time to be together away from all of the distractions of life. We make time for each other. We help each other. If I say I really need a flat head screw driver, she will find one. If I am hungry, she cooks for me. And it is mutual. I would do whatever I could for her. To ease her pain or worry, to make sure she has what she needs. Having been the one who gave and gave in prior relationships with nothing in return, I can see now how big of a difference it makes. We each feel supported and fulfilled. We work on projects together and help each other succeed. There is no ego, bitterness, deceit, or manipulation.

We are both poor artists, but are happy with what we have. Don’t get me wrong, we would like to not struggle to pay bills and such, but we don’t need expensive dinners, new clothes, fancy gadgets bought on credit, a brand new car, etc. I think it has a lot to do with our level of happiness. Simple things make us happy – growing food, hanging out with our chickens, just sitting around talking or watching a movie. It doesn’t take much. I think people get too caught up in the day to day stuff and don’t make time to appreciate each other. Why can’t people be happy with less? Or with the body they have? I blame television, media outlets, popular culture, Hollywood, the fashion and advertising industries, and anyone who judges others in order to feel superior.

Will it ever change? I predict it will only get worse. Kids today are tuned out and only care about what they are told to like. They only have a limited view of the world as it is and it has all been programmed by big money corporations who don’t want them to have minds of their own. On a positive note, they say the younger generations support equality and are against the path that the haters travel down. Somehow, the majority have decided that they are full of it and I am curious to see what will happen in that department. In the meantime, I am remaining very optimistic that I will be “allowed” to marry my sweetie after the November election this year. Washington appears to be on our side and that gives me hope.

I often wonder if those who hate us even know any actual lgbtq people, at least ones that are out of the closet? People tell us that we should be the poster children for the cause because we are so sweet and perfect together. I won’t argue, but many minds out there are so closed off it probably wouldn’t make a difference. We just need to keep being ourselves, along with all of the other lovely lgbtq folks out there, and just hope that each person we meet will see we are not any of those things I listed previously and stand up for our civil rights. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I have a dream…”, and I do. I want to see love overtake hate, understanding overtake fear, and more unconditional acceptance for all, just the way we are – each and every one of us. I can dream, can’t I?