Tomorrow is the last Monday is June.
The thing about DOMA is that it gets reduced to being *just* about "same sex marriage"- but it's really about sooooo much more.
One of the more frustrating things for the US Military is that THEY got rid of "don't ask, don't tell".... and yet because same-sex marriage is NOT recognized as "legal" on the federal level.... the husbands/wives/widows of our *own* American soldiers ARE NOT eligible for death benefits, medical benefits, VA benefits, etc- that their opposite-sex counterparts ARE entitled to.
This *really* isn't about your religion or my religion..... it's about equality and fairness and *taking care* of our own people in the same manner as we take care of our "straight" selves.... without discrimination.
So we wait.... as a community - unrecognized by our own government.... the one we pay *the same* taxes as our straight counterparts do - to support and finance.... while they collectively decide on just *how* much of a whole person I'll be counted as down the road.... simply because I *dream* of marrying a girl.
As you all know - I went to Portland Pride this year.... and it was: fanF*CKINGtastic. I really can't even begin to put into words how much I love and adore my PDX LGBTQ community. I love going to coffee shops and seeing two hipster boi's all cuddled on the couch with their floppy top short hair cuts and boots with knee sox pushed down and shorts..... I love going to the clubs at night and seeing all the cute and *extremely* well-dressed gay boys making out with each other on the dance floor..... it's really the sweetest thing. It's a beautiful thing to see humans being comfortable just being themselves.
I absolutely feel *inspired* by a couple I recently have gotten to know - one of them is a Drag King and a *fantastic* performer in Portland (Drag King: female performers who dress in male drag - usually to impersonate an artist or a male persona) and she is married to a woman who gave birthday to their beautiful child. They are..... a gorgeous family. Happy. Content. Loving Life. I have poured through their photos on facebook and the story that unfolds is a love story by any Disney definition out there.... except for the fact that it's two women who are not fully recognized as married by our own government.
They are out and proud. They have a wonderful child whom they clearly dote on. They have a love for one another that radiates off the screen.... and when you see them in person: you can feel it. Their togetherness is so evident, it's almost tangible. Having spent soooo much of my own time working weddings for same-sex couples who fought each other right up the alter..... and yet *are* fully recognized by the feds.... it's a bit ironic.
Hell... even my own shambles of a marriage - has more federal "value" that this family.
That's just so ass backwards.
I wish you could see them....I wish you could be near them. I wish you could experience their family and their love.... it really is inspiring... at least to me.
To be honest, I'm not sure why we're still even arguing about this on a federal level. We are *supposed* have a separation of Church and State - and there aren't any good reasons for denying same-sex couples the same rights as straight couples. I've been reading and reading.... and I haven't found one yet.
To my way of thinking, this is a personal thing - the opposition of same-sex marriage.... TWO TIMES, during this last week, I've been..... 'commented' on.
In the first occasion, I was sitting at the table working on my computer and someone came to do a home repair on the house. While standing mere feet from me, this repair person and The Bubbie were shooting the sh*t. The man got to talking about how he had taken his wife and kids to the Portland Water Front last weekend - over Gay Pride Weekend - and it was said in *total annoyance*.
Instantly.... I could feel the tension from The Bubbie. She shot me a look out of the corner of her eye - wondering if I would say anything.... but I didn't. I looked forward and continued to type.
The man continued on about all the people he saw.... the women with JUST TAPE over their nipples and nothing else... and the posters and the signs and the open display of homosexuality ... blah blah blah. He didn't understand why "these people" need a parade anyway...... how offensive it all was - and who cares if people are gay????
Ummm... Dude - *clearly* you do motherf*cker..... duh.
I still said nothing. I knew that this person was *mid job* and saying something would make it awkward and difficult..... and so I stayed silent.
Of course, jackass over here.... after *getting* to the Water Front and finding the gays frolicking and offending him.... doesn't *leave* said Water Front and either goes to The Saturday Market (bereft of naked and taped nipples), or to Pioneer Square.... nope: dunderhead stays on the Water Front.
He goes on and on and about the "craziness" he saw and how *awful* it was to try and explain this all this is teenage children..... um... dude: newsflash, your kids have the internet, they've seen racier porn on the youtube and in a Katie Perry video. just sayin'......
Then he started talking about taking his family to lunch and how these two "queer girls" were kissing at the table next to theirs and how.... how *disgusting* it was - and how "they" shouldn't be allowed to display their sexuality like that.
And then I got up. I'd had enough, and I just left the room.
I hope and pray that man isn't the father of a gay kid.... because I'll be *really* honest here - if THAT is how he talks at home and in front of his kids - he's going to raise a kid who hates themselves.... a gay kid who grows up in a home like that becomes a cutter or commits suicide *far* too much of the time because they become convinced that a dead kid would be better for their parents than a gay kid.
Fast forward to the end of the week and I'm waiting for a family session at a local park and I go into the library to use the bathroom. Leaving the library, eight Mormon missionaries are entering and one stops to hold the door open for me.
The rest of the boys wait outside while I exit - wearing my Nike #BETRUE (in rainbow letters) shirt from Gay Pride Weekend. As I leave the doorway, one taller boy in his white dress shirt and black name tag smiles (very nicely), nods at my shirt and say's, "I'll pay for you."
I smile back and say, "sweet, can you ask God to send me a hot Butch girl in a sports bra, spiky hair, a good heart and big hands?"
The kids doesn't know what to say - and I'm already halfway down the path when they're walking in..... and I'm giggling to myself because I know those 8 boys are going to go home and google up some lesbian porn to figure out what lesbians do with bigger hands.... and probably try to figure out what a butch girl even is (which... in my world - butch girls are perfection.... just sayin'). And then - like you do these days.... I posted the whole thing on facebook.
The thing is - I wasn't offended by him saying he would pray for me. That's cool.... f*ck knows I prayed and prayed and prayed..... I prayed as a little Catholic girl who read books and books about Saints and *dreamed* of becoming a Saint like St. Agnes (my favorite Saint.)
I prayed and prayed as a Born Again Christian in high school..... I raised my fists at a God who promised to love me and protect and provide for me.... and HE WASN'T. He was forsaking me and leaving me to have feelings that my religion and my family and community said were wrong.
How the hell could God do that?
I was a good kid. I didn't steal or sneak out at night. I didn't f*ck guys in the back seats of their cars. I didn't get pregnant. I didn't 'go down' on boys in the movie theater. I didn't cheat on my tests (nope....I flunked out of Geometry with pride, let me tell ya.....). I went out of my way to befriend the "nerdy" kids. I kept my "date anyone who asked me" policy. I showed kindness and did charity work.... and I prayed and prayed and prayed..... but I couldn't pray away the gay.
I grew up and got married.... and got married again. I tried sooooo hard to be a good wife, and a good Mom and a good daughter..... and I continued to pray. I read books and bought lotions and talked to my OBGYN about what the hell was medically wrong with my girls parts because nothing was working..... and my doctor *actually* said to me that it was "duty" as a wife, and I should just do it three times a week because that's what a good wife does..... (true story - great doctor, but the dude was *really* old. lololol).
So I prayed..... and I got reduced to being a handmaiden. Well.... almost: El Capitan never made me feel that way. He thought it was all the surgery and stuff - so he didn't push, he didn't ask. Not once. He was patient.... which just made me feel even sh*ttier.... I LOVED this man. I loved my life and my family and my little tiny home..... so why couldn't I figure out how to love sex like everyone else on the planet?
I couldn't pray away the gay.
I couldn't medicate away the gay.
Lord knows....I tried.
So, some nice missionary kid saying he'll pray for me is fine by me.... because I know it won't change me. I already did that.... and it didn't work: BECAUSE IT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO.
Pslam 139: 13-19
For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17How precious to me are your thoughts,a God! How vast is the sum of them! 18Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you."
I would read this and soooo many other passages and wear the thin pages of my Bible to nothingness with my tears.... because I couldn't understand how God could *know* me as HE promised He does... and then leave me here to suffer.... to be alone and feel alone.
I don't have all the answers, but I do know this for sure: You can't pray away the gay.
It's fine with me if you try.... I sure as sh*t did.
But. I'm an American. So while I am not only *tolerant* of anyone's ability to pray about whatever they want... they can even openly and publicly try to pray away my gay.... in fact: I will fight for your right do that.
Because I am tolerant, even of people who don't like me, don't agree with me: you don't have too.
What my government and it's people do NOT have a right to do - is VOTE AWAY MY GAY.
So stop it.
Stop punishing me, and people like me, for being who I am - because I can assure you.... you're never going to punish me as much as I have punished myself.
You don't have to agree with me.
You don't have to applaud me.
You don't have to even accept me.... but you have to accept my RIGHT to BE.
I hope the Supreme Court does the right thing and stops Voting Away The Gay.
As I head off to bed tonight... I know that's what I'm praying for.