There was a time when I didn’t think being married was a big deal. It’s the “M-word.” It’s just a word.
I would call lesbians and gays who wanted to be married “assimilationsts.” There wasn’t any good reason to imitate straight people. Being gay was different, I thought.
If my brothers and sisters wanted the M-word, I thought they should have that right. The right was denied to us by Pres. Bill Clinton. Instead of actual equality, he came out for gays in the military. “Huh?” I said. It didn’t work, and he settled for that awful rule called “Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell.” Under DADT, lesbian and gay soldiers kept getting thrown out. Bill Clinton — the man I supported — signed DADT into law. I didn’t just support him, I was an eager staff member who worked my butt off for his election. Then… awful got added to hideous. Clinton came out in favor of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Pres Bubba said he was in favor of the law. He didn’t think people like me should get married. DOMA was the law of the land, and that family connection is why I was a total supporter of Barack Obama. I wasn’t going to lift a finger to help Clinton’s wife. Maybe that was wrong on my part, but it is how I felt. It is how I still feel to a certain extent.
There were gays and lesbians in the Oval Office, and they were hopping mad at Clinton. Here’s the hateful phrase that president used for them: “Where else are you going to go?”
Betrayal is the saddest word ever defined.
So now, Clinton is all smiles when he says DOMA was a bad idea. He thinks me getting married would be fine. I don’t buy it. He wants us to forget that he signed the law. More recently, we’re supposed to forget that he suggested John Kerry come out strongly against marriage equality (Kerry has always been for LGBT equality).
Clinton’s wife now says that gays and lesbians should be able to get married. I don’t buy that either.
Guilt by association for Mrs. Clinton. Yup. It’s probably wrong, but that is my honest feelings on the family.
Rick and I have been together for 20 years. He’s the love of my life.
Then something weird happened. We got married.
It was in the District of Columbia. Same-gender couples don’t even get a double take in the nation’s capital. It happens all the time. He and I went before a judge, and then we got a piece of paper.
The magical thing happened on our way home. We took the train from Washington to Chicago and then to Dallas.
Wow. I saw wheat growing, and they really looked like those amber waves of grain. Beautiful.
For the first time in my life, I felt ordinary. I love ordinary.
That judge in Washington told me (not in so many words) that our life together had merit.
I can’t find the exact words to tell you how I felt on the train, except that my life with Rick was somehow happier and richer.
Those who want to deny this M-word to gay couples have no idea how caustic their marriage apartheid is. They say that boy-girl couples can get married, but I can’t. When I was in the middle of that mindset, I had no idea of the spiritual and emotional damage that society was doing. Once free from those sticky chains, I could look back and see the tragedy. I cried to think of my gay brothers and sisters who have never known marriage. I felt the horror of all those young men and women who killed themselves over society’s constant drubbing. I felt angry at the hate-filled politicians in my home state of Texas.
The goody-two-shoes say “No marriage for queers.” In the same breath they berate lesbians and gays for being promiscuous. They don’t see (or ignore the fact) that being married is society’s way of encouraging a healthy and loving atmosphere. There was a time when I’d see a gorgeous actor on TV and dream of ripping off his clothes and having wild sex with him. There’s one gay actor on prime time TV that used to be a regular in my fantasy world. But he’s married. He and his husband have adopted children. Since Rick and I got officially married, I love seeing that actor on TV. He is still one of the most adorable people I’ve ever seen, but my heart soars for his marriage. How lucky those kids are to wake up every day to such a lovely father. I’m told that they live their lives out of the Hollywood spotlight. They’re just a regular family. Until Rick and I were married, I couldn’t be happy for the actor and his husband. I wanted to be promiscuous. The change wasn’t forced on me. I didn’t decide to stop thinking about ripping his clothes off. It just happened. I smile when his show comes on, and I am so happy for him.
I need to have hope and charity for everyone. The self-styled “religious” right is included in the group of things I am supposed to love. I’m supposed to forgive.
To tell you the truth, I’m not there yet. I don’t like what the rightwing has done to Christianity. That minority of monsters have turned the religion of love into something with buzz saw blades. It’s like the Inquisition and the Witch Hunts all over.
What I love about America is that it remains edgy and experimental. That’s the way the country was started, and I hope — maybe even trust or expect — that the Constitution will keep evolving.
I believe there will be a time when my marriage to the man I love will be recognized by my home state (Texas) and by the federal government. That won’t come from any change in Texas politics. It will only happen when a higher and more powerful authority tells the rightwing to sit down.
Upstream from me: Gov Rick Perry, Rep Pete Sessions, Sen John Cornyn, and Sen Ted Cruz. I’m the gay bug. They’re the tea party windshield. The only thing that has my back is the US Constitution. I look to the Supreme Court for cover. There is so much religion-wrapped hatred in Texas. I pray the court gets engaged with the destruction of DOMA. Some states let lesbians and gays marry, while Texas politicians don’t even want to know that I kiss and hug my husband.
My political overseers want to deny me liberty. They don’t see any reason to let me pursue happiness.
Texas will see marriage equality one day. We aren’t there yet. I may not live long enough to see it, but I am confident in the trajectory of American society.
What I can do in the meantime is to release the hateful rightwing from animosity. I want to keep a charitable attitude toward the hate-mongers because–
- I am married to the love of my life, and nothing anybody says or does can change that; and,
- the Lords of Karma are much better at leveling the field than I could ever be.
One other note. Rick will confirm this. That actor? If he calls my cell phone, I have told Rick that I may not be around for a couple of days. Mmmm.…